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No more tears? – Headmaster’s Blog – Wednesday 19th July 2017

July 19, 2017
Ballard school speech day

No more tears?

I am writing as the Summer Term 2017 has just concluded. This week we have enjoyed a super series of celebrations in our Speech Day, had a necessary (and actually rather enjoyable) staff INSET day to tidy up after the academic year just passing and to prepare for the new one (schools are perpetual cycles of new life) and then a most positive Governors’ meeting looking at facility enhancement.

My reference to tears thus requires some explanation! We can, of course, shed tears (actually or metaphorically) in a variety of contexts – and these may be tears of sorrow, of joy, regret, frustration, pain, empathy – even anger. I am sure there were tears of joy for many pupils as they reached the summer holidays and perhaps even for parents whose youngest has finished at Ballard and thus the school fees are over! The tears I want to mention, however, were those shed at Speech Day: real, genuine and heartfelt.

Almost all of us were moved emotionally by the Senior Choir’s rendition of ‘Fly to Paradise’ by Eric Whitacre. Even within the rather metallic environment of a Sports’ Hall (where our ceremonies took place) it was still possible to feel transported by the soaring voices and the haunting music. If you are not familiar with this piece of music do search for it on You Tube. (I might also add, that the Director of Music was especially moved to tears after the gathering when she received a personal letter of thanks and appreciation from the composer arranged by one of her Year 11 musicians.)

Ballard Speech day flight to paradise

Ballard Senior choir performed Eric Whitacre’s ‘Flight to Paradise’ at our Speech Day 2017

We were most moved, however, by the speeches delivered by our Head Girl and Head Boy. It wasn’t just the content – the memories, the humour, the confessions and the appreciation – but it was also the fact that for each of them (and eight others of their cohort) the journey at Ballard had begun in the Nursery some 14 years ago and they were about to ‘fly the nest’. Tears literally flowed from these two fine young people and there was hardly a dry eye amongst the crowd in the hall. These were certainly tears of emotion but they were also expressions of gratitude, belonging and of promise: thanks for days past and the promise of a bright future ‘tomorrow’.

Ballard school speech day

Gathering for a formal photo in front of the Ballard entrance, complete with ducks and a Ballard bear!

Alastair Reid (a somewhat emotional and thankful 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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