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GOOD SCHOOLS GUIDE
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Personal, Social & Emotional Development
Communication & Language
Children learn to understand their own and others’ feelings and develop their ability to be empathetic. They begin to understand themselves in relation to others, learning how to make friends, understand the rules of society and behave towards others. They are helped to develop good language skills and to be confident when communicating their needs and wants. They are encouraged to become independent, receiving praise for their achievements.
Specific Areas of Learning
Understanding the World
Expressive Arts & Design
Our children enjoy exploring the world, their communities, their families and themselves, assisting by wide-ranging resources and activities to enhance their learning. We enjoy welcoming visitors from the community, such as paramedics, farmers, vets, dentists and animals with their owners, helping to broaden the children’s experiences.
Children can join the Nursery from 3 years old. We’d love you to come and have a look and meet Janet Regan, our Nursery Manager, and other members of the Nursery and Prep School staff.
To arrange a visit to the nursery, please contact the Prep School office on 01598 760000 or email us.
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We are proud that our children’s learning is rooted in a holistic, safe, caring and happy environment.
We encourage the children to become independent and inquisitive learners through their natural curiosity and imagination, as well as learn respect for others and form friendships within the group.
We follow the Early Years Foundation Stage curriculum, which consists of seven areas of learning, divided into three prime areas and four specific areas.
The Nursery is open during term time, Monday to Friday, from 08:00 to 17.00.
Early Morning Club: 08.00 – 08.30
Morning sessions are 8.30am -13.00am (4.5hr)
Afternoon sessions are 11.30 to 16.00 (4.5hr).
Full day 08.30 – 16.00 (7.5hr) or 08.00 – 17.00 (9hr)
LUNCH IS INCLUDED
After School Care: 16.00 to 17.00 (1hr)
Many of our children in Nursery will move up to the Reception in West Buckland Prep school as a natural transition and a positive step for their on-going education. They will be surrounded by familiar faces and buildings and we will make sure they settle in easily.
If you would like to visit the Prep school and to meet our Acting Headteacher, Ms Sarah Phillips, please get in touch.
We don’t just cater for children from three and we understand the importance of social time for new parents. Our toddler group for new-born to 3 years old runs on a Friday morning from 9.00-10.15am and all are welcome.
Pupils at West Buckland Prep do not sit the entrance test to the senior school, nor do our pupils take SATs exams in Year 2 or Year 6. This means our curriculum is free from the preparation and associated anxiety that can come from such formal testing.
Transition from Pre-Prep to Prep and Prep to Senior are seamless and times of excitement as children prepare to face the challenges of the next phase of their education.
A team of specialist teachers deliver an outstanding curriculum which focuses on developing the individual strengths, self-esteem, confidence and abilities of each pupil.
Our learning goes beyond the National Curriculum, with lessons in sport, drama, music, outdoor learning and the arts, all of which play a part in ensuring the Pre-Prep is a vibrant and exciting part of the school.
The partnership between home and school is strong and parents are fully involved in their child’s progress and achievements. Fundamentally, we place an emphasis on children enjoying their learning, embracing the outdoors, discovering new skills and receiving the best possible start to school life.
The Pre-Prep also benefits from our extensive extracurricular programme, and wrap-around care is also available.
Enrichment is delivered to enhance the curriculum with trips, house competitions, visiting speakers and other events. Each term, our enrichment programme provides all pupils with opportunities to broaden their learning, as well as extending the most able.
Our outstanding Personalised Learning Department provides pupil support and interventions where needed. Whether a pupil has a short-term learning difficulty, an identified special educational need or could benefit from social and emotional support, our team of specialist staff ensure that each child reaches their full potential.
We firmly believe in the importance of instilling values in our children that will stay with them for ever and help to guide them in their decision-making, the way they live their lives and their position and responsibilities within a wider world.
