Year 11, Tom Whiteley, finished as runner-up in last weekend’s U17 Devon Junior Squash Championships and is officially Devon No.2 in his age category.
In what was a very successful tournament, Tom won all of his U17 matches 3-0 until the final, where he eventually lost 3-0 to the No.1 seed, although was in a position to take 2 of the 3 games.
Tom also entered the U19 boys competition and was beaten by the No.1 seed and eventual winner, 3-1, in the group stage, but then won his remaining group matches, including a win against the Devon U19 No.3 seed, 3-0, to reach the 3rd/4th place play-off final against the No.2 seed. This was a terrific match, with Tom sneaking the first 2 games to take a 2-0 lead, but then narrowly lost the next 2 games, with the result going to a deciding fifth game. Tom eventually came through, 11-9 in the decider.
This was a fantastic performance for Tom, who will still be eligible for the U17 age group next year, when he will hope to take the No.1 Devon position.
Students in the Prep and Senior school displayed an extraordinary variety of performing arts skills in last week’s 150 Theatre Speech and Drama Festival. Altogether, over 50 students participated and we were delighted to open our Festival this year to students from other local schools. We welcomed eight students from Chulmleigh Academy and Pilton Community College.
Performances included public speaking, mime, verse speaking and modern and classical drama. The very high standard was demonstrated in numerous performances including a scene from ‘The Importance of Being Ernest’ by Oscar Wilde, which earned Fraser O’Brien and Ciaran Maunder a Distinction and Restoration Comedy from ‘The Country Wife’ by William Wicherley which earned performer Robert Stirzaker Honours (over 90%).
Many students demonstrated their creative inventiveness to the full in performances of original work, created through improvisation in speech and drama classes. Most notably Chloe Hall, Katie Watts and Louisa Cotton all gained Honours for their Devised Drama. The year 7 lunchtime drama club excelled themselves by performing spontaneous improvisation scenes, created in just thirty minutes. Years 9 to 13 EAL (English as an Additional language) students bravely joined in with public speaking, which included such widely varying topics as ‘Snakes’ to ‘The Perils of Dog Poo’!
Our Adjudicator was Gail Ratcliffe who has been Head of Drama at various schools throughout the UK, both within the state and private sectors. She told us that she was very impressed with the high standard of work on display in the Festival and she saw fit to award a record number of students with Honours this year. In addition to those mentioned above, these included Anna Davies, Flora Boyles, Loveday Williams, Daisy Cotton and Maddy Brent for drama and for Public Speaking Tom Spear and EAL students Lis Thelson and Adrian Chan.
The Overall Festival Awards will be presented next week in Cup Assembly.
Last Sunday we enjoyed the annual joint Advent Service with members of the school, together with parisheners from East and West Buckland, held in St Peter’s Church West Buckland. The Chapel Choir sang a number of pieces and led the congregation in singing. Prayers of intercession were read by members of the parish and boarding community. The first candle on the Advent Wreath was light by Year 11 Zoe Ahlf and a wreath was presented to the school so that it can be used in assemblies until the end of term.
The West Buckland Foundation had a very difficult job picking the winners of this year's competition for Prep children, to design the Foundation's Christmas cards.
The standard for entries was very high with the children using all kinds of methods and materials to design their cards, but in the end the Foundation picked four winning designs, which will be used to create the Christmas cards to be sent to all the Foundation supporters and friends of West Buckland School.
In a celebration assembly, Foundation Manager, Mrs Amanda Reynolds, showed off all the entries and presented the winning artists, Emily Mather, Alice Poole, Archie Shawcross and Oscar Perry, with their prizes.
Congratulations to everyone who took part in this annual competition.