John Ball School was opened in 1953 by the then London County Council. It is sited on the edge of the Blackheath Ward in the London Borough of Lewisham. The School is named after John Ball, a rebel who played a prominent part in the Peasants’ Revolt of 1381, and who famously preached on Blackheath. If you want to find out more about John Ball, a PowerPoint presentation about him can be downloaded here: About John Ball
The most distinctive characteristic of John Ball School is the exceptionally diverse economic, social and cultural backgrounds of its children and the community it serves. Just over 44.4% of the current cohort is white British, with ‘other white’, dual heritage, African Caribbean and black African making sizeable minority groups within a socially and ethnically diverse community. Overall 20% of children currently have English as an Additional Language (which is twice the national average). In 2009/10, 18% of children received free school meals (national average 16.6). In 2010, the percentage of children with Special Education Needs was 20.4%, which is just above the national average (19.7%) The main aim and overriding ethos of the school is to address this diversity of context and to be a consistently inclusive school.
Michael Roach has been Headteacher since September 2009 following the retirement of the existing Headteacher. Julia McCrossen took up post as Deputy Headteacher in September 2010.
The school roll increased to 510 pupils due to the fact that the Governing Body agreed to take an extra “bulge class” into reception for 2009/10 and 2011/12. In order to accommodate these extra pupils as they move through the school, a new building was been installed as well as the conversion and refurbishment of other areas of the school.
In 2014/5 a £4.5M building project was completed to permanently expand the school to 3 forms of entry. This involved the building of a new admin and central facilities block, a wing of 5 new classrooms, the extension of a new classroom to the Early Years building as well as the complete refurbishment of the outdoor play space and the internal refurbishment of the Nursery class, the installation of a brand new Kitchen and refurbishment of the small hall as well as new heating, electrical and lighting systems! The school also brought in a bulge class of reception children in Sept 2015, meaning a 120 pupil year group. The total capacity of the school is now 675 and the pupil roll will grow towards this over the coming years. The roll in Sept 2015 is approx 580.
A PowerPoint of some internal photos of the school can be viewed here: School Expansion internal pics
In April 2014 the school entered into a partnership with Torridon Junior School. The Partnership was designed to provide interim Leadership support until July 2017. This meant that Michael became the Executive Head teacher over the two schools and Julia was the Head of School at John Ball. The future of the Partnership was reviewed by both Governing Bodies in January 2016 and due to Michael becoming a dad in January 2016, he decided to no longer continue in the EHT role.
From September 2016 John Ball Primary has returned to being a stand alone community primary school with Michael as Head teacher and Julia as Deputy Head teacher.