Our value are based on the 7C’s:
CONFIDENCE – aspiring to make a difference through effective communication and generosity of spirit
CRITICAL THINKING – to have the courage to question, analyse and evaluate for better understanding and informed judgement
CREATIVE – to innovate rather than imitate, to develop the capacity to make connections and challenge the status quo
COURAGE – do what is right and develop independence, integrity, resilience and strength of character
COMMITMENT – to be hard-working and rigorous, respecting who we are and what we are doing
CARING – to observe and look out for those around us and to empathise with the strengths, successes and weaknesses of others
CURIOSITY – to be inquiring and open-minded, to know ourselves
In Prep 3 to 6 the class tutor remains central to each child’s academic progress and pastoral welfare and they teach the children for most of their lessons. As the children get older, specialist teaching takes place in Art, Design, Sport, Drama and Languages, when they move to different classrooms, in preparation for life in the senior school. Our small class sizes enable every child to thrive academically.
Pupils learn in spacious and modern classrooms and they take increasing advantage of the outstanding facilities such as the theatre, art and design studios, swimming pool and sports centre. In a digital world the children can use dedicated IT suites and mobile devices in the classroom. Practical science teaching takes place in our specialist labs.
Our unique location and vast campus allow the children to use their natural surroundings to enhance their learning, through having lesson outside, forest school or on field trips to our beautiful coast and Exmoor National Park.
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Our enthusiastic and experienced Nursery staff work closely together to ensure that children in their care receive top quality experiences to maximise their potential.
Our Nursery Manager is Mrs Janet Regan. She is responsible for the day to day planning of the Nursery.
Miss Emily Scoins is the Deputy Head of the Nursery who works closely with Janet to ensure the smooth running of the Nursery and the happiness and development of each child.
The staff work together to ensure that high quality play and learning activities make your child’s first steps outside the home environment an exciting, memorable and valuable education.
At West Buckland, we are delighted to offer a very wide range of sports that make up an important part of our curricular and extra-curricular schedule. Our outstanding sporting facilities enable us to offer the following:
Football, dance, athletics, basketball, squash, table tennis, volleyball, swimming, badminton, circuit and fitness training, muay thai, gymnastics, cross-country, shooting and life-saving.
Many of these sports see our students compete against neighbouring schools as well as at county and district level.
A number of elite squad performers are invited by their coaches to take part in twilight sessions in boys’ hockey and girls’ netball. Selection is based on performance and commitment to training and school fixtures. These sessions will focus on National competitions and qualifying events.
Pupils who are playing tennis at the highest level may want to apply for a place on the peripatetic tennis scheme. Here, they are given the opportunity to experience expert coaching from local elite coach, Chris Gill. These sessions take place for half of the year during normal PE lessons. Pupils can apply for a place on the programme, which will be considered by the Head of Tennis and Chris Gill. This is available for pupils aged 6 upwards. Click here for details.
All our major sports are offered from Year 7 through to Year 13 and we run a comprehensive schedule, including training, curriculum time and competitive fixtures against schools throughout the South West. Many of our teams have experienced considerable success at various age categories which has earned us an enviable reputation!
Our girls sport has a considerable reputation for high quality and, in recent years, we have dominated in netball and tennis both within the region and beyond. Major girls’ sports are available from Year 7 to Year 13 and we encourage participation at every age group as an important part of fitness and wellbeing.
Girls sport is facilitated through curriculum sessions, training, extra-curricular sessions and a busy competitive fixture list of matches against other schools and clubs.
We are one of the top-performing schools in the South West for children age 3 – 18.
We were shortlisted for the TES Boarding School of the Year in 2021 and are ranked in the Top 40 co-ed boarding school in the UK based on A-level results.
Happy children perform better. Our multi-layered pastoral team; focus on character education; outstanding teaching and balanced timetable of academics and extra-curricular extension mean that there are countless ways that students can express themselves, excel and thrive.
