I joined West Buckland one term into Year 7, moving from a school that had just closed down and had no clue what to expect. Nervous and apprehensive, I arrived on my first day and found that my fears were unfounded and I began to settle in immediately.
Six years on and I am now Head of House and studying A-level Biology, Chemistry and Economics with a view to studying Medicine. In Year 12 I started boarding in Parker’s, the new Sixth Form building, which I would highly recommend, as I would often spend evenings at West Buckland anyway due to sport or drama commitments. I am also able to stay at the school before sports fixtures on Saturday mornings, which helps immensely when an early start is required! Parker’s is an amazing place for me as it allows me to socialise during breaks and work when I need to, as well as being my home for four nights of the week.
I have been at West Buckland School since Year 10 and this is my final year. I am an international student who comes from Hong Kong, which gives me the opportunity to board full time.
I started in Boyer House, the junior boarding house and, after two years, I was lucky enough to be one of the first boarders to move into the well-facilitated Sixth Form boarding house, Parker's. The new boarding house, with single en suite rooms, provides the opportunity for us to have our own private space and to be more focused on our studies. I believe this can also prepare us for our university life in the future.
Although the boarding house has changed a lot, the care from the house parents has never been different. Many of us travel a long way to get here after every holidays but they always understand and allow us to recover from it. Moreover, the boarding staffs always organise many activities in order to fulfil our life as a boarder.
I love music and play the drums and guitar, which allows me to be part of the school ensembles. I also really enjoy singing. The school choir plays a big part in the Carol Service every year and the end of year concert allows us to perform in Exeter Cathedral.
I am currently studying Maths, Further Maths and Physics at A-level. West Buckland Sixth Formers work hard to achieve the grades they need for University but also have the opportunities to do a wide range of activities and get involved in the truly unique lifestyle here at West Buckland
I came to West Buckland in Year 11 from the comfort of home in Russia. Even though it was very challenging to get used to a new place, I had the amazing support of the boarding staff to help me adapt and acclimatise. Now, I’m very happy in an incredibly warm setting. I have loads of people, both pupils and staff, to support me in every way.
The school has provided the most helpful teachers and I am always looked after and guided by the staff. The teachers are generally very interested in their subject and they share their passion with their students. Also, West Buckland School provides fundamentally academic A-levels, which does give the feel of a classic education.
In the Sixth Form I have really enjoyed the sense of freedom and huge responsibility at the same time. This obligation of taking care of oneself really prepares students for their exciting futures.
It is quite difficult to imagine life at West Buckland without its beautiful landscapes and the calmness of the English countryside.
I joined West Buckland in Year 5 and am currently studying Biology, Geography and Maths at A-level. I have loved my time at West Buckland School because of the wide range of extra-curricular activities that have both pushed me out of my comfort zone and been very enjoyable. I play in the hockey and netball teams and have been a cast member in musicals such as West Side Story and Guys and Dolls.
I found the step up from GCSEs to the A-level curriculum a challenge, but I had a huge amount of support from both my teachers and peers which eased the process significantly. Every week, we have Enrichment lessons which has really helped the process of applying to universities, together with endless help from tutors.
The new Sixth Form Centre, Parker’s is a fantastic facility. It is welcoming and homely and allows you to socialise with different people. I occasionally board as it is so flexible and the boarding community is lovely.
I have thoroughly enjoyed my first year at West Buckland sixth form. Having spent 3 years previously in the senior school, the step up in terms of time management and organisation was a daunting prospect, however with the support of my teachers’ Year 12 was challenging and enjoyable.
Studying at AS level was brilliant because it allowed me to focus on the subjects I enjoyed at GCSE without being constricted by the narrow specification. Throughout Year 12 and currently in Year 13 I continue to be offered opportunities to develop socially, academically and athletically. The regular sixth form socials such as the quiz night and summer barbecue are a great chance to mix with other students who don’t share lessons or study periods with you. Also they help to bridge the gap between the boarding and the day pupil communities.
Saturdays are predominantly taken up by sports fixtures and being a part of the school’s 1st rugby team is incredible fun. The gym is open all year round for boarders and day pupils to use as much or as little as we want. Additionally, there are early morning gym sessions run on Tuesday mornings where routines are tailor made for our fitness goals.
Like most young adults, I spent the first few years of my school life wishing for an end to school and never thought that I would miss it! As I enter my final year I can say whole heartedly that those wishes were foolish and that I will look back on my years at West Buckland fondly as some of the best times of my youth.