Head: Mr Phillip Stapleton
West Buckland School celebrates a 100% pass rate at A-level this year, with some outstanding individual performances which will see the majority of students taking up courses at their chosen universities.
Despite this, Headmaster, Phillip Stapleton, has very mixed emotions. “Whilst I am pleased that we achieved a 100% pass rate and delighted at the outcome for a number of our pupils, the system that has been applied was never going to be fair and the lack of granularity does not account for the individual.”
Amongst this uncertainty, there have been some outstanding individual results, including four A*s (including EPQ) for Isobel Skinner, Holly Crosbie and Marley McLintock. Isobel will take up her offer at Durham University to read Natural Sciences; Holly is considering Law with Spanish and Marley will be going to UCL (University College London) to read Economics. Fiona Corrick and Holly Crosbie gained 3A*s and an A, whilst Ned Colville was awarded 3A*s.
Isobel has been very quick to recognise the support that the school has given to the students over the past few months.
“Despite the challenges that schools have faced with new communication methods and technology, I never felt like I missed out on my education. I am extremely grateful to my staff who have been outstanding with their support during this whole period.”
Art has, for many years, been very strong at West Buckland, with the school offering some of the best facilities in the country. This year was no exception and one Art student, Eliza Weeks, who gained an A* in Art, will take up an unconditional place at the Art Academy, London to study Fine Art.
There have been some notable results from our overseas students as well, including Benson Tai, from Hong Kong, gaining two A*s and two As. He will study Physiotherapy at the University of Southampton.
Mr Stapleton strongly believes that education should not just be about the grades but the person as a whole and feels that West Buckland offers its pupils the best platform to develop as people and preparing them for a successful future. He points out that there has always been some level of standardisation and discrepancies within the exam system and it is how the students deal with that, which is most important.
“It is for these times in life that we try to prepare our students. We have followed the VESPA mindset, which aims to build resilience, developing the skills that will see them through periods of uncertainty and emerge, intact, as the valued and exceptional individuals that they are.”
“The ‘A’ for Attitude, in the VESPA mindset comes in to play here. Adversity can strike at any stage and it is the way that we react that is important. I have seen real positivity and self-belief so far and we will continue to offer our support for all our students. I am also extremely grateful for the way the universities have stepped up and reacted to this situation.”
“Thank you to all the staff who continued to work so hard throughout lockdown to enable our students to continue their studies. Congratulations to the students and we wish them every luck.”