It is no great surprise that the school was described as “a GEM of a school in an exceptional location” by the Good Schools Guide.
Our 90 acre rural campus nestles between Exmoor and Dartmoor National Parks and is just 20 minutes from the famous Atlantic coast surfing beaches.
We are just 30 minutes from Tiverton Parkway and a 2-hour train journey to London Paddington and only 45 minutes from Exeter airport with daily flights to London City Airport.
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West Buckland offers a uniquely balanced education – placing emphasis on developing the skills that our students will need as young adults in the wider world. Our natural ‘classroom’, by the coast and on the moor, allow us to use nature to help develop resilience, self-confidence, teamwork, persuasive skills, empathy and commitment. Whilst producing exceptional exam results, we monitor the number of subjects that children study to ensure the work/experience balance is maintained.
Our boarding community is safe, friendly and fun and competition for boarding spaces is always competitive! We welcome students from around the world, as well as from the UK and the cultural mix develops understanding, empathy and, above all, friendships that last a lifetime.
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Parents of children in our Nursery eligible to receive the government Early Years Entitlement Funding can claim up to 15 hours per week at no cost.
All hours over and above the Early Years Entitlement are competitively priced at £4.80 per hour.
Any child not yet eligible for the Early Years funding will be charged at £4.80 per hour.
After school club is 4:00 pm to 5:00 pm and charged at £4.80/hr.
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About 80 percent of students in Years 10 and 11 study Geography at GCSE level each year. Over the past fifteen years, our students have achieved some remarkable exam results and the school continues to excel at this subject.
We are currently following the OCR Specification ‘A’ – Geographical Themes – which assesses the students’ geographical knowledge, understanding and skills through three exams at the end of Year 11: Living the UK Today, The World Around Us and Geographical Skills. There is no coursework requirement, but two days of fieldwork take place in the local area.
Geography is a popular subject at A-level. Our geographers have recorded some outstanding exam results over the past fifteen years; in excess of 80% often achieve A*- B grades.
We are currently following the Cambridge International A-level, in which the students are assessed in physical and human geography through four exams at the end of Year 13. Although there is no coursework requirement, the students undertake a residential fieldtrip to Manchester, in which they study urban change, as well as local fieldwork on weathering, microclimates and river processes.
Being on the beautiful West Buckland School campus, our Nursery children have access to the swimming pool, sports hall, playing fields and theatre. The children enjoy a variety of extra subjects including French, IT, dance, drama, PE and cookery.
We have strong links with the Pre-Prep department through sport, drama and music, with the Nursery children joining with those in Reception and Prep 1 for plays, sports day and concerts.
To arrange a visit to the nursery, please contact the Prep School office on 01598 760000 or email us!
For pupils from as young as Prep 1, we offer a fun and challenging dance programme which includes the chance for older children to take part in RAD ballet lessons, as well as offering contemporary dance, including street dancing, and body conditioning. For younger students, these sessions are during the normal school day, whilst, for older students this is an after-school activity.
Our exciting dance programme is extremely popular for all ages and a welcome addition to our extra-curricular programme.
Our beautiful 90-acre campus houses some fantastic sporting facilities, with the main focal point being the Jonathan Edwards Sports Centre, built in 2008 and named after the former West Buckland pupil and current world triple jump champion. This houses a multi-use full-size sports hall, a well-equipped fitness suite and PE classrooms. Beyond this, the facilities include a floodlit astroturf pitch, an indoor gymnasium, 16 hard tennis courts, 6 netball courts, numerous rugby and cricket pitches, two squash courts, dance studio, a 25m indoor swimming pool and an indoor and outdoor shooting range.
In addition, we host some of the best cross-country tracks in the region.
We educate the whole child and as an independent school our curriculum is innovative, broad and exceeds the requirements of the national curriculum.
The 7C’s ‘character education is the cornerstone of all we do and we encourage pupils to inquisitive, questioning and increasingly independent in their learning.