Year 13 Emma Cobby has been playing County level tennis for Devon, in between working for her A-levels in the summer, and is also assisting with coaching during the early morning Tennis Programme, which is, once again, proving a huge success with young tennis players throughout the school, from as young as Year 2.
In our latest blog, and with the tennis season just around the corner, Emma shares with us some insights into what makes a successful tennis player and offers some very useful advice for young players looking to take their tennis to the next level.
Our more senior players, who have stepped back from the Tennis Programme to focus on their summer exams, have been enjoying Thursday night social tennis evenings along with some very enthusiastic staff players.
Last week, under beautiful evening skies, we managed to fill all the back courts with some competitive and fun mixed doubles. For the senior players, this was light relief from their heavy work schedule in the lead up to their GCSE and A-level exams and for some of the staff members, this is chance to brush the cobwebs off their tennis rackets and test their skills against some stiff opposition!
Many thanks to Rachel Thompson, Head of Tennis, who organised the evening sessions and continues to make huge progress with tennis in the school through the Tennis Programme.
The U13 Netball team are North Devon champions after an extremely exciting and nail-biting final against Braunton Academy, where the teams could only be separated by a Golden Goal!
After comfortably winning their pool matches, with wins against Bideford College, Braunton Academy, Great Torrington School and Chulmleigh Community College, they came up against stiff opposition in the semi-finals, finally beating Holsworthy Community College 4-2, to go on to a rematch against Braunton in the final. The squad showed a great deal of determination and composure as the teams were tied after full-time at 5-5. Following extra time, the teams were still tied at 8-8. To decide the tournament, a Golden Goal was brought into play. With several turn-overs in play, the West Buckland girls kept their nerves and composure and finally clinched victory 9-8.
The B team played extremely well in beating Bideford College, Braunton Academy, Pilton Community College and Holsworthy Community College, but unfortunately lost their first match 2-3 to Park School who were the B competition winners.
The West Buckland gymnastics team had a fantastic result at the recent Milano Team National Finals in Stoke-on-Trent at the weekend with our U13 team of Mia Morris, Olivia Sullivan and Charlie McClure winning gold in the inter-regional mixed group competition, alongside the team from Helston.
The U16 team (who were competing up an age group), of Flinn Vipond, Martha McDonald and Ellen French also did very well, gaining third place in the group routine as well as helping the South-West to fourth in the inter-regional for the mixed team and second in the overall inter-regional for all U16s.
Team coordinator, Katrina Venner, was delighted with their performances. “These pupils (and the other gymnastics who didn't qualify) have worked extremely hard in the holidays and by themselves at home to practise their routines. They made great use of the corridors at the venue to fine-tune the timing for the group routines and it certainly paid off. I'm very pleased and proud of their efforts this term. Their final competition is the first day of our Easter holidays at Falcons in Barnstaple.”
Other highlights of the trip to Stoke-on-Trent included spotting a little mouse under the wheel of the minibus, rescued by Miss Venner and released unharmed!
We are delighted to announce the appointment of Mrs Caoimhe Pettingell to the role of Deputy Head Pastoral. Caoimhe emerged as the outstanding candidate from a very strong field of 67 candidates and will join us in the Autumn Term 2017 from Millfield School, where she is currently Head of Year in Sixth Form, responding to the pastoral and academic needs of over 300 students.
Caoimhe also brings previous experience as a Head of Years 10 and 11 as well as being an Assistant Housemistress in a boarding house for five years and a senior tutor, responsible for a team of tutors and the pupils’ academic programme.
Before joining Millfield, Caoimhe taught Mathematics and PE at Portsmouth Grammar School (years 7-13) and she continues to teach as well as coach netball, hockey, basketball, athletics and assess the Duke of Edinburgh award.
Headmaster Phillip Stapleton says: “Caoimhe brings exactly the right mix of experience, passion and attention to continue the excellent pastoral care students expect at West Buckland. These are exciting times and Caoimhe’s arrival enables Mr Calder to focus on and develop the co-curricular programme and student leadership”.