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Headmaster’s Blog – Ballard ‘Busy and Buzzy’

June 24, 2012

Our annual Saturday Open Morning has just taken place which is a mixture of a celebration day for existing pupils and parents together with an opportunity for prospective parents to visit the school at a weekend. We had many more visitors than is usual on a Saturday and, as one person put it to me, ‘Ballard is certainly busy but it’s also buzzy!’

At this time in the year we have had a lot of special events coming together. In just this last week these have included the Y3-5 musical (‘Go for Gold’ – a fun focus on the Olympics), a Ballard choir and the show band opening the Bournemouth Music Festival (and winning the cup for best school contribution), and the U10 cricket festival hosted by our school. As we look ahead to next week we have our celebration of sport day (including the traditional sports) followed by Arts’ Week and the Ballard Challenge (for Y9). There’s even a Summer Ball arranged by our parents’ association (FOBS).

It’s easy amongst all this busyness to overlook the ordinary and the essential. The GCSE exams come to an end this week and the newspapers are full of the possible changes to this assessment in the future (as well as to A levels). I am interested to note that one reason given for possible change is to allow more time for pupils to be involved in music, sport, drama (etc.) and this is something I applaud. I would be concerned, however, if any change in the 16+ exams led to a loss of creativity and ‘buzz’ (something which coursework and internal assessments have promoted) but, clearly, we would want to ensure that academic rigour does not suffer in any ‘shake up’ of the system and also that all pupils are able to access meaningful tests and assessments. It remains to be seen what comes out of the up-coming review but what we certainly intend for Ballard is that we remain busy, buzzy and bringing out the best in everyone!

Alastair Reid

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