West Buckland School

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If you want space, fresh air, an excellent education and the chance for your child to stay younger longer, then West Buckland is the place for you.  The Good Schools Guide described us as a “gem of a school in an outstanding environment” and we certainly make the most of our unique location in North Devon, with its stunning beaches and national parks, to encourage children to learn from their surroundings and appreciate their natural beauty around them.

West Buckland is one of the highest achieving schools in the South West peninsular and is rated in the Top 40 day and boarding schools in the country due to its outstanding A-level results. 

The ethos behind our education is based on the PIE theory:

Personalised:  we aim to nurture pupils and staff so that they are celebrated, and leave having achieved their personal bests.

Innovative: we want to be leaders in offering an education which is forward thinking, extending beyond the classroom constraints.

Excellent: we strive to be the number one choice of school for outstanding, holistic, co-education in the South West.

Despite this, we are not a hot house school, more a safe greenhouse where children can plant their roots at an early age and grow and develop at their own pace.  Standards are high and we expect our students, from Reception upwards, to engage fully with their learning, as well as participate in the extensive extra-curricular and academic enrichment programmes the school offers, ensuring that they get the most out of their time here.

Sport and outdoor education are very important to us both in the Prep and Senior schools.  As well as the traditional sports, we have an outstanding tennis programme, run by one of the few Level 5 tennis coaches in the country and many of our children have been nurtured in their game.  In addition, we have a 25m indoor pool, squash courts, sports halls, fitness suite and astroturf pitch and many of our students compete at regional and even national level in their particular sports.  Our location allows us to provide lots of outdoor activities such as surfing, coasteering, trekking and orienteering. Students take part in Duke of Edinburgh and Ten Tors and the school’s own Combined Cadet Force attends regular camps at Okehampton army base on Dartmoor National Park.

West Buckland is very strong in the arts and our 150 Arts building is the envy of schools in the South West. With three art studios, plus a bespoke Prep art room, two design technology studios and a 100-seater theatre, the 150 building is a hive a creativity and a number of our students have gone on to study at some of the best universities in the world including the Ruskin School of Art, Glasgow School of Art and Central St Martin’s.

Music and drama are part of everyday life at school and one can always here an orchestra practicing, a choir singing or a play being rehearsed during break and lunch periods.  The school stages musicals in the local theatre in Barnstaple, enthralling the North Devon audiences with the high standard of production.

As well as the 150 Arts building, investment in the past decade has gifted us an outstanding sports centre and fitness suite, as well as the modern and spacious Michael Morpurgo library. Another recent addition is our wonderful Sixth Form boarding house, Parker’s, which contains 70 single en-suite bedrooms and numerous social spaces and kitchens to encourage students to become more independent and ready for life after school.

West Buckland students are well-rounded, well-mannered and well prepared for life.  Our students leave us as responsible, resilient and with an excellent sense of their place in the world.   

London 2023
Mr Phillip Stapleton
Boys & Girls
School Setting:
Number of Pupils:
Age Range:
Nursery & Pre-Prep
Fee Range (Termly):
£2,770 - £10,920
Exit exams:
13+ Common Entrance & Scholarship
Famous Alumni:
Jonathan Edwards (world record holder for triple jump); Sir Alan Parker (former Chairman of Whitbread Group); Tim Wonnacott (TV personality and antiques expert); Lizzie Kelly (professional jockey).


West Buckland School, Brayford, Devon, EX32 7PX

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Nov 2024

The flagship, the original, where it all began 17 years ago. Friday 8 November and Saturday 9 November 2024 at the London Evolution in Battersea Park, London.


Nov 2024

09:30 AM - 02:30 PM
Taking place at The Intercontinental Hotel, Geneva the show provides families with unparalleled access to leading boarding schools. This November we return to this spectacular venue with 20 leading Boarding Schools.


Nov 2024

09:30 AM - 02:30 PM
Taking place at the Fairmont Monte Carlo, the show provides families with unparalleled access to leading boarding schools. This Thursday we return to this spectacular venue with 20 leading Boarding Schools.