West Buckland School, founded in 1858, is an independent boarding and day school set in 90 acres of countryside in South West England. Students enjoy learning in a beautiful and safe rural location, close to the spectacular Atlantic coast of North Devon and Exmoor National Park. Drawing on its Christian foundations the School seeks to develop in all pupils the personal qualities, abilities and values that will prepare them to make the most of their lives and to contribute to society.
At a glance
Teaching is challenging and stimulating across the curriculum, with a flexible range of options available to students. Well over 40% of A Level candidates achieve A*/A whilst a consistent 50%+ of leavers progress to Russell Group universities. Following the opening of the ‘150’ Creative Arts Centre in 2010, facilities have been further enhanced with a new Library and Sixth Form Centre , and the School was rated "Excellent" in 5 of 8 areas in an ISI report (2013).
A team of supportive non-teaching houseparents welcomes students into a warm and homely family environment. Younger boarders live in 2 purpose-built boarding houses, and in 2015 a new co-educational Sixth Form boarding house opened, providing en-suite single rooms and vibrant social spaces – undoubtedly one of the best such facilities in South West England. A house system integrates boys and girls, whether day pupils or boarders, across the year groups to create a focal point for daily life.
The School has a strong sporting heritage with students enjoying excellent facilities, including all-weather pitches, a 25m indoor swimming pool, squash and tennis courts, a sports hall, a shooting range, a golf course and a fitness suite. In addition to the main sporting provision, there are specialist performance programmes covering tennis, volleyball and dance. With well over 40 sporting teams competing through the year, students are regularly selected at county level and above.
Creative Arts students benefit from the impressive ‘150’ building, providing art studios, DT workshops, an IT suite and a 100 seat theatre where numerous productions are rehearsed and performed throughout the year. In music, pupils are encouraged to ‘at least give it a try’ and there are 7 orchestras and bands as well as choirs for all ages. Pupils perform formal and informal concerts in the 100-seat Recital room, the larger Memorial Hall or in the wider local community.
Did you know?
- The school’s Library is named after children’s author Michael Morpurgo who opened the building in 2015. His novel ‘War Horse’ was made into a film by Steven Spielberg.
- The current Triple Jump world record set at the Gothenburg World Athletics Championships in 1995 is held by former pupil Jonathan Edwards.