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Changing Places for charity – Headmaster’s Blog – Wednesday 29 March 2017

March 29, 2017

Ballard School Headmaster’s blog  – Changing places for charity

We had a very entertaining day last Friday – and raised over £330 for our Kenyan charity in so doing. This was our ‘role reversal day’ – something we do every three years or so at the end of the Spring Term. It has something of a sense of ‘misrule’ about it (the medieval practice of holding a Lord of Misrule day within the Christmas festivities as a way of reminding the rulers to take care of the ruled).

Several pupils from Y3 through to Y11 came to school dressed as a particular staff member – and a good number of staff also wore school uniform for the day. Pupils had in advance sought permission from most staff members they were ‘impersonating’ and everything was undertaken in a spirit of good humour.

In addition, following the drawing of names ‘out of the hat’, there were pupils playing the parts of the Headmaster, the Deputy Heads, the Head Boy and Head Girl, the Head Caterer, the Director of Sport and the Head of the Department of Enhanced Learning. These pupils variously took part in lessons as teachers, gave away certificates in the Pre-Prep assembly, took part in the weekly calendar meeting, gave out notices at lunch, met prospective parents and awarded Headmaster’s Tokens. Some also were part of the usual welcoming group at the start of the day on the car park and then the ‘sign out’ in the evening. It was fun, good natured – and informative.

Calendar planning meeting on Role Reversal Day

Planning meeting with a few invited ‘pupils’ and their ‘teachers’ for the day!

I like to think that the pupils gained a sense of the variety and responsibilities of several staff members: a form of work experience, I suppose. The ‘Deputy Head’ politely admonished a latecomer to the calendar meeting whilst the ‘Head’ introduced the school to visiting parents and explained what was on offer here. (These prospective parents brilliantly ‘played along’ and did indeed find the whole process refreshing!)

For my part, I was reminded (as a ‘pupil’ for parts of the day), how varied a diet of lessons and activities our young people receive. Like staff, the pupils have to cope with different approaches from teachers, an almost bewildering range of teaching styles, subjects and resources, a day regulated by bells and an environment of many personalities vying for attention or seeking to remain ‘hidden’!

We all do well to ‘come out of our skin’ if we can for a short while on a regular basis. It helps us maintain perspective and, in the best of circumstances, gives us a sense of empathy. It also serves to remind us, perhaps, what it is we are best suited and trained for and thus all the more appreciative of others who do things and serve us in ways we could not begin to contemplate. Role on the next ‘role reversal day’!

Alastair Reid (Headmaster)

For more photos from our Role Reversal Day please see our Twitter feed (@BallardSchool) and our Flickr Album – Supporting Charities at Ballard School.

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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