Great Ballard is an independent day and boarding school for boys and girls aged 2 to 13. It is situated in the magnificent Eartham House set in idyllic parkland just 10 minutes from Chichester.
Our children enjoy a vibrant and genuinely all round education that is exciting, challenging and stimulating. Academic study is central to what we do and we expect all our pupils to adopt a healthy work ethic, but we also believe that to truly educate we must celebrate the creative, physical, and spiritual, as much as the intellectual.
Our aim is to nurture happy, accomplished, and well rounded children. We value self confidence, but not arrogance, and applaud gentleness and humility. We appreciate unaffected good manners and embrace traditional values. We respect individuality and recognise success, but most essentially quality of character is regarded equally as highly as achievement.
We understand that parents have a choice of a number of independent schools in West Sussex, and each is unique. How do you know if Great Ballard is right for you? We think the only way to assess what we're all about is to come and see us. We are confident you will be able to appreciate how much we care about each and every one of our children and their individual needs. Our classes are small so we can give everyone the attention they deserve.
We understand that there are many things to consider when finding the right school for your child. The cost of fees is inevitably one of those things. Parents are often surprised at the value Great Ballard can offer for the excellent and rounded education that we provide. To understand the costs of sending your child to Great Ballard you can review the fees here.
Great Ballard School invests £2m in new facilities
Owners of Great Ballard are to support the development of the school, by investing £2m in the business. The development plans follow a £200k investment in the school’s IT infrastructure, the appointment of a new Headmaster and an extension to GCSEs.
26th May 2020 — Owners of Great Ballard, the co-educational independent prep school near Chichester, have continued to support the development of the school, by investing £2m in the business.
The funds will be used to expand the school’s teaching capacity by purchasing a nearby property, creating more opportunities for classroom environments. The funds will also be used to redevelop existing buildings in the school’s extensive grounds.
The investment comes after the boarding and day school recently announced that, from September 2021, pupils will have the opportunity to remain at Great Ballard for their GCSE’s, when the school will take in their first cohort of Year 9 pupils.
Whilst its plans are to expand the facilities, Great Ballard will continue to maintain the small classes and the family focused ethos that the school is renowned for.
The continued plans for further development of the school follows the owners’ recent additional investment of £200k for an entirely new IT infrastructure. As a result, all pupils from years five to eight will have the opportunity to use a Chromebook from the beginning of the new term in September 2020.
Chris Jay, the school’s Managing Director Elect, commented, “Our investment in IT reflects the school’s aspirations to blend digital learning with traditional education methods. This will certainly be reinforced through our appointment of a new Computer Science teacher, as Computer Science will now be introduced as a core subject at the school to prepare our pupils for the 21st century workplace.”
In addition, Great Ballard has recently appointed new head teacher, Matthew King, whose new role begins in September.
Mr King commented, “I am thrilled to be joining Great Ballard at such an exciting time of development and progress. These major investments demonstrate the owners’ confidence in the future of the school, as well as their ongoing commitment to further raise standards, whilst maintaining the family ethos that pupils and parents have come to love. I am very much looking forward to building on the strong foundations Great Ballard has built over many years.”
Sue Jay, the school’s Managing Director, added, “This is a truly exciting time for Great Ballard and we are greatly looking forward to seeing the positive impact of these developments, all of which will contribute further to the unique learning experience of each Great Ballard pupil.”
Great Ballard pupils embrace their full virtual school during lockdown
Great Ballard School have provided an extensive online learning provision to their children and is supporting the needs of the whole family where possible.
28th April 2020 — Great Ballard School has set up an extensive virtual learning provision in light of the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent school closures. They have created a revised timetable providing children with interactive lessons where they can engage in teacher-led sessions with their classmates using Google Classroom and the Google Meet video call facility. To give a sense of normality to the children in these trying times, the school has ensured that the provision mirrors a normal school day as much as possible. This includes being present for registration, academic classes and sporting/extracurricular activities, enjoying lunch breaks and form time. The school appreciates screen time should be minimised where possible and children are encouraged to be active and enjoy regular exercise outside. Additional provisions include a subscription to CENTURY Tech (an online learning tool which utilises artificial intelligence to set work appropriate to each child's individual ability in English, Maths and Science), whole school singing sessions, well-being sessions and art lessons. Great Ballard is not only considering the needs of the children but also is recognising the family wide impact. With this in mind, the school has reduced their fees and has also frozen the fees for the next academic year. Alongside all of this, the school is loaning Chromebooks to families who need them and support is offered throughout the school day by staff and teachers for all technical and educational needs.
