Ballard School has welcomed a new Deputy Head Academic with a vision of “blended learning”

The independent school in New Milton is very pleased to welcome Mr. Matthew Higgins as their new Deputy Head Academic, who will play a vital role in driving forwards the vision for the education delivered at the school.

Mr. Higgins will work alongside the Headmaster, the Bursar and the Deputy Head Pastoral, who comprise the Leadership Team. The role will see Mr. Higgins leading the academic side of the school and developing the already outstanding academic education provided for Ballard pupils, from children in Pre-Prep to Year 11.

His vision for education at Ballard focuses on a blended learning environment to ensure pupils have the opportunity to fulfil their potential and fully utilise the benefits of a technological world.

Mr. Higgins said:“I have designed curricula that are broad and balanced, but also creative so that different subjects and year groups work collaboratively. I am committed to further develop the skills of communication, collaboration, critical thinking, and creativity inside the classroom and within the co-curricular program.

“My goal is to ensure that Ballard students enjoy learning and become resilient and effective problem solvers, whilst being able to achieve the highest academic results from a strongly embedded growth mindset.”

Mr. Higgins is currently at Poole’s Magna Academy as Assistant Head - Whole School Assessment & Digital Strategy. He previously taught at Brighton Girls School (BGS) for seven years, where he was Trust Consultant, Head of Maths, and Digital Lead. Prior to BGS, Matthew held the position of Assistant Head (Academic) at St John's College, Southsea.

Speaking about his appointment at Ballard School, he said:

“Ballard is a school with a sense of respect, family spirit, and kind responsible pupils. I was drawn to this community because I believe that its values are aligned with mine and my family’s and we are looking forward to getting to know the pupils and everyone associated with the school.”

This is an exciting time for Matthew to be joining Ballard, after long-standing former Deputy Head Academic, David Dunn, retired after 20 years’ service. The pupil roll has increased by over 20% since September 2018, and the school’s reputation for delivering a first-class, holistic education is soaring.

Andrew McCleave, Headmaster at Ballard School, said:

“I was extremely pleased to welcome Matthew as our new Deputy Head Academic. Matthew’s values, professionalism, and experience were just what Ballard was looking for. Matthew is a Maths specialist and will play a pivotal role in building on the success and knowledge developed during lockdown, as well as ensuring Ballard remains at the forefront of educational developments.

“He has a proven track record of formulating and implementing digital strategy and implementing current pedagogical thinking into the delivery of a robust curriculum; I have no doubt that Matthew will be a very strong addition to the Ballard community.”

Matthew Higgins continued:“The recent pandemic has highlighted how quickly we have had to adapt our ways of working and I will guarantee that our community is always future-ready, communicating effectively and prepared for any challenge.”

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