“March 2014 marks the first anniversary of the fire which devastated the Buckholme Towers School building. One year on, the school is in better shape than ever with record admissions and outstanding exam results. Headmaster Iain Robertson reflects on the successes of the last year and looks forward to a prosperous future.

“It’s hard to believe that it has been a whole year since the fire. On Tuesday 12th March 2013 at 2.20am the fire broke out and it completely rocked the staff, pupils and residents of Ashley Cross. Miraculously, with the help of the local community and businesses, temporary classrooms were up and running within 48 hours at the neighbouring Parkstone United Reformed Church. A six month refurbishment project quickly followed and the new school building was open to pupils on the first day of term in September.

New Beginnings

“Poignantly, the anniversary coincided with some wonderful news when we found that the school’s chicken eggs had hatched and we welcomed 10 new friends – Frank, Rufus, Betsy, Maria, Rupert, Albert, Sydney, Elsie, Dorothy and Fi-Fi. It was a delight to see the children’s reactions to them and excitement quickly spread around the school.

“We recently celebrated record admissions by welcoming many new students and we have waiting lists for a number of year groups. We continue to make our greatest investment in our most important resource, the staff. All teachers and teaching assistants are fully qualified and ratios are second to none, with around 1 adult to every 7 pupils. This ensures that every pupil receives the attention they need to succeed.

Outstanding results, once again

“Many parents judge the success of the school on the most recent examination results and this year has again been exceptional. We have achieved outstanding results for 11 plus entry to grammar schools, as well as scholarship entry to top independent senior schools. Buckholme’s own scholarship scheme has also been a resounding success, with a record number of applications for entry in September 2014.

An exciting future

“This last year has been a testing time for everyone involved, but it has also reminded us of the importance of community spirit and old friends, with many of the Buckholme alumni returning to see the new school. We are keen to focus on the future though and the coming terms bring a wealth of opportunities for the pupils, with such events as the annual ski trip to Italy and the new sailing academy season.”

*There are limited places remaining in the reception class for admission in September 2014. If you would like to meet the staff and enjoy a tour of the new school, please do get in touch via the details on the opposite page.