Great Ballard School
|Local authority||West Sussex|
|Students||192 (in 2009)|
Great Ballard School is a co-educational independent school for children aged 2 to 13 years. It was founded in 1924 and set up at its current location in Eartham, Near Chichester, West Sussex, in 1961. The school offers boarding on a flexible basis for both boys and girls. The headmaster is Richard Morgan.
In order to be enrolled, prospective students must go through an interview and a written test before being accepted. For the 2009 school year, the enrollment costs were 3,000-10,800 pound sterling annually, along with optional weekly boarding costing 12,975 pounds sterling.
The school's main building, Eartham House, was originally built in 1800 and was occupied by the poet William Hayley. The house was subsequently purchased by William Huskisson, a prominent nineteenth-century politician who was a member of parliament for Chichester and served in the governments of Lord Liverpool and the Duke of Wellington. Huskisson, despite his high-profile political career, is best remembered for the tragic manner of his death – he was run over by George Stephenson's locomotive engine The Rocket at the opening of the Liverpool to Manchester railway line in 1830.
Eartham House was entirely rebuilt in 1905 by the architect Sir Edwin Lutyens, but some Regency decorations and fireplaces are still retained in one room. The house was listed as a Grade II listed building by English Heritage in 1958.
Since its founding, the school has had many locations, including the original location at New Milton Hampshire, till the Second World War, when it was relocated in Dorset and then Stowell Park Gloucestershire till 1947. For a short time it was located at Cordwalles, Camberley, in Surrey, where the Queen had carried out her ATS training till fire forced a temporary return to Stowell Park. After repairs the school remained in Camberley till moving to its current location in 1961 because the nature of the surroundings had become more urbanised.
In the autumn term of 2009, the Great Ballard School began "hosting a group of pupils from Fang Cao Di International School in Beijing, China who have been experiencing British teaching methods as well as sharing knowledge of their own culture". The exchange students participated in the normal class schedule and were also taken on a number of field trips to famous British locations, including "Windsor Castle and Stonehenge".
Though children from the ages of two and a half to thirteen attend the school, Great Ballard School has a wide number of class subjects, including "ICT, technology, art & design, PE, music and drama". The focus during the school year is to make the students prepared for the Common Entrance Examination and for other scholarship examinations that the students will be taking at age 13. While many of the students under the age of seven take classes such as "music and movement, drama, PE, swimming, computing, and cooking", it is at the age of seven that the "prep school" classes start.
- Julien Fountain, cricketer and baseball player
- Richard Meredith, author
- Honeysuckle Weeks, actress
- Bosberry-Scott, Wendy (2009). Which School?. John Catt Educational Ltd. p. 234. Retrieved May 24, 2012.
- Great Ballard School inspection report, OFSTED, 13 October 2008.
- The Oxford Illustrated Literary Guide to Great Britain and Ireland, Oxford University Press, 1992, p. 76, ISBN 9780192129888
- Eartham House, West Sussex Info
- Eartham House, listing on Images of England website.
- History of the School
- Staff writer (October 14, 2009). "Pupils and staff at Great Ballard have triple celebration". Crawley Observer. Retrieved May 24, 2012.
- "Honeysuckle Weeks Video - Celebrity Interview and Paparazzi". OVGuide. Retrieved 16 May 2012. "Weeks was educated at Great Ballard School, Sussex, Roedean School and Pembroke College, Oxford"
- "INTERVIEW: Honeysuckle Weeks is more than over the moon at her Chichester return - Entertainment - Bognor Regis Observer". Bognor Regis Observer. 22 April 2010. Retrieved 16 May 2012. "She grew up just near Petworth, went to school at Great Ballard and started her acting career with Chichester Festival Youth Theatre in 1988."