School life for West Buckland’s five hundred senior pupils is a challenging and stimulating experience. We certainly have high standards and our pupils aim high but this is a community where the quality of relationships and the needs of individuals matter more than examination league tables.
Our students are encouraged to stretch themselves in their academic work, to aim to reach their full potential and achieve qualifications which will give them the ability to make choices for their lives beyond school. We hope they will enjoy learning and will not feel confined by the examination specifications which sadly dominate so much in schools in this country.
Education at West Buckland is not just about the accumulation of examination certificates, important though they undoubtedly are. In fact we are very proud of our GCSE and A-level results but it is not by these that we measure our successes. We are all absolutely committed to enabling our students at all ages to have a rich variety of experiences which will help them to develop as young adults. For many, their growth into members of the community who will make a real difference to those with whom they work and live, is brought about by opportunities to involve themselves in adventurous activities, in the cadet force, in sports of all kinds, in debating, in music and drama. Through these, young people learn new skills, develop understanding about the world around them, about their own strengths and weaknesses and about team work. They show initiative, develop powers of leadership, and learn how to support each other. I hope above all else that they bring fun and excitement, essential ingredients in a worthwhile education.
For many of our students boarding enables them to take the fullest advantage of what we offer. Our boarding community includes students from many different countries while about half are from the United Kingdom. A large number of students play a full role in school life as day pupils but also take the opportunity to board occasionally when it is helpful to them and their families. Some choose to board later in their school as a preparation for university and adult life. This mix of experiences is very much part of being a member of West Buckland School.
Pastoral care is at the heart of so much that we do, knowing that unless young people are well supported they are unlikely to flourish. This is a school community where individuals feel they are well known and are valued: they do not get lost in the crowd. The size of this school means that we have time for each other and that individual voices are heard. We are large enough to offer the range of academic and other opportunities young people expect in the 21st century but we are not so large that individuals are overlooked. At West Buckland School, every child really does matter!
I hope you will want to visit West Buckland to discover what makes this school so special.