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Headmaster’s Blog – Awards and Recognition

May 24, 2012

The Olympic flame has arrived in the country and marks the moment when the Games are formally handed over to the United Kingdom from Greece.  The torch relay will cover the nation and one of our members of staff, Mr Mike Clifford, (Director of Development and Alumni Relations) will be one of the runners!  His moment of glory comes on Thursday, 12 July – fittingly our Speech Day – and has been conferred on him after a citation from a parent commending his outstanding work at Ballard as a teacher.


It is always gratifying to acknowledge individual achievements and it’s all the more pleasing when the school as a whole is recognised.  This past week Ballard has received two substantial awards.  The first was the re-award of ‘Artsmark’ which commends us on our music, drama, dance and art – performing arts as a whole.  This was first gained by the school in 2009 and has to be applied for on a three-year cycle.  It necessitates a stringent survey of all we do in the Arts and requires an inspection.  We are the only school in our region to gain such an honour.  The inspector noted that we very nearly qualify for the top accolade, ‘Artsmark Gold’, and with the introduction of more discrete drama into the curriculum next year we shall be close to achieving this in future.


The other award was presented to me (representing the school) at a ceremony at the Independent Schools’ Association (ISA) annual conference.  Ballard was commended for its outstanding inspection report, for the wide range of activities and achievements of our pupils, and for the development of high quality facilities (such as the Astro and the Terrace).  Our award was a ‘certificate of excellence’ (highly commended) – one of only three given to ISA schools.


Thus, at a time when the country is being honoured by the Olympic flame, it is both humbling and gratifying to be acknowledged by two national bodies – the Arts Council and the ISA.

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