Performing Arts

Ballard School holds the accolade of  Artsmark Gold by the Arts Council of England in recognition of its contribution to arts education, having held the Artsmark award for many years.  The award takes into account the school’s broad arts education programme, focusing on both curricular and extra-curricular provision of Music, Dance, Drama and Art across every age range in the school. This is a prestigious award for Ballard (which is an all round school with a wide age range) and it acknowledges the hard work pupils and staff have put into this area of school life over several years.


Ballard Music department prides itself on a busy performance calendar that gives opportunities to all pupils from Pre-Prep to Senior.   We provide an extensive range of instrumental and singing lessons, ensembles, orchestras, choirs, showband, and handbell groups, either during lesson or activity time.  Around 160 individual music lessons take place every week.  There are extensive opportunities to perform both formally and informally.

Music also features extensively in school productions and shows as well as other major school events during the year such as on Fireworks night.  Music for the recent senior production of Guys and Dolls was performed entirely by pupils.  The annual Christchurch Priory carol service is a perennial highlight.  The school has enjoyed an excellent record in the ABRSM exams including recent Grade 8 success.  The department has two full-time members of staff who teach across the whole school and there is a well-appointed school of music including classrooms, rehearsal spaces, teaching rooms, recording studio and an Apple Mac suite.

Speech and Drama

Speech and Drama lessons are available as an extra-curricular subject and are given on a one to one basis. Classes are aimed at developing strong communication skills with good, clear, expressive confident speech. Those with a keen interest in drama are encouraged to develop their skills and techniques further. The school also enters many students who excel in Lamda and New Era Speech and Drama examinations as our recent 100% pass rate demonstrates.

Since 2009, 375 students have taken the New Era Academy exams with a 100% pass rate with a third achieving distinction level.  Nearly 700 students have taken LAMDA with similar success at merit and distinction levels.

Students are given tuition in a range of different disciplines including “Acting”, “Public Speaking”, “Interview Technique”, “The Speaking of Verse and Prose” and “Reading for Performance”. Classes are available to pupils across the age range tailored to the individual child’s particular interest or need.

For further information about Speech and Drama lessons please contact Mrs Sheila Gates at Ballard School.


Dance is enjoyed by a full range of pupils at Ballard from Kindergarten to the senior school where GCSE in Dance is offered.   The school provides high quality dance lessons and activities that cover the four main strands of Dance within the curriculum PE lessons.  We not only engage pupils as performers but develop them as choreographers and dancers that can analyse their work.

Dance is also a strand within Expressive Arts for Year 3-5 pupils within the curriculum, providing a further opportunity for pupils across the key stage to broaden their skills and understanding of dance and how this is interwoven within the course of expressive arts that include, Art, Drama and Music.  The school has a dedicated dance studio which is equipped with full length mirrors, ballet barres and the provision of IT to facilitate teaching & learning. All Dance lessons and after school Dance activities take place in this spacious wooden floor panelled studio.

In addition to dance in the curriculum, pupils can enjoy being a member of a number of different dance clubs that are open to all with an emphasis on fun and participation. Pupils are split into different age ranges and are given the opportunity to learn and create pieces of dance, with opportunities to perform in dance productions or other school productions through the year.