GCSE students at West Buckland School have delivered an excellent set of provisional results with over half of all exams passed at the highest A* and A grades. 52.4% of exams were awarded the highest grades, with nearly a quarter of these achieving the top A* mark.
Over 40% of the 61-strong year group gained seven A*/A grades or more, and there were some strong performances from the boys, with Rory Bardner, Harry Palmer and Tom Smaldon leading the way as they secured nine A* grades plus an A grade each. Elizabeth Barbeary also achieved an excellent nine A* grades and an A grade, whilst English Schools’ athlete Issy Wakefield showed top form in the classroom as she was awarded an impressive eight A* and two A grades. Alex Blackburn and Jack Jarvis both achieved six A* grades and four A grades.
Over many years West Buckland’s GCSE performance has been consistently strong and it is the third time in four years that over half of all exams have been awarded the top A* or A grades.
West Buckland’s new Headmaster, Phillip Stapleton says:
“GCSEs are a crucial qualification and success here opens doors in sixth form, the workplace and university as they will form the only results when applying to university. I am delighted our students have secured the grades that will give them options and opportunity to apply to the best universities.
“At the top end our students have achieved an excellent set of results and I am sure they will recognise the hard work and support of their teachers and families when celebrating this achievement. In addition, over two thirds of students studying our most popular subjects: Geography, Art, French and RS gained A* or A and over 80% of our scientists and mathematicians gained a B grade or better. I am delighted for them and all those who have realised or achieved beyond their expectations.”
West Buckland Sixth Formers have delivered another excellent set of A-level results which will see students heading to Oxford, Cambridge and other top universities later this year.
37% of all exams were awarded the highest A* or A grades and there were some outstanding individual achievements.
Beth Keech is Oxford bound to read French and Russian after gaining two A* grades and an A, whilst Ed Mabon will take a place at the University of Cambridge to study Engineering after achieving a clean sweep of three A* grades.
Ed’s twin brother, James, also kept up the high level of family achievement after recording a set of straight A* grades which will see him take a place at the University of Warwick to read Mathematics.
Peter Dawson was also awarded an impressive three A* grades and will now study Physics at The University of Manchester.
Emily Morrish studied four A-levels and recorded an outstanding three A* grades and an A which will see her take a place at Durham University to read Economics with Management, whilst Alex Cammack also studied four A-levels, achieving two A* grades and two A grades and he now intends to study Architecture at the University of Bath.
There were strong results across the curriculum, with over 80% of students in Art and Design, Product Design, Economics, English literature, French, Geography and History all achieving A* to B grades.
West Buckland’s incoming Headmaster from September 2016, Phillip Stapleton says:
“I’m delighted that the hard work of our sixth formers has paid off with some excellent results. They are to be congratulated and many have achieved or exceeded their expectations which puts them in a strong position as they move towards their futures beyond school. They will be the first to recognise the contributions of their teachers and parents who have helped them make the most of their abilities in achieving these results”.
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Five West Buckland School pupils, together with Director of Music Emma Kent and a number of our fantastic music teachers, will be involved in an exciting new BBC series, due to be aired later this month.
All Together Now: The Great Orchestra Challenge will feature five of the UK’s best amateur orchestras, including the North Devon Sinfonia, who will battle it out over the four programme series for a place in the Grand Final. The winning orchestra will be invited to perform at The Proms in the Park in Hyde Park in September.
For the five pupils, from years 13 and 11, and music staff, who all play in the orchestra, and conducted by Emma Kent, this is a once in a lifetime opportunity to perform in front of a nationwide audience and we look forward to tracking their progress through the competition.
Phillip Stapleton is preparing to take over the reins at West Buckland School from September 2016. Educated at Durham University and most recently Deputy Headmaster at Ardingly College, Phillip’s career began at Stonyhurst College in 1996 teaching chemistry before moving to Charterhouse where he was a Housemaster. He is married to Jules, and their three children will attend the West Buckland Prep School.
Over the last year Phillip has continued to nurture his passions: teaching and examining International Baccalaureate (IB) and A-level chemistry, completing an MBA with Cardiff Metropolitan University, playing bass with the school orchestra, as well as cycling from John O’Groats to Land’s End and running from London to Brighton to raise funds and awareness for charity. As an Independent Schools Inspectorate (ISI) inspector and with a career steeped in the traditions of boarding schools, Phillip describes himself as someone who most enjoys watching students ‘do amazing things’.
Phillip arrives with a vision for the purpose of a 21st century education and has already started discussions with staff, parents and the community. He remarks that “no one who visits West Buckland could fail to be inspired by its forward-thinking architecture and approach to education. Here is a community, self-reliant and free from the pressures of city living, bursting with the creativity and intellect needed to shape exciting and global futures. The new Sixth Form building presents an ideal breeding ground for academic rigour and excellent preparation for university and independent life after school. Attracted by its holistic approach, creative flair, strong foundation and gruelling cross country course, my family and I are looking forward to joining the School community and living in this beautiful part of the country.”
Chairman of Governors, John Light says: “Phillip brings great experience, energy and enthusiasm which will ensure that West Buckland moves forward whilst building upon its recent achievements. Without doubt he has a passion for education and the care and development of young people. We look forward to welcoming Phillip and his family to the School.”