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The best years of your life?

July 4, 2018

The best years of your life?

The word ‘old’ can carry a lot of baggage – as though it’s only good to be young and with your life in front of you. This week I have been struck by a couple of articles in the Press: one focussed on what some see as a trend towards people becoming more rude and self-centred in their social interactions. The ‘old’ can apparently be more at fault here than the ‘young’. The second article was to do with the ageing process and how, with the focus on dementia, ill-health and pressure on social services, few people look forward to ‘old age’. The Royal Society for Public Health, for example, has just published a report which lays bare the extent of the problem: many view old age as a period of decline and ordeal, with a third of the public perceiving loneliness as inevitable with declining years.

Growing ‘Old’ and growing grumpy?

With respect to the first concern – increasing rudeness – I can see no defence for this by anyone whatever their age. It may well be that as some retreat into more of a private world, perhaps through choice, mobility issues or even social exclusion that being rude becomes a defence mechanism or a sign of poor social skills. As with much in life, a positive response in the face of rudeness, even apparent aggression, can cause the perpetrator to stop short, think, and change the way they react. For example, I witness passive rudeness nearly every day when I walk into school: the dog walkers plugged into their ‘phones and the early risers rushing off to the train who won’t readily acknowledge me as I pass by. A cheery ‘good morning’ (but loud enough to penetrate the personal music system) usually works wonders and produces a startled but I hope appreciative, response and understanding that common courtesies are worth preserving.

Retiring from full-time work

I have now reached ‘a certain age’ (apparently) and am about to retire from full-time work. (My PA, jokingly of course, refers to my senior rail card as my ‘old man card’!) I do hope that I won’t become short-tempered, touchy or (even more) blinkered in my ‘old age’ – commonly held beliefs amongst some about senior citizens. I rather like the tradition in Japan whereby some men and women, of ‘a certain age’, who excel in the traditional arts and crafts, are designated as ‘living national treasures’. I am not sure that I have too many traditional pastimes to impart on the younger generation (unless croquet and fish keeping count) but I hope I can still share some ‘treasure’.

As 71 year old Janet Street-Porter (JSP) in the I newspaper (Saturday, 30 June) explains,

‘The biggest problem facing society is how to sell getting old in a positive way, especially to the young, who view it with unmitigated dread’.

It seems that all too often we talk about the elderly in terms of ‘less’ – less of everything that seemingly makes life enjoyable. ‘Less good health, less mobility, fewer friends, less money, less memory, less time left on earth’ (Street-Porter). The latter concern, of course, depends largely on your faith position! As for the other worries, I feel like JSP in this: the word ‘old’ carries far too much baggage in our national consciousness. As I near semi-retirement, I am looking for new opportunities and challenges, fresh insights and approaches. No doubt the pace of life will change for me, in keeping with my great age, but if health permits I’d like to think I could still be kept busy into my 80s, even my 90s, like my parents, doing something productive and helpful as I prepare ‘for the life to come’.

Feel free to remind me of this blog (politely, of course) as I enter the unchartered waters of ‘old age’ and encourage me to become a well-regarded ‘national treasure’ – or, at the very least, a local one!

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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Year 5 Trip 2018 – PGL Osmington Bay, Weymouth – Blog Two

July 4, 2018

Year 5 Trip 2018 – PGL Osmington Bay

For our first blog from PGL do see Blog one.

After an enjoyable night of fun and games, the children woke up bright and early ready to make the most of the day and, just as importantly, the full English breakfast that was on offer.

Today’s activities

Ballard PGL fencing

Preparing to fence – en-guard!

After breakfast, the children split in to two groups to complete the fencing and zip wire activities on offer. Even Mrs J couldn’t resist but have a go on the zip wire course!

Jacob’s Ladder and Aeroball

 

Ballard PGL Jacobs Ladder climbing

All having a go on Jacob’s Ladder

After lunch, the children had to climb ‘Jacobs Ladder’ before playing ‘Aeroball’ (a cross between basketball and trampolining!)

Some of the children returned to their rooms for a ‘midday nap’ before heading out for dinner and then story telling and sing songs around the large camp fire. We celebrated one of the pupils’ birthdays so we sang happy birthday before eating plenty of cake.

Ballard PGL climbing

Selfie shot from Jacob’s ladder

Celebrations from the England camp

The night ended with the children listening to the England- Columbia penalty shoot outs on the radio in their dormitories which then led to wild celebrations!!

We’ve had another fantastic day and the children have been a real credit to themselves and the school.

Roll on day three but first, sleep is needed for all (including Mrs L, Mrs J and Mr R!!)

 

Mr R

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.

Year 8 Trip 2018 – Bath – Blog Two

July 4, 2018

Year 8 Trip 2018 – Roman Baths, Jane Austen

The #BallardTripsWeek for Year 8 has a jam-packed itinerary:

Monday- Longleat

Tuesday- Bath- Roman Baths, Fashion Museum and Shakespeare’s Henry V

Wednesday- Bristol – workshop in the M Shed museum and SS Great Britain 

Thursday- Cheddar Gorge and caves

Friday- Mill on the Brue activity centre and then home!

