charlotte walker

josh beech

We were delighted to welcome visits from two of our former pupils to talk to the pupils about their fascinating and highly relevant careers in marine environment and research.  Whilst Charlotte Walker (95-08B) is studying for a Phd, based between the Marine Biological Association and the University of Southampton National Oceanography Centre, Josh Beech (06-10B) has recently set up his own company Nurdle, which traps and sorts waste plastics from the ocean, with the idea being to ‘upcycle’ the plastic – making it into useful items for reselling.

With the issue of plastic pollution in our oceans threatening wildlife, Josh spoke to the Year 9 Duke of Edinburgh pupils who have been making sun-catchers from plastics that Josh’s company have been gathering from the oceans, to sell for charity.  The students will also be volunteering for a beach clean and will be attending the launch of the Plastic Free North Devon campaign, run by Surfers Against Sewage, this Friday, in Braunton.

Charlotte spoke to some of the senior Biology students about her fascinating research into phytoplankton, single-celled photosynthetic organisms that float in the light-filled layers of our oceans. Phytoplankton are integral to life on Earth, forming the base of the marine food web and producing 50% of the oxygen in our atmosphere through their photosynthetic activity.  She described her career journey, from its beginnings, studying Biology at West Buckland, through a degree in Biological Sciences from the University of Exeter, moving then into marine biology and taking up a post working for the Bahamian National Trust in 2012.

It is always such a benefit to welcome back former students and to hear about their careers and aspirations. 

u13 hockey

The U13 girls’ hockey squad played really well in this week’s In2Hockey county finals held at Blundell’s, just falling short of qualifying for the regional rounds after losing to the hosts in the semi-finals.

The team finished second in their group, on goal difference.  Their first match Exeter School ended in a 0-0 draw, followed by a good 2-0 win against The Maynard. Sidmouth College were next, resulting in a 2-1 win, after which they faced the eventual group winners, Mount Kelly, which ended in a tight 1-1 draw.  They finally beat Colyton School 2-1 to progress to the semi-finals against Blundells.

Despite some excellent defending, the team went down 3-0 and were therefore denied the chance to qualify for the regional rounds.

It was an excellent performance by the team with some notable match play by a number of players


The Sixth Form Charities Committee are delighted to announce that their 2018 calendars will be on sale from next week.

The calendars, which will cost £5, are being sold to raise money for this year's chose charity, Everything Ellie and the committee hope that the proceeds of the calendar sale, along with a number of other fund raising initiatives will help the charity get closer to their aim of buying a log cabin in North Devon so families with terminally ill children can enjoy breaks and precious quality time together.

The calendars will be available from the front office and will also be on sale at some of the events taking place before the end of term including the Jazz Night and Carol Service.

Friday 17 November

New Prep School Headmaster

nick robinson web

The Governors of West Buckland are delighted to announce the appointment of Mr Nick Robinson to succeed Mr Andrew Moore as Headmaster of the Preparatory School.  Nick emerged as the top candidate after a rigorous process that attracted over sixty applicants and confirmed West Buckland’s popularity and appeal as one of the leading independent schools in the South West.

Nick is currently Deputy Head at Bedales Prep School in Hampshire, having joined Bedales from Castle Court where he was Assistant Headmaster.  Nick’s career in teaching Maths and Sport began after completing his PGCE at the University of Portsmouth in 2002 and then gaining a Masters in Leadership and Management in 2013. Prior to this, he pursued his passion in swimming as a high performance coach and was Head Coach for the 1996 Zimbabwe Olympic team and placed three swimmers on the 2000 Great Britain Olympic team.

A keen sportsman and qualified mental health first-aider, Nick’s passion for the outdoors, popularity with the pupils during interview and reflective approach to an education that ensures excellent outcomes for all children, seemed a perfect fit for West Buckland.

Nick says: “I am absolutely delighted to be appointed the Head of Prep at West Buckland.  It was evident from my first visit that this is a wonderful school in a superb location, with exciting times ahead. It will be a privilege to work alongside the outstanding staff team and I am very much looking forward to meeting with pupils and parents in the coming months.

“My family and I are thrilled to be moving to North Devon and joining the West Buckland community.”

Nick has awaited a return to Devon having previously taught at Kelly College. He moves to West Buckland with wife Lindsey and the two youngest of their four children who will join the senior school. Nick will assume leadership of the Prep School from the beginning of the Summer Term 2018.