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New beginnings- and old – Headmaster’s Blog – Wednesday 14th September 2016

September 14, 2016
Ballard School Headmaster Summer 2016

New beginnings – and old

It’s always clear when the new school year is on the horizon: ‘Strictly’ reappears on our TV screens, the sun shines warmly, rugby posts appear, there are empty stationery boxes in school corridors and there’s the sound of frantically scurrying teachers laden with glue sticks, exercise books and white board markers. The emails also start pouring in with enquiries about uniforms, bus times, Form groups and fees. Businesses begin bombarding us once more with messages about super ‘last minute’ resource deals, ‘final chance to sign up for courses’ and ‘are you needing a cover teacher?’ It is all too easy to get caught up in a mad rush and so it’s all the more encouraging to receive messages of thanks and appreciation.

Generally letters or emails of concern and complaint outnumber those of commendation over the typical school year. The latter, indeed, tend to come in at the end of the summer term when pupils are leaving for pastures new. It was, thus, incredibly uplifting to receive two letters on the first day back of the new school year expressing thanks. The first was written by someone whose child had been at Ballard from Pre-Prep through to Year 11. The parent had taken the trouble to write something about each year the pupil in question had spent in the school, highlighting a difficulty overcome and an unexpected success achieved. Towards the end we read the following:

There have been a huge number of successes, with so many firsts, and these would not have been possible without the whole school’s support…Today (GCSE results’ day) we pick up exam results but as you can see from my previous comments it’s been about so much more than just results on a piece of paper and that’s what we are so happy about.

The second missive was from a parent who has had other children through the school and has one more to finish. This parent reflected on older children who were not high fliers academically and who had occasionally been ‘a handful’ at school. This parent writes:

Ballard really did manage to draw out their personal strengths…without destroying their personalities. What they have taken away from Ballard is a confidence and strength of character which I doubt would have developed in the same way at one of the other schools in our area…


I know that as the year unfolds more fully there will be some complaints and concerns which come my way. It is all too easy, of course, to be burdened by these. When they do come I hope I shall remember comments such as those above and reflect that encouragement and building up others are far more enduring sentiments.

Alastair Reid (Headmaster)

We tweet from @BallardSchool

Ballard School is an independent, private co-educational school in New Milton, Hampshire, providing an outstanding level of education for nursery to GCSE. With small class sizes and proven academic excellence, we strive to nurture the academic potential of all students. Learn more about our academic programmes, pastoral care, facilities and school ethos by visiting our website or by requesting a prospectus here


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