450 scholars have returned to school at Buckswood School to find new additions made to the campus over the summer. Half of the student body join the school from over 48 different nations around the world and the other half join from local primary schools and independent prep schools.
The summer saw the addition of a 22-acre woodland activity centre, a farm, additional riding and stables facilities and even a 26-foot yacht.
One form three pupil said: “When I got back to school after the long summer break, I was amazed at all the new facilities at school. We have already had a lesson in the Woodland Activity Centre and it was great to get mucky and have fun in a lesson. We had to collect wood to build a shelter”.
Mike Lawless, who leads the Duke of Edinburgh programme and International Baccalaureate, is also responsible for the outdoor education provision at the school. He said: “The Woodland Activity Centre will benefit all of our students, learning many valuable life skills that will help them both inside and outside the classroom. Our boarders will be experiencing the ‘good life’ this weekend when they camp out, having to make their own shelters in which to sleep”.
The students have also been picking apples from the school’s orchards and will be enjoying the fruits of their labour, delivering the apples to the kitchens for pies and crumbles. Grapes from the vineyard will also be harvested shortly and the school is hoping for another bumper crop of commercial-standard wine. Headteacher, Mark Redsell, says: “I have never worked in a school that offers so much to its students. Whatever or wherever your talent lies, at Buckswood you will find something to bring out the best in you. Our intention is to make the most of our beautiful campus with projects such as the vineyard and extensive eco projects and now take full advantage of our proximity to the sea on the school yacht as part of our new sailing club”.