West Buckland regained overall top spot in the  inter-school climbing competition, held at Rock and Rapid in South Molton on Sunday 20th November, a title they have won for several years but lost out last year.

Our twenty-two strong team, consisting of five children in the Prep school and 17 from the Senior school, performed strongly, maintaining the school’s impressive heritage of climbing, having previously produced five members of the GB climbing team.

There were some outstanding individual achievements, with Anna Wilson winning the girls’ year 7-9 group, with Erin Huxley coming second.  Zac Hall achieved a creditable third int eh boys’ years 7-9 group.

In the senior category, Rosie Higgs and Jemma Elliott came a respective second and third, beaten only by the current number five in the country!

The climbing club has become an increasingly popular element of our very active Outdoor Learning department.

Maths Challenge

The West Buckland team of Owen Zhou, David Davies, Hazel Li and Jamie Dennis performed admirably being placed third overall, out of 20 teams from across Devon, in the regional heat of the UKMT Senior Team Maths Challenge on 16th November at Exmouth Community College.

The competition involved three rounds of demanding mathematical problems.  The first round contained a set of questions that the students had to solve as a team. The second round required the students to work in pairs to complete a cross number where each pair only has access to half of the clues. The third and final round called the shuttle, required the students to solve problems in pairs against the clock, where each subsequent questions relied upon the answer to the previous problem.

This was a very demanding exercise and the team did exceptionally well and deserve congratulations.

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West Buckland Head of Outdoor Learning, Richard Hathway, has reported back after an incredibly successful Duke of Edinburgh trip to the Brecon Beacons over half term:

"A record 31 pupils completed Silver and Gold DoE expeditions in the Brecon Beacons over half term. Members of the Ten Tors team 2016 completed their Silver assessed expedition, walking over 35 miles in three days over high mountain passes. Another team completed their assessed Gold expedition, walking 50 miles over four days.

The other pupils from Year 11 to Year 13, including a number of our international students, completed their Gold training. As part of their training pupils also gained their Hill Skills award, administered by Mountain Training UK.

Overall the strong team collective walked over 200 miles, self-supported, in the wilds of the Brecon Beacons, well done them!"

Oxbridge hopefuls

Last Thursday, West Buckland played host to a number of Oxford and Cambridge student hopefuls from secondary schools around the region, for a workshop aimed to prepare them suitably should they be called to interviews in December.

The workshop was led by a member of the Oxford Outreach department and involved students from Petroc, Bideford College, Blundell’s School, Mount Kelly School and Cornwall's Callington Community College, as well as our own students. Those attending were grouped together with students from different schools who were applying for similar courses which gave them the opportunity to discuss the types of topics that they might be asked to discuss in interview.

Feedback from the students was very positive and all felt that it particularly helped them to understand what the interviews would be like, in terms of structure and content, as well as feel more confident about the problems they may be asked to solve. 

It is very much hoped that this will become an annual event, hosted here at West Buckland.