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Headmaster’s Blog – end of term

July 22, 2013

The Summer Term 2013 has just drawn to a conclusion and with it an extremely busy year which was exemplified by the final few days.Kenya party 2013 low res

For the first time this year we arranged for all the residential trips to fall into a single week – the penultimate one of the Summer Term. This involved Y5 going on a PGL adventure holiday at Osmington Bay, the Year 6s crossing the Channel to Normandy (with the Y10 French Exchange trip), the Y7s to Bude in Cornwall for an activity week and the Year 8s up to Stratford (for the Bard), the Space Centre, Warwick Castle and Cadbury World. Whilst all this was happening out of school the Year 9s completed their traditional Ballard Challenge: a gruelling but exhilarating time with the Royal Marines, a technology task, a practical session learning to dive with masks and oxygen, a catering challenge involving making a car cake which then had to move, a ‘paint with light’ experience, sessions on first aid and money management and then a final presentation day of speeches and interviews. Such colour and excitement!

The final week of the term saw our Technology pupils receive a Highly Commended Award at the Solent Business partnership for STEM projects (science, technology, engineering and maths) with our own Mr Andy Maskell (Head of Technology and SRTEM) being presented with a Lifetime Achievement Award. This was closely followed by our pedal car racing team competing in the New Milton bi-annual race against over 50 other competitors. The ‘Ballard Bullet’ came half way in the total field of adult racers from across the country (even from Germany) but they then came through to win the Youth section outright! Definitely more colour and excitement!

The term was drawn to a close with Speech Day at which the former England hockey and cricket player, Dr Jane Powell, gave a hugely entertaining speech about seizing our opportunities to exploit the talents and skills which we all possess. This annual event was followed by a Thanksgiving Service for the life of Miss Mary de Castro, Art teacher and Deputy Head at Edinburgh House School and then Ballard from 1969-2004. Mary touched so many lives – and we had over 250 at the service to testify to this – and it was her enthusiasm and colour which truly excited us all even in her passing.

Finally, our Kenya expedition left school (see picture) for three weeks of adventure, some relaxation and community work.  We wish them well.

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