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Children put on their boiler suits at break time and head into the woods to play, and can climb trees to the height of the tallest teacher – the headmaster strikes a balance with health and safety. Who needs a climbing frame when a fallen tree is much more fun? Everyone needed for matches and the less sporty have to take part. This gives all children a chance to shine – ‘my daughter was never really interested in sport but has had to take part and now she really enjoys it – that would never have happened in a larger school'... 

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What the school says...

Great Ballard School is situated in the South Downs National Park and, as such, we successfully combine our modern teaching resources and our stunning woodlands and grounds during lessons, activities and break times. Our excellent facilities include; a modern science lab, ICT suite, and outdoor classroom in Pre-Prep, a Dance and Drama Studio, Music Centre, Astroturf, covered swimming pool (which becomes outdoor in the Summer) and playing fields with views of the South Coast.

Since Great Ballard School first opened its doors in Eartham in 1924, there has always been a strong belief in learning from the environment and the ethos of the school has developed to encourage children to explore and discover their world and we now offer Forest School education programmes.

Academic, Art and Music scholarships have been gained to many senior schools in recent years including; Lancing College, Hurstpierpoint College, Brighton College, Seaford College, Portsmouth Grammar to mention just a few.

Great Ballard prides itself on its friendly, family atmosphere and offers flexibility to our parents with subsidised bus runs, after school care and activities and the popular breakfast club, all of which help our parents with their busy lifestyles.

We also welcome International boarders for short or long term stays which gives them a great opportunity to experience British Boarding in our small, rural, family community.

We would love to have the opportunity to show you round
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Equestrian centre or equestrian team - school has own equestrian centre or an equestrian team.


What The Good Schools Guide says


Since September 2020, Matthew King. Previously at Framlingham College Prep in Suffolk, part of a 30-year stint in various preps. This is a welcome return to West Sussex for Matthew and his family; he grew up in the area, attending Hurstpierpoint College, played cricket for Sussex Under 19s and enjoyed his first taste of headship at Pennthorpe School in Rudgwick, where his parents still reside. Studied history at Nottingham and began his career in Dorset where he became head of history, drama and computing when he was still wet around the ears, aged just 22.

A keen sportsman, football fan, playwright, musician, swimmer and hiker, he is an enthusiastic all-rounder and an ISI inspector. Married to Emily, with whom he has three children.


Almost non-selective – all have a taster day with...

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Special Education Needs

Our school has an established Learning Support Department that supports about 40 children on a 1 to 1 basis and also works with parents and outside agencies to support these children and any others within the school who have need. We cater for children from Nursery through to Year 8 (2 - 13+ years). The majority of the students on our LS register have dyslexic difficulties, or difficulties that come under that umbrella. All children are seen as individuals who make up part of a large family which is the school.

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