Tradition – may be a bit of an old-fashioned word but here we think that tradition is a vital part of who we are and what sets us apart. We represent over 45 different nationalities, all with their own traditions. To unite all of these under one banner we have our own traditions, which is a melting pot of the best of everyone’s beliefs and culture, so ours are a celebration of our unique community.
Just as in the family house at Christmas or birthdays, families have traditions and here at Buckswood it is no different. We uphold the prefectorial system, we wear our bow ties for weekly assembly and we line up for everything. We think that structure and having customs and traditions with a bit of good old British “pomp and circumstance” turns the ordinary into something special. To experience a Buckswood weekly assembly or Prize Giving with bagpipes and gowns is a unique experience indeed!
Setting the tone
Buckswood is a home. It is a working estate, it is a school and most importantly it is a place of learning and friendship. The walls of the old 16th century manor house stand so strong because they feed off the laughter and happiness that exudes from the students. Just as a home, it is the people that make the place work; that are the heartbeat of the school. A Buckswood student understands that the gardener and the chef are just as important in the operation of things as the Headmaster or History teacher. Respect for those that help and work at school, as well as taking care of the beautiful surroundings in which they learn, is demanded from all.
Discipline and daily routine
The Buckswood day is punctuated by the school bell that tolls above the dining hall to signal it’s time to change class, go to lunch or hurry along to prep. Every child needs routine to structure their lives and learn the self-discipline that will be the foundation of their future success. When a child puts on their Buckswood school uniform they know the standards of behaviour that are expected of them. For generations of Buckswoodians, the structure of the school day and the decorum that every student must possess have been the corner stone of the Buckswood education.
The school motto is ‘we are preparing for life’ and part of our preparation is building every child’s self-confidence. We recognise that talent comes in many different forms and not just in the classroom; and so we celebrate each child’s individual milestones because what comes easy for one, is an uphill struggle for another. By joining together and acknowledging achievements, our ‘family’ becomes a vast support network that encourages everyone to be the best they can be, in whatever field commands their talents.
The prefect system
Students who are promoted to positions of authority are reminded of the aphorism: All power corrupts, absolute power corrupts absolutely. A person in a position of authority can best assert that authority by example.
Our prefects are the link between the student body and the staff and should work in close liaison with the SMT, meeting regularly to discuss routine matters and isolated problems. They supervise the House Captains and Prefects and ensure that they are performing their duties satisfactorily and maintaining the highest standards in the execution of their duties.
Prefects have various responsibilities, which essentially involve them in assisting in the smooth running of the school. School prefects are responsible at all times for the good conduct of all members of the student body, but especially at times when the school meets as a unit, for example, school assembly, morning and afternoon breaks.
The prefects are chosen by the members of the SMT through a ballot and voting system using the school prefect reference form.
Our weekly gatherings on a Friday afternoon draw a close to the week and give us chance to reflect on the past week’s achievements, sport results, musical performances and receive some moral instruction. Our assemblies are a grand affair held in the Great Hall, with all academic staff and prefects gowned and led in procession by the Buckswood Pipe and Drum band.
A colourful fiesta, the Sports Hall is transformed with the costumes, foods and music from every corner of the globe, and the day is a demonstration of the cultural awareness and harmony that exists at Buckswood. We believe that every student must have an understanding that difference is not something to be feared, and a deeper understanding of the world and it’s people is a valuable quality
Christmas Carol Concert
Every December, just before the end of the Christmas term the Buckswood extended family join together for a traditional service of 9 lessons and carols held in the beautiful Old Town area of Hastings. A very British occasion that is a favourite with our families and Old Buckswoodians, the event is one of two annual large get-togethers.
Sports and Speech Day
As a school we push every student to be the best they can be, and we believe in what we do. Therefore we always have a lot to celebrate! After two years of studying hard and calling upon everyone in the Buckswood family for support, graduation is the ultimate Buckswood celebration and we believe it has to be done in style!
Speech and Sports Day every year is the formal ‘passing out’ ceremony where the whole school and parents from around the world converge at the school to enjoy English summer strawberries and suffer the weather. For the Upper Sixth, the formal black tie cocktail party and limousine chauffeur service is their first taste of reward for working hard!!
Good manners are not empty or outdated civilities but small, habitual and recognised ways of showing others the consideration one wishes for someone, a way of expressing interest in people and making communication more pleasant. The following offers some guidance as to what is expected of a Buckswood student.
1. Stand up when a member of staff or a visitor comes into your study area. If you are working in the library and a visitor comes in, it would be more appropriate to carry on working, only stand up if he/she should approach you personally to speak with you.
2. Polite hallway etiquette- Open doors for others. Having gone through a door, look behind you to ensure you do not let it swing back into the face of someone following. Stand aside to let people pass on stairways and in corridors. Do not push. If you must walk between people engaged in conversation, ensure you apologise.
3. At concerts, stage productions and other events, courtesy to performers and consideration for other member of the audience demands that you do not enter/ leave whilst a piece of music is being played.
4. At school matches leave seats on benches for visitors and offer them a seat.
5. When you meet people, greet them with a smile (as you yourself like to be greeted). Ask visitors if they are being looked after; offer to escort them to the reception.
6. When saying goodbye to visitors, e.g. at the end of a tour of the School, show them to their car and open the car door.
7. Avoid talking to adults with your hands in your pockets.
8. Take the trouble to master the conventions and nuances of the accepted forms of address in letters and replies to invitations.
9. Stand back in the corridors to allow staff or matron through, always acknowledge with a “Good Morning/Good Afternoon”.
10. Say ‘thank you’ and ‘please’