The normal, positive flurry of activity that marks the exciting start of a new academic year, has been contrasted with the desperately sad news of the death of Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II. Whilst there has been an inevitable air of quiet reflection, our spirits have been lifted by the sights and sounds of new and returning students, as they locate new friends, new classrooms and new technology.
For those starting their West Buckland journey this year, team building activities and games have enabled them to settle in and build friendships with their classmates and the boarding community.
In personal achievements, we would like to celebrate Flower Taofinu’u who featured on BBC’s Blue Peter recently, taking part in a surfing session. Flower was instructing the presenter in some key skills and explained the techniques very clearly in the footage. Well done Flower!
We have seen some fantastic sporting achievements recently.
In August, Sixth Formers Andrew Savory and Jono Williams took part in the GB Junior International Target Shooting Competition in Surrey. This event was hosted by the NSRA and was attended by over 125 athletes from 14 squads. Andrew and Jono represented the South West in the Peninsula Regional Target Squad, along with three other of their regional colleagues.
Andrew took Gold in the team event for Air-Rifle 10m, as well as Silver in 3-Position Air-Rifleand finished just outside the medals in fourth position in a hotly-contested Air-Rifle 10m Final.
Jono took part in the 50m .22 rifle Grand Prix competition, scoring highly in the qualification round and making it into the finals. He then secured third earning him a Bronze medal.
Well done to both students.
There was lots of representative hockey over the summer holidays by West Buckland boys and girls.
After the success of Charlie and Sam in the boys tournament, Emily Sh, Emily B and Emily St all competed in the Nottingham U13 hockey festival for the representative team West Panthers. From this Emily St was selected to play for UK Lions this coming season and had her first training session with the Lions last weekend.
Luke S and Noah D both were selected to play in the Challenge Cup tournament, which is part of the England Talent Pathway, and spent three days in the heatwave playing some very intense hockey! In addition, Luke played as part of the Wessex Spartans in the Y1 championship, and his team won the U16 Boys competition in this inaugural event, where several of the premiership teams with England players were also competing.
We’d like to congratulate Oscar Perry in Year 8 who has raised an incredible £230 for The Hygiene Bank by running and walking almost 300km on Exmoor and the coastal path. Over the summer, he held a number of group guided walks, for parents and their children (year 8) of up to 15km, and his family appreciates the support they had from other families in the year group. Last Saturday was the finale, with Oscar trekking 30km across Dartmoor. He navigated himself from Postbridge to Ivybridge (although accompanied) and trekked across varying and difficult terrain. Well done Oscar for having the inspiration, courage and compassion to undertake this quest. .
During the summer holidays our amazing IT crew ensured that all students, from Year 5 to Year 13, were issued with devices, marking a new technological era at school. Last year we ran a highly successful pilot scheme with the Year 7s, which provided useful learning and feedback. This year’s roll out will enable all students to benefit from a more streamlined learning experience. As well as programming all the devices, the IT team have completely replaced the wifi in the school, in anticipation of the massive increase in usage.
As always, we’re so grateful for all their hard work and hope that the students enjoy becoming more familiar with the new ways of working.