Lockdown lessons going well so we turn our minds to ECA and sport

In Lockdown 1.0 in March 2020, West Buckland launched an online learning programme that quickly won praise from parents, staff and the wider community. When Lockdown 2.0 (or is it 3.0 – is anyone sure any more?) was announced, the school knew how to convert rapidly to fulfilling the curriculum via a live and recorded online programme. So that is when our attention turned to PE and ECA.

Online PE proves very popular

The PE department has rolled out online PE lesson across the whole school. Students have been practising techniques and drills for their usual school sports using whatever they have in place at home. Additionally, there have been recorded fitness sessions to follow, created by their familiar teachers.

To make it fun, some more random sports have been introduced. Kitchen Wif-Waf this week has provided much excitement, with a wide range of kitchen implements being used as bats, and various surfaces, including an ironing board, for table tennis tables. Mr Priest even managed to persuade some of the kitchen staff to show us how it is done!

Thank you to the PE department for keeping everyone fit and highly entertained.


Wide range of ECA for each year group

Of course, the thorough programme of online learning brings with it a great deal of screen time. In developing this ECA programme, we felt it important to create a range of activities that will allow students to engage in tasks that take them beyond what they are studying in lessons and, probably more importantly, take them away from their screens!

We have created a suite of ECA ‘Channels’ within each student’s ECA Year Group Team, hosted on their Microsoft Teams platform. Staff will be able to post a range of tasks and/or challenges which can be accessed on Teams.  These tasks have been created to enable students of all ages to access them. Students will be able to share their outcomes with their friends and teachers via the different Channels.

Whilst this wide range of activities will be available for all students to access at a time suitable to them, there will also be many of the already established ECA clubs and societies. Students have access to many of the activities currently running on MaD Monday including CCF and DofE which are continuing with sessions arranged by Mr Harper and Mr Hathway and their staff, as well as many other activities during the week.

Students in the Sixth Form also have access to activities such as International Society, Careers lunches, Medical Society, STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths), HASS (Humanities, Arts and Social Science), mindfulness, public speaking and academic extension.

Creativity is a theme that runs through many of the ECAs being made available. Opportunities to stimulate interest away from computer screens has been encouraged as well as promoting positive mental health and well-being.

An example of this is cooking. We have had many requests from students to provide opportunities to develop their cooking skills. We would like to encourage this, but at the same time we are mindful of the extra pressure this may place on families when it comes to ensuring ingredients are available in the house and space in the kitchen. It is therefore likely that an initial emphasis will be placed on reflective work related to healthy eating which will then develop into creating and making meals following simple recipes. Other tasks within the kitchen could also be used.
This cake was made by Giselle Wallis in Year 8.

The following are the initial Channels that will be available since Monday 18th January 2021 on Teams.





Curious Minds


Public Speaking

Sport (starting Thursday 21st Jan) – Hockey, Rugby, Netball and other specific sport drills and challenges.

We look forward to seeing the photos of how students are embracing these challenges.


Wellbeing Bingo

Both Prep and Senior students have been given a series of tasks which aim to help wellbeing, including getting fresh air, cooking, making fires, board games, exercise and reading. Ticking off the activities and sending the evidence into school will win house points while helping us all put down our screens. Here are a couple of examples of extreme reading from our Prep 6 students.