West Buckland Students Defy Covid Disruption to Produce Excellent Results

19 Aug 2022

West Buckland School Headmaster pays tribute to his students who have not only performed really well in their exams but also achieved outstanding things outside of the classroom at the same time. All against a backdrop of covid uncertainties.

West Buckland School Devon

West Buckland Heads of School achieve 10 A*s between them.

After two years of disruption due to covid, and with a cohort of students who had not sat a public exam before this summer, West Buckland School is proud of the Sixth Form academic results that have been published this morning.

Eleven students achieved three A*s and above, with three of those achieving four A* and one an outstanding five A*s. Sixteen students achieved all A*s and As and over 50% of grades were scored at this highest level.

West Buckland School Devon

Joe Hill and Joe Pearce at pre-season training for Osprey’s before joining Swansea university, as part of the school’s rugby pathway.

There were also some very strong results in BTECs and CTECs this year – 88% Distinction*-Distinction in CTEC Sport; 100% Distinction*-Distinction in BTEC Applied Science. This is particularly pleasing as West Buckland will be introducing the IB Careers-related (IBCP) to its Sixth Form offering from September 2023, alongside the traditional A-level programme. The IBCP offers students a bespoke preparation for the world of work.

For a number of students these exams marked just a part of their ongoing journey on pathways that the school has been creating to help them achieve their ultimate goals. These students include Joe Hill and Joe Pearce, both of whom have, through the school’s programme, secured contracts with Osprey’s rugby club whilst gaining places to study at Swansea university.

These boys also represent a group of students who managed their academic commitment whilst undertaking notable achievements beyond their studies. Reese Robinson, who was one of the Heads of School at West Buckland this year, continued her training in triple jump and even jumped a personal best during her exams, putting her second on the all-time list in Wales in her age group and fourth in the UK for 2022.

Ben Pugsley, who achieved three A*s, continued writing songs and recently recorded one called Better Now, which he is hoping to release shortly. Others continued to engage in the wide-ranging and exciting extra-curricular programme that the school offers, right up to the date of their first exam, either competing in school sports fixtures, playing in the orchestra, acting in school plays, completing the Ten Tors or being active members in environmental and medical societies

For many students, covid created not only disruption but uncertainty and anxiety, none more so than for our overseas students, some of whom were accessing the school’s outstanding live lessons but in a time zone very different to the UK. For example, Hong Kong students were sometimes joining lessons at 1am. Despite this there were some remarkable results: Rachel Leung recorded five A*s, whilst Jack Lee gained four A*s and an A, and their resilience should be particularly celebrated. Rachel will now be looking to study Speech and Language Therapy at Newcastle University, whilst Jack is going to study Physiotherapy at the University of Birmingham.

Headmaster, Mr Phillip Stapleton, is proud of this year’s students and excited for the future. “I think I join every Headmaster and Headmistress in the country in congratulating this cohort who faced an extraordinary journey, and we should not forget the level of uncertainty hanging over their final years of school. Will the school be open or closed? Will their exams be on or off and what will be the alternative? Remember this was only clarified in February and throughout this last year, in addition to battling their own personal Covid experiences, they were presented with an uncertainty and disruption. It is the resilience of the students and the passion of their teachers that we celebrate today, and I have no doubt that these extraordinary young people will go on to achieve success in whatever they choose to do.”