Head: Mr Phillip Stapleton
Our Outdoor Learning programme aims to embrace the unique and privileged location of the school – with Exmoor and Dartmoor National Parks as well as miles of coastland and beaches, all on our doorstep.
Did you know that Woolacombe, 20 minutes from here, is one of the closest surfing beaches to London? This is why we are able to offer all our students some unique opportunities for outdoor learning and adventure.
We recognise the mental and physical benefits of access to the great outdoors. Our location, within minutes of Exmoor National Park and North Devon’s stunning coastline, makes for an excellent outdoor classroom, enabling students to enjoy a range of experiences that you just can’t find elsewhere.
These wild and natural environments allow our students to learn through their own experiences: challenging themselves and building upon their strengths mentally and physically; recognising their limitations and become enterprising and confident young people.
Our Outdoor Learning programme, available throughout the year, meets these aims.
Indoor and outdoor climbing incl. bouldering (even entering competitions!)
Surfing and coasteering
Kayaking and canoeing
Bushcraft and environmental/conservation work (The John Muir award)
Team building activities including paintball/laser quest, go-karting, ice skating, art and crafts, visits to local tourist attractions
Hundreds of our students have participated in Bronze, Silver and Gold levels of the Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme in the past couple of years, walking and orienteering on Exmoor and Dartmoor National Parks.
The highlight of every year is the famous Ten Tors event on Dartmoor and we enter three teams at 35 and 55 miles – that’s walking 35 or 55 miles, over rough and very wet terrain, in two days – camping overnight en route. West Buckland students embrace this with an enthusiastic and ‘go get’ attitude and they LOVE it, blisters and all!
In the summer there is a major expedition either in the UK or overseas which is always very popular.
Working closely with Croyde Surf School, we offer surfing trips regularly on a Monday after school, during the warmer months. In addition, surfing is offered as a boarders’ activity at weekends, which is always very popular.
West Buckland School has a strong heritage in climbing, having produced climbers who have competed on the international stage. Our climbers have the opportunity to try a number of different skills, including climbing and bouldering and enjoy entering local and regional competitions.
The West Buckland School Combined Cadet Force (CCF), combining Army and Royal Air Force Sections, has a proud history since the school began in 1858. A very important part of the fabric of the school, it is compulsory for Year 9s and is then optional for Years 10 and above.
The aim of the CCF is to develop skills in leadership, responsibility, self-reliance, and endurance through a military-style organisation, but it also encourages cadets who may be interested in a military career in either the regular or reserve force.
Basic training: Cadets learn about uniform, drills, weapons, First Aid, camp and field craft and map reading – many of which will complement the skills required for the Duke of Edinburgh award scheme.
Adventure Training: This includes Easter holiday trips to Snowdonia for walking, climbing and canoeing; and summer camp at Army or RAF camps, which is always very popular.
Shooting: Cadets have the opportunity and become members of the school’s teams which compete in small and full-bore competitions.