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Brave new world? – Headmaster’s Blog – Wednesday 29th June 2016

June 29, 2016
Ballard School Headmaster's Blog Brave New World Brexit

Brave new world?

I have been told to avoid any political statements in my blogs and so I shall endeavour to maintain this stance whilst making a few observations from a Ballard perspective regarding the recent referendum which is leading us out of the EU.

On Friday last week we managed to squeeze in our postponed Lower Prep and Pre Prep Sports’ days whilst dodging a few unhelpful showers. These were great, inclusive, sporting occasions with every single pupil involved in the jumps, the throws, the tug-of-war and the various relays. Inclusivity in sport is a significant emphasis here at Ballard – a pulling together with all involved whatever their level of expertise (but still allowing the elite athletes to show their worth). I said I wouldn’t make any political statement (about inclusivity in this case) and so I will not do that.

Whilst making some remarks at the end of the athletics I commented on my tie (blue and gold) and reassured the pupils that I was neutral in the Inter-House sports even though one House is Blue (Broadley) and another is Gold (Holmsley). This didn’t prevent one parent remarking that my tie bore a remarkable resemblance to the colours in the EU flag – wholly unintentional I might add (and I am refraining from any political comment).

Ballard School Sports Day House Picture

Cheering on their housemates on Sports’ Day!

This week we have enjoyed having our German and Spanish exchange students visit and take part in lessons and go on trips in the locality and to London. As a school which recently took part in the British Council’s Comenius Project and has been honoured by an International Schools’ Award, it was indeed fitting to embrace visitors from other languages and cultures and to help then understand the intricacies of croquet and how to enjoy British musicals (we put on ‘Joseph’ this week). Clearly a coincidence that these European visitors were with us for THAT week – and again no comment from me.

2015.11 ISA International award

Mrs Prout receiving the ISA International Award

Today’s parents’ hockey practice was full of more pointed comments regarding shots at goal being ‘in’ or ‘out’ and whether we would need a visa to go from one side of the pitch to another and even if the two Scottish players ought to be allowed to play or not (and I’m one of these) – but then again I shouldn’t betray too many secrets from our weekly revels and, as I’ve said, I’m not going to make any political comment.

Tweet on the theme


Finally, it’s worth noting that the School undertook an EU referendum of its own following two assemblies in which pupils made speeches from the different political perspectives. In some ways, it seems, the Ballard Year 6 to Year 10 pupils followed the pattern in the country – but with one major difference. Our seniors (Years 9-10) voted 52% to 48% in favour of leaving Europe but when the Upper Prep (Years 6-8) were added in the outcome was different with 54% voting to remain in Europe and 46% to leave. So the older / younger UK split seems to have been mirrored at Ballard!

Alastair Reid (Headmaster)

IMAGE:  (with modifications)

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