The School Day

Nursery and Pre-Prep

Early Years Classes (18 months to Reception Year) follow the EYFS Curriculum which includes a wide variety of stimulating teacher led and child initiated activities to develop healthy and enquiring young minds. Our nurturing and caring environment provides an “Outstanding” start for our young pupils. Music, PE and Dance sessions are taught by dedicated teachers using specialist facilities. The school day runs from 8.30am until 4pm. An extended day operates from 8am to 5pm. Early Years pupils may opt for half day sessions.

In Year 1 and Year 2 the day is varied with a mix of academic, physical and creative lessons; English and Maths are given a high priority. The curriculum is broad and balanced to develop pupils’ skills and talents, in small classes that allow for individual attention. Pupils experience a largely cross-curricular approach to learning including Science, Humanities, IT, Art/Design, French, Music, PE, Dance and regular trips to places of interest. PSHE and assemblies promote the school’s Christian values and good citizenship. Pupils enjoy taking part in performances and assemblies. Our extensive and well-resourced grounds, together with the Pre-Prep Food Technology room, encourage the development of a healthy life style. Extra-curricular activities and clubs include Ballet, Karate, Horse riding, Recorder, Art, Modern Dance, Sport, Speech and Drama lessons and peripatetic music lessons.

Lower Prep (Years 3 to 5) & Upper Prep (Years 6 to 8)

Open from 8.00am for Early Club and 8.30am registration which takes place in forms. Lower Prep (Y3 – 5) have three lessons in the morning with a break and enjoy an earlier lunch in the main dining hall with a varied menu and salad bar hot and cold options. English and Maths is once again timetabled as a priority but science, history, geography, ICT, PE, music, art, design/technology, RE and PSHE are included with the older children studying German or Spanish in addition to French.  Set homework is progressively increased through this part of the school.  Wednesday afternoons are set aside for sport, either for training or school matches in a variety of sports. There are also regular assemblies and form time.  Frequent school trips support the curriculum and include field trips, museum trips, London, France and other local attractions. Inter school matches and regular school productions give opportunities for performing. In the holidays, there are opportunities for foreign trips and a range of holiday courses in sport and drama. An extensive end of day activities programme gives fantastic opportunities for developing interests across a wide range of sports, hobbies and activities. The house system is an important part of school life and pupils earn credits and compete with each other in house competitions. Prep School prefects are appointed in year 8.

Senior (Years 9 to 11)

In year 9 pupils choose their options for their GCSE subjects but there is still emphasis on English, Maths and Sciences. The day contains four one hour lessons In the morning with timetabled sport included and lunch at around 1.00pm. The senior school is set apart from the main school building and the academic emphasis in this part of the school helps pupils to learn to manage their own studying and to take more responsibility for their work. A spacious and well equipped supervised library is always open in the senior school. Assemblies, form and tutor provide  plenty of access to teachers for guidance and help.  At the end of year 9, Ballard Challenge Week gives pupils an opportunity to experience a variety of situations to help self-confidence, leadership and teamwork with a range of stimulating challenges, tasks and experiences. Opportunities in school productions, concerts and inter school sports’ matches are widely available. School prefects are appointed in year 11 and they play an important role in supervision of younger pupils. Holidays in the form of exchange visits, ski-ing, community service and sports tours are also available and there is a significant D of E participation at Bronze and Silver levels.  At the end of the school day, a variety of activities are available including boat building, most sports, dance, music, drama, art, design and study clinics.