Nearly 100 Christmas Boxes have donated by Years 7 and 8 pupils and parents, this year, for the Samaritans’ Purse annual appeal. Students were asked to make up a gift box with non-perishable items which will be distributed to disadvantaged children around the world. Mrs Julia Harvey, a former member of staff and member of Grosvenor Church Barnstaple, spoke to the students at a special assembly and demonstrated what items could be included. Completed boxes are distributed worldwide by Grosvenor Church to approximately one hundred and fifty countries. This year there has been a really impressive response from the school and their families with nearly a hundred boxes completed! The ‘wall of boxes’ made a very colour display in the reception area before being collected. A sincere thank you to the students of these two year groups, their parents and tutors, for their generous response.
One hundred years after West Buckland's first Remembrance Service, the school stopped to remember and honour those lost in both World Wars. The moving service, led by Reverend Paul Bryce and Miss Elma Rushe, began in the Memorial Hall, during which President of the OWBA Colonel Ian Blewett, read the West Buckland School roll of honour while the Chapel Choir sang 'Let all mortal flesh keep silence'.
Housemaster and History teacher, Mr Chris Allin, explained to the congregation that, from the records, it seems that the first Remembrance Service was held at school exactly 100 years ago, co-inciding with the year when the school suffered its most casualties, 20 in all. Accounts of four of those casualties were then read by members of the school CCF, Corporal John Skinner, Corporal Molly Muir, Corporal Kian Hayles-Cotton and Corporal Jagoda Cottingham.
Recognising the enormous sacrifice made by soldiers from so many countries and celebrating the international friendships we enjoy in the school, the service included prayers read in five different languages: Mr Jean-Patrick Vieu read in French, Frederick Schmitz in German, Lucia Marinez Algas in Spanish, Dusan Lejesevic in Serbian and Yarik Zakharov in Russian. There were also prayers read by Head of School Tom Smaldon and Head of Boarding, Aria Gorban.
After the service, the Senior school pupils and staff processed outside to the War Memorial where they were joined by the Prep school congregation. Wreaths were laid by Colonel Blewett, Major David Price and Tom Smaldon and a two minute silence was marked by the playing of The Last Post by Ted Kilvington.
Pupils were then invited to plant their poppies around the War Memorial.
More photos are available on our Facebook page.
The school’s long tradition of producing County sports men and women continues with the recent announcement that Archie Shawcross, Rohan Cross, Cameron Ford and James Tyson will all be representing Devon in cricket next season, across the age groups.
Archie is our youngest representative and will be playing for the U10s, whilst Rohan is in the U12 squad, Cameron the U13s and James the U15s. In addition, James has been selected for the U15 Devon Cricket tour of South Africa which will be taking place in February next year. We wish them all the best luck and we trust that James has a fantastic time in South Africa. Bring us back some Biltong!
The annual Prep School House poetry competition featured poems about the Sea, a subject very close to Headmaster, Mr Moore's, heart, and the children did not disappoint, with a high calibre of very confident poetry reading and an excellent choice of poems.
The competition, involving children from Reception up to Prep Six, is just part of a number of house competitions which are held every year and which encourage the children to work hard for their house team-mates and compatriots, as House points are awarded for all entries.
The children choose a poem, on the chosen theme, to read out in front of an audience as a performance. It is always a fantastic event and instils confidence and a level of performance in the children. Some of them will remember these poems long into their childhood and beyond!