A short update from Mr B:

Ballard trips in Bath today

All happy in Bath today

We had a hot Bath today – We went from Romans to Regency, learning some latin along the way.

Roman Baths

Roman Baths

Walking around the Roman Baths

We had a tour of the Roman Baths in Bath and also had a workshop to learn about the history of the baths, looking at artifacts and translating Latin inscriptions.

Ballard in Bath

A sunny day in Bath

Fashion Museum

A change from the schedule, we went to the Fashion Museum.

We had a chance to see fashion through the ages from 1700s until the present day.

The pupils were also able to try on some of the replica costumes as well!

xx

Shakespeare

In the evening we went to watch Henry V.

However… the ‘3 lions on the shirt’ team, going to extra time before the ‘enemy’ surrendered, kept us all on the edge of our seats until the ‘King’ won his prize.

We did not find out the football result until the end of the play..!

We also had a birthday amongst our group and shared a cake!

Happy birthday in Bath

Happy birthday in Bath

Tomorrow we are off to Bristol and the SS Great Britain and M Shed – moving on from Regency to Industrial Revolution.

Mr B

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

Year 7 Trip 2018 – Bude – Blog Three

July 3, 2018

Day Two on our Ballard Year 7 Bude Trip

For more from our Year 7 Bude trip, do see their Blog one and Blog two.

Bude blog: What a day! You can blame England for the late blog today!

All of the pupils are absolutely buzzing after watching the game, and cheering England on.

The day’s activities

It’s been another great day, with the pupils taking part in team trail, bodyboarding, kayaking and surfing! Lots of team work, a great atmosphere with the group, and everyone has been throwing themselves into all of the different activities.

A favourite for the pupils today was the surfing, which I was so happy about! It was great fun and great to see the pupils learning new skills and conquering some of their fears.

The weather has still been very hot today, but it hasn’t been as sunny today which was fine as it suited the activities that were taking place. Mrs G, Mrs T, Mr H and myself have been really impressed with all of the pupils, and they are doing Ballard proud. We are looking forward to another few days of fun and adventures, and there are still some brilliant activities to come.

The fancy dress was great fun tonight, with some creative outfits on show. (Liked the long hair Mr H!) All the pupils have lots of stories to share when they get home in a few days time, and are making the most of every moment.

Mr F

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.

Year 3-4 Trips Week 2018 – Longdown

July 3, 2018

Year 3-4 Trips week

Throughout the Ballard Trips week Years 3 and 4 are going on days out, exploring the local area.

For their first day our they had a whole day out in Longdown Farm, Ashurst and New Forest wildlife park.

Longdown Farm

Longdown farm trip (1) holding chicks LR

Trying to keep a hold of these adorable chicks

This trip to the farm was very hands-on which included holding baby chicks, feeding baby goats, calves and learning how to pick up a piglet by its leg (safely!).

Longdown farm trip feeding kids

Down on the farm – kids feeding kids!

The pupils’ highlight was going on a very bumpy tractor ride!

 

longdown farm trip  calves

Feediung the calves on Longdown Farm

New Forest wildlife park

At this trip they met more wild animals and learnt how Mr W did his work experience there!

The highlight was definitely an eleven person swinging log which some of the pupils thought they would write to School Council about having at Ballard!

Their next trips include New Forest Reptile Centre, a geocaching hike, Paulton’s Park and Crazy Golf.

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

Year 8 Trip 2018 – Longleat – Blog One

July 3, 2018

Year 8 Trip 2018 – Longleat

The #BallardTripsWeek for Year 8 has a jam-packed itinerary:

Monday- Longleat

Tuesday- Bath- Roman Baths, Jane Austen museum and Shakespeare’s Henry V

Wednesday- Bristol – workshop in the M Shed museum and SS Great Britain 

Thursday- Cheddar Gorge and caves

Friday- Mill on the Brue activity centre and then home!

A short update from Mr B:

A fabulous day, getting close to animals and learning about conservation.

On the steps of Longleat

On the steps of Longleat

It was sweltering driving through the safari park, thank goodness Mr Blake’s minibus had aircon.

Jungle kingdom, Longleat

Entering the Jungle Kingdom in Longleat!

We loved feeding the deer.

Ballard Trips Year 8 Longleat

Meeting the inmates!

It was a hot night in the youth hostel!

Mr B

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

Year 5 Trip 2018 – PGL Osmington Bay, Weymouth – Blog One

July 2, 2018

Year 5 Trip 2018 – PGL Osmington Bay

Year 5 arrived at PGL Weymouth full of exuberance and energy. The sun was shining so, after dropping their luggage off in their rooms, the children, Mrs L, Mrs J and Mr R walked down to the beach to have their lunch. Unfortunately for Mr R this led to him being soaked by the children!

After lunch, the children caught the bus down to Portland to build some rafts. The rafting took place at the Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy .

They had to design and build a raft using poles, rope and barrels before heading out on the water.

At 6pm, the children returned to their rooms before heading down for dinner in the dining room. The children then played some football at ‘Mini Wembley’ before ending the evening playing ‘Ambush’ (a game which involves one team hiding and the other seeking).

Plenty of fun has already been had and we are all looking forward to the zip wire and fencing activities tomorrow.

Mr R

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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