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As we near the end of the Autumn term we will sadly be saying goodbye to some of our short term boarders who have spent the term with us. One such is Luise Kausch from Germany, and we thought it would be nice to share her thoughts on her experience at West Buckland. We hope that she will stay in touch with the school and hopefully visit one day.

Hello Everybody! My name is Luise, I am from Germany and currently in Year 10. This is my first and unfortunately my only term here at West Buckland School.

I live in Bamfylde and I share my room with Rosie, an English girl, who is boarding for three nights per week. She is very nice.

I really like Bamfylde because everybody is friendly, and especially when I arrived in the summer everybody tried to welcome the new boarders and include them. We treat each other with respect, and because we are all in the same situation we understand each other very well.

There are different activities for boarders every day of the week, so after we finish prep at 8 o’ clock, you can decide whether you want to spend the evening in the boarding house with your friends or if you want to take part in an activity. I usually go to singing on Mondays, swimming on Tuesdays and dance on Fridays. On Saturdays there is a bus to Barnstaple and on Sundays there is a different Boarder’s activity every week. My favourite one this term was when we went surfing.

It is very easy to make new friends in the boarding house because you spend your whole time together. I have found some really good friends and it feels like I’ve known them a lot longer than three months. I am sure that we will stay in contact when we all go back home.

I would recommend boarding to my friends because I really like that there is always someone around who is free and I think that you learn a lot about respect for others because you live together with so many people.

To find out more about what our boarders hav been up to over the term, read Houseparent Shaun Morrison's very entertaining blog.

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After a very busy term in the Outdoor Learning department, it is time to get an update on what the various Year groups have been up to.

The main focuses of the term have been on Ten Tors training and Duke of Edinburgh activities.  Over the last 10 weeks, the Year 9s have been busy with the volunteering aspect of their Bronze Duke of Edinburgh Awards. Their activities have included leading sport sessions after school for Year 7 pupils, teaching CPR and first aid skills in school assemblies and raising funds for Teenage Cancer Trust by selling hot chocolates and home-made cakes in the quad on the chilly nights to pupils and staff travelling home on the buses.  Others have been fund raising by washing cars and have been practising their skills on the school minibuses! So far they have raised over £100.

On Wednesday 25th January, families of the Year 9 will be invited to the school for the afternoon to see their volunteering projects at first hand.

We have 16 Year 10 pupils currently training for the Ten Tors event in May 2017, as well as their Silver Duke of Edinburgh Award and they have spent the last two Sundays on Exmoor and Dartmoor working towards their Hill Skills certificate, a nationally recognised course endorsed by mountain training.  The skills learned include planning and navigation for hill walking but also what to do in an emergency. The hill and mountain skills courses now form an essential part of expedition training for the Gold Duke of Edinburgh Award, which a record 41 pupils are currently working towards.

We look forward to a very busy and successful 2017.

nativity

snowwhite

The West Buckland Pre-Pupil children provided an afternoon of great entertainment when they performed their Nativity play and Snow White to a packed 150 Theatre yesterday afternoon.   The children acted and sang with great confidence and gusto, accompanied on the piano (and trombone at times) by Director of Music Dominic Carter.

Children in the Nursery and Reception performed a Nativity play with a twist, featuring a team of slightly reluctant Bethlehem builders who were called upon to mend the roof on an innkeeper’s stable, before the unexpected arrival of Mary and Joseph.  Needless to say, their attempts to delay the job and their persistent requests for cups of tea, were ignored! 

The cast also included a flock of very adorable sheep, led by a delightful shepherdess who treated the audience to a beautiful solo.  The gathering around the crib was completed by the three wise men and some learner-angels, equipped with L-plates on their wings.

Following this, Prep 1 and 2 performed Snow White, which also featured a slightly untraditional storyline!  Whilst abandoned in the woods after the very convincing White Witch condemned her to death, Snow White stumbled across some unfortunate and hungry dwarfs who had lost all their money on the horses.  However, after careful consultation with the Mirror, Mirror on the Wall, their luck changes in the West Buckland Champion Stakes when their horse comes in first!  And the moral of the story?  Probably best not to go there!

Many thanks to Mrs Steel and her team of staff for producing two such entertaining plays and some truly stunning and inventive costumes!

For more photos, please see Facebook

winter 2016

West Buckland Tennis Team had an extremely impressive performance at this week’s North Devon Schools’ Winter Tournament at the Tarka Tennis Centre in Barnstaple, with our pairs reaching the final in every category.

Going one better, Martha Macdonald, with partner Millie McLintock, and Sacha Chunilal-Moberley and Greg Tully, played really well to win the U13 Girls’ and U15 Boys’ sections respectively.  Martha and Millie managed to hold off the other West Buckland pairing of Emily Jakes and Chloe Parry in a close fought final.

Other runner-up pairs were Holly Crosbie and Ester Cooper, in the U15 Girls’ and Eddy Pope and Toby Watts in the U13 Boys’.

Head of Tennis, Rachel Thompson, was impressed by the team’s attitude.  “Against some very tough opposition from other schools, the whole team held their nerve and kept their heads, playing some really good tennis at times.”