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Headmasters’ Blog 19 April 2012

April 19, 2012

All the world’s a stage
As our new term gets underway, we have said farewell to two pupils emigrating to New Zealand, to one relocating to Dubai and another to Australia.  We currently have students on exchange trips in both Spain and Germany – with the French one to follow later in the term. We welcome an annual visit of a Swiss teacher to Ballard in a few weeks’ time.   Last December we had a ski trip to Canada and this March we had another one to Europe. Year 8 sportsmen and women went to Jersey last term, Y6 go to Normandy in July and our Artists visit Venice next October. There is a Performing Arts trip to New York later this year and the third trip to Kenya is already in the advanced stage of its planning for the summer of 2013.   I know that several pupils will have been overseas on family holidays recently whilst others have entertained visitors from abroad in their homes, such as those on the ‘return’ Exchange trips. At the end of last term – in fact on the very last day – we had some Japanese visitors in school teaching younger children about their culture and in a week’s time Year 3 have their annual India Day.
I was born and brought up in West Africa and, more recently, taught for nine years in India. My children were also privileged to have their senior schooling in India and spent part of their ‘gap years’ in Lesotho and South Africa. My son studied Arabic and Middle East Studies at University and this involved a year’s placement in Egypt.
With all this whirl of overseas’ activity at Ballard, coupled with my own personal experience, I have been reflecting on the value of broadening our horizons. The Olympics in London will further remind us about how ‘small’ yet diverse our world is whilst the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations will also help to root us within our own culture and traditions in the UK and also reflect on our links with the Commonwealth. Our parents’ association, FOBS, has kindly helped fund a significant purchase of different countries’ flags for our school flag pole and this, we hope, will help to remind our community of the wider world. Not every family is able to travel overseas or to allow their children to do so, but I hope that in the coming months as the Jubilee and the Olympics arrive on our shores and television screens we shall all be able to share in the excitement of the world coming to the UK!
Alastair Reid (Headmaster)

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