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Reflective Spaces – January 2016 – Ballard School

January 27, 2016

Ballard School Reflective Spaces 2016

Walking into our chapel room I didn’t really know what to expect.

I was greeted by a board welcoming you to ‘enter quietly and participate respectfully’.

2016.1.23 reflective spaces welcome board

As I went in without anyone using the space I could hear gentle relaxing sound of ocean surf being played across the five different themed reflective ‘rooms’. This transported me back to holidays on beaches where I’ve read books while lounging in the sun; my idea of peace.

Big Questions

I was met by the ‘Big Questions’ room first. Here we are asked to respond by writing on cardboard and pegging up our response on the wall or strings hanging from the ceiling. When confronted by the ask of ‘If you could ask one big question, what would it be?’

What would my response be?

What would your response be?

2016.1.26 RS  big questions b and w

If I followed in the markings of these pupils, I could respond this way perhaps:

“If you don’t go to heaven, where do you go?”

“Why do some people not forgive?”

2016.1.26 RS  big questions quote

My personal favourite I found hanging up quite near the back and I feel this is challenge for us all:

“How can I make the world a better place?”

World Wall

2016.1.26 RS  world wall dots

For this ‘World Wall’ section we are brought to stand under flags of the world and asked to leave post-it note comments on ‘wishes for events around the world’. Many of the snippets left make us consider the consequences of famine and wars. Posts left asking for clean water and medicine for the children around the world are intermixed with cries such as ‘Refugees’; this was left on a note over the North Sea, next to the United Kingdom.

One of the most poignant notes I came across was this one below – water is a basic human necessity but we are reminded how not everyone has access to clean, safe drinking water.

Perhaps the person placing this note meant to place it in the middle of the ocean?

2016.1.26 RS  world wall quote

Wonderful World

The third room I entered was the source of the ocean waves sounds I heard when I first came in – ‘Wonderful World’.

This room is adorned by palm trees and beautifully crafted butterflies and I couldn’t help but be struck by the vibrancy captured in these displays. That made me ponder what it would be like to not have this full colour spectrum in nature, as these photos below attempt to show.

2016.1.26 RS  Wonderful world no colour2016.1.26 RS  Wonderful world colour

Participants into this room were asked to place comments under images of different places on our planet and also outer space. Many comments talk about wanting to be there now (not in school!) but one comment stood out for me; an incredibly thoughtful response to the question being asked.

2016.1.26 RS wonderful world quote

I did happen upon another comment, under the ‘San Rafael Waterfall, Ecuador’ which caught my eye… the distinctive handwriting of our headmaster – maybe one day, Sir!

2016.1.26 RS wonderful world quote headmaster

Fizzy Forgiveness

Having gone into ‘Reflective Spaces’ without a class being present there was no ‘fizzy forgiveness’ activity laid out. As with all the rooms this one requires a response, but for me this one seems more personal. By placing a ‘fizzy’ tablet into the water and watching it break up you have a chance to ‘let go’ of words you have perhaps said which might have hurt someone or the actions which led to injury to another. I could have made a ‘Sorry’ card and placed it on the walls of the room or, like someone has done, under the vase of flowers on the mantelpiece.

2016.1.26 RS Fizzy Forgiveness flowers and cards


For me this was the room I wanted to enter last and the layout brought me here at the end of my visit. This was the room from our 2014 ‘Reflective Spaces’ which I had found very moving. I was therefore looking forward to seeing how this year’s ‘Thankful’ area has been used.

On entering the ‘room’ we are asked a simple question:

‘What are you thankful for?’

This seems to be one of the ‘easy’ areas for many to leave a note in and one I can summarise by three Fs.

Food – “I am so thankful (for) food because some people all over (the) world are hungry cause they don’t have any food”

Friendship – “I am thankful for my friends who are always there for me and make me laugh”

Family – I am thankful for…”parents – for everything they have done for me”


As I came to leave the chapel and head back upstairs, I spotted this post-it, just underneath the ‘Thankful’ header. This, I think sums up my experience here in our ‘Reflective Spaces’ area for 2016.

‘Thank you for making me who I am’

(note the orange post-in the picture below)

2016.1.26 RS  thankful

This blog post has been written by one of our staff members as a personal response to

‘Reflective Spaces’ 



3 Comments leave one →
  1. January 27, 2016 11:31 am

    Thank you to whoever wrote, shared and bought this to life (in such a simple and beautifully considered way) for those of us not there.

    Maggie Rose (Cameron Dawson-Rose yr 8)



  1. Big Questions? – Headmaster’s Blog -Wednesday 3rd February 2016 – Ballard School | ballardschoolnewmilton
  2. Off on an adventure! – Headmaster’s Blog – Wednesday 22nd June 2016 | ballardschoolnewmilton

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