Mr Matthew King, the new Head of Great Ballard from September 2020, has been keeping in regular contact with the Great Ballard Community by recording assemblies and reading stories to the younger children. A newsletter is being sent out every Friday afternoon in which families are given the opportunity to share their achievements and keep the wonderful Great Ballard community spirit going strong.
Great Ballard has also remained open to children of key workers and has embraced the support for the NHS by decorating the school gate with rainbows and lessons were suspended for one minute on Tuesday 28th April at 11am in recognition of the superb work that critical care staff are doing.
Great Ballard School improves pupil’s awareness of disability
Pupils at Great Ballard School in Chichester recently spent the day learning about disability through an educational awareness programme provided by Bascule Disability Training.
3rd February 2020 — Pupils at Great Ballard School in Chichester recently spent the day learning about disability through an educational awareness programme provided by Bascule Disability Training.
Bascule Disability Training (a social enterprise based in Hampshire), visited the school and provided a range of educational activities, games and challenges, all of which are aimed at developing the children’s understanding and awareness of disability.
Children in Year 3 and 4 gained an understanding of the challenges experienced by people with disabilities through games that made use of wheelchairs. Year 5 played Boccia, a Paralympic sport that can be played by people with various disabilities. Year 6 children were engaged in role playing activities involving ‘characters’ with different disabilities, that challenged how limitations of disability are perceived. Children in Year 7 and 8 engaged in a disability debate, grappling with questions around living with disability, hidden disabilities and identity.
The training package Bascule provided was facilitated by Managing Director, Chris Jay. Born with cerebral palsy, Chris has been a wheelchair user for over 20 years, and is an accomplished training facilitator, public speaker, spokesperson and writer on the topic of disability awareness.
Chris said, “It’s been a great pleasure working with the children of Great Ballard School. Unfortunately, children with a disability or those with SEN, are twice as likely to be bullied and in 2018/19 disability hate crime rose by a shocking 22 per cent in the UK. As a result, Bascule aims to visit as many schools as possible in attempt to raise awareness and improve levels of empathy and understanding of disabilities, in a bid to reduce those numbers.”
Headmaster at the school, Richard Evans said, “It is crucial that as a school, we make time for days like this. There are so few opportunities for children to gain a valuable understanding of disability and a real understanding in practical terms, of what it means to be disabled. Bascule came to the school to inform and crucially answer the many questions children have about being disabled. As a result of Bascule’s training, the children now have an improved sense of awareness and empathy. We plan on further developing this by incorporating these themes into curriculum activities.”
As a social enterprise, Bascule donates 75% of surplus generated through its training for businesses to provide free disability awareness training in schools. Any Sussex based business that would like to receive disability awareness training will be able to choose a school of choice to receive a free disability awareness day.
Pioneering School launches ‘Wellbeing Hub’ in Draper’s Yard in Chichester
Great Ballard, a local independent school just 10 minutes from Chichester, has recently launched a ‘Wellbeing Hub’ at Draper’s Yard. They are a pioneering school for the iSpace and iWonder Wellbeing programmes which focus on teaching children to understand and manage their emotions, promoting emotional wellbeing. The Wellbeing Hub features work from pupils across the school on various topics such as stress, emotions, physical health and online safety. A ‘niggle’ box has been added to the exhibition, encouraging visitors to engage in a cathartic exercise by writing down something that is perhaps causing them stress or anxiety, ripping it up and posting it into the box. After this, visitors are encouraged to write on a separate sheet something that they are grateful for and post it in the box.
