As Monday 19th October is National Exmoor Day, it led us to think about all the ways in which the community at West Buckland School uses the incredible location around us. With Exmoor National Park boundary just a few miles from school, we ensure that our students benefit from all that it has to offer, both within the curriculum and in our various sports and activities. Some of our local coastline is inside the National Park, while we can also use the award-winning North Devon beaches such as Woolacombe, Putsborough and Westward Ho! for academic and extra-curricular activities.
Exmoor also has some of the most outstanding views and incredible sunrises and sunsets.
Exmoor has over 37 miles or 57 km of coastline, which is also the highest stretch of coastline in England and Wales, rising to a height of 244m (800ft) at Great Hangman near Combe Martin. The sheltered nature of many of the coves allows the development of rare coastal woodland, which remains unspoilt due to the inaccessible nature of much of the terrain.
West Buckland schoolchildren regularly visit Combe Martin to examine the beach wildlife and rockpools as part of their geography and science syllabuses.
Below we can see a Year 5 group learning about sealife, while Year 13 biology students had recent visit to Lee Bay and last year, geography students went to Westward Ho! to look at geological features.
With coasteering and surfing on the extra-curricular agenda, our students take full advantage of the local coastline.
The major rivers traversing Exmoor are its namesake, the river Exe, as well as its key tributaries the Mole, Lyn, Barle and Bray. The Barle meets the sea on the south coast of Devon while the Lyn disperses into the Bristol Channel. Our geography students often visit the Barle at Simonsbath to investigate topics such as river flow.
One of the popular extra-curricular activities on offer is stand up paddle boarding on some of our beautiful local rivers.
With hundreds of acres of moorland around us, we can’t help but take full advantage of this huge playground on our doorstep. Our famous cross country run, the Exmoor, takes place across our nearby countryside with an 8 mile walk out to the starting point and a 10 mile race back to school.
Every year, our Ten Tors teams take part in practice weekends on the moors and countryside, where are Duke of Edinburgh Gold and Silver teams also train.
We are so privileged to have Exmoor on our doorstep.