27th January 2020 — Great Ballard, a local independent school just 10 minutes from Chichester, has recently launched a ‘Wellbeing Hub’ at Draper’s Yard. They are a pioneering school for the iSpace and iWonder Wellbeing programmes which focus on teaching children to understand and manage their emotions, promoting emotional wellbeing. The Wellbeing Hub features work from pupils across the school on various topics such as stress, emotions, physical health and online safety. A ‘niggle’ box has been added to the exhibition, encouraging visitors to engage in a cathartic exercise by writing down something that is perhaps causing them stress or anxiety, ripping it up and posting it into the box. After this, visitors are encouraged to write on a separate sheet something that they are grateful for and post it in the box.
Preparing children emotionally is considered just as important by Great Ballard School as preparing children academically for the life ahead of them and iSpace is not the only programme in place. As a school Great Ballard has a firm belief in the benefits of outdoor learning and play to the physical development, mental health and wellbeing of children. The school benefits from being situated within the South Downs National Park and International Dark Skies Reserve. It also provides a Forest School programme to children from Nursery upwards and many learning support lessons take place in the outdoors, using natural materials to learn and improve new skills.
As the school continues its development up to aged 16 it plans to enhance the wellbeing provision to include a positive psychology course for GCSE aged pupils. The first Year 9 class will launch the Senior School when they walk through the gates in September 2021. Great Ballard is currently open to children aged from 2½-13.
Their next Open Morning takes place on Saturday 14th March from 9.30am-11.30am.
Great Ballard pupils support Macmillan with a whole school cupcake competition!
Pupils from Nursery all the way up to Year 8 put their creative hats on and decorated cupcakes to sell in aid of Macmillan Cancer Support. Hundreds of cupcakes were purchased throughout the day, with a Parent's Coffee Morning after drop-off and pupils purchasing cakes for their morning snack and also another cake sale after school finished! Three large trays of beautiful cupcakes were taken down to Claremont Lodge Nursing Home in Fontwell for the residents to enjoy for their afternoon tea. The final total is still being counted but we are confident that we have raised over £400!
27th September 2019 — Pupils from Nursery all the way up to Year 8 put their creative hats on and decorated cupcakes to sell in aid of Macmillan Cancer Support. Hundreds of cupcakes were purchased throughout the day, with a Parent's Coffee Morning after drop-off and pupils purchasing cakes for their morning snack and also another cake sale after school finished! Three large trays of beautiful cupcakes were taken down to Claremont Lodge Nursing Home in Fontwell for the residents to enjoy for their afternoon tea. The final total is still being counted but we are confident that we have raised over £400! A lovely community event which the whole school thoroughly enjoyed and for a very worthy cause. #MacmillanCancerSupport #WorldsBiggestCoffeeMorning
Great Ballard's Autumn Open Morning takes place on Saturday 5th October from 9.30am-11.30am.
World Class Stradivarius Piano Trio visit Great Ballard School
It was a real honour to welcome back the Stradivarius Piano Trio to Great Ballard for the third year running. The Stradivarius Piano Trio are a world class musical act consisting of Andrew Bernadi, Jonathan Few and Maria Marchant.
27th September 2019 — It was a real honour to welcome back the Stradivarius Piano Trio to Great Ballard for the third year running. The Stradivarius Piano Trio are a world class musical act consisting of Andrew Bernardi, Jonathan Few and Maria Marchant who play all over the world. Andrew Bernardi plays a stradivarius violin - a unique and beautiful violin worth millions of pounds. As part of the Shipley Arts Festival, the trio put on an evening performance at Eartham House and on the same day, treat Great Ballard pupils to their very own concert. Andrew, Jonathan and Maria played some beautiful pieces and pupils helped Andrew to 'paint a musical picture' after they listened to an extract from 'The Lark Ascending' by Vaughan Williams. They described blue skies, birds tweeting, an oak tree, and a rainbow in the distance. Eva, our Head of School, stood up and thanked the trio on behalf of everyone and with three cheers to end, it was a wonderful occasion. A few pupils stayed to speak to the trio and Rosie played Twinkle Twinkle Little Star on Jonathan's cello!
Great Ballard's Autumn Open Morning is taking place on Saturday 5th October from 9.30am-11.30am.