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The Buchan School
West Hill, Arbory Road, IM9 1RD, UK Castletown
+44 (0)1624 822526

The Buchan School is the Junior School for King William's College, located in Castletown, Isle of Man.

Buchan School HouseThe whole environment here is one where we can provide an educational experience of all round quality. Boys and girls may join us at any age between 3 and 11. There is a caring, well qualified staff, facilities are impressive, the classes small, affording considerable individual attention.

We strive for high academic standards with a curriculum which is broad yet balanced. Specialist teaching begins at an early stage. We emphasise the strength of Technology - so important in the modern world - and Languages. French is taught from the age of 4. An enterprising variety of activity takes place outside normal lessons with a healthy involvement in Music, Art, Drama and Sport.

The Buchan School is a happy, friendly community where traditional standards are encouraged. We hope that your child/children will be very happy here. This website tries to give you helpful information to enable the whole family to settle into our school routine as smoothly as possible.

Contact us for more information | Read our events calendar

The College - which was founded in 1833 - is situated at Castletown on the Isle of Man. The College and Buchan between them offer education from 3 years to 18 years of age and deliver GCSEs and the International Baccalaureate.

The College is located on 2 sites. The senior school is located just outside Castletown, next to the airport and thus has excellent travel links worldwide. The grounds are first class and provide excellent sporting facilities for a wide range of disciplines. Boarding is available at College for boys and girls. Our junior school, The Buchan, is located in Castletown itself and is set in delightful surroundings.

The College is a school in the Church of England tradition. Class sizes are small throughout and often in single figures for specialist subjects. The staff is dedicated to ensuring all pupils are developed to the full and maximise their potential. We are proud of our heritage - but not mesmerised by it - and we are determined that our school will embrace the best of our past while constantly striving to improve our facilities and utilise the best teaching practices.
For more information - visit the college website


The Kindergarten curriculum follows both the Isle of Man Board of Education pre-school guidelines and the Early Years Foundation stage. All work is suited to each individual child's needs and is adapted when necessary. We aim to have happy, well-adjusted children.

Social Skills

One of our main aims/objectives is to help each child with their social skills, being able to take turns, to share toys and equipment, being able to manage for themselves as much as possible i.e.: going to the toilet and wash hands on their own, putting on and taking off their coats, shoes and aprons. We also encourage good behaviour and manners. All these skills will help them for when they move onto school.


We hope that the children will be happy and confident to leave their mums or carer when they come to join us in Kindergarten. If a child is unsettled we will allocate a member of staff who will work both with the child and the parent. The time and the sessions can then be increased as and when it is appropriate for the child.

The children are encouraged to take part in all activities that take place in Kindergarten e.g. painting, singing, drama and PE and to enjoy making things to take home. They also need to be confident to move from Kindergarten to other parts of the school, both inside and outside. During the summer term the children who will be moving into a reception class in the Pre Prep are integrated on several afternoons to learn new surroundings and meet their new teachers in their classrooms.


To help the children to prepare for school we would hope that during their time with us, the children will have learnt to have good pencil control, to know their colours, shapes, recognise their numbers up to 10, count to 20, know as many letter sounds as possible, be able to draw a recognisable shape of a man, paint a recognisable ojbect and either be able to copy or write their own name.


The children need to enjoy physical activity both on their own and as part of a group. They need to be taught how to play safely and how to handle and use equipment correctly. As we are lucky enough to have the use of the gym we are able to provide the children with PE lessons with an experienced instructor. They are able to learn many skills including:- hopping, skipping, somersaults, catching, rolling hoops, jumping, going under and over equipment, learning spatial awareness, climbing and weaving.

The Kindergarten is viewed favourably on the Island and enjoys a great deal of parental support.


The Pre-Preparatory Department follows the guidelines of the National Curriculum in the basic subjects of English, Mathematics and Science. We exercise our independence to modify the curriculum, to add to and enrich it.

Our purpose is to educate the whole person and as well as the basic subjects the children study French, Humanities, Technology Skills, Music, Art, Drama and Physical Education (including swimming in P2 and P3).

The small classes enable the staff to monitor closely each child's progress.

The ethos of the department is that we emphasise the importance of friendship, sharing, understanding and kindness. We motivate the children by giving them praise - for example reward stickers and 'Pupil of the Week' certificates. Children can also earn 'Golden time' celebrated in a weekly 'Golden assembly'.

The Pre-Prep School Day

8.50 School day begins

9.55 Assembly

10.10 Morning break. Playtime followed by juice and biscuits.

11.50 Lunch with a member of staff sitting at the head of each table to instil good manners, followed by play time.

2.00 Play time.

3.30 The normal school day finishes.

reading groupWhenever possible English and Mathematics lessons take place during the mornings but on Wednesdays the children in P2 and P3 go swimming at the Southern Pool in Castletown. P.E. kit comes to school on Monday and goes home on Friday.

Children in P3 are able to attend at least one after school activity a week. The activities are held from 3.45 to 4.30 pm on Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays. The activities are voluntary and free of charge, however a fee is charged for the optional extras of dance lessons and private individual lessons during the school day in Speech, Dance & Drama and Music.

There is an after school crèche available in the Kindergarten every night. There is a charge made for this. Please telephone Kindergarten to make arrangements.

Pre-Prep School Routine

Every child in Pre-Prep reads to their teacher three times a week. Reading books are changed daily and each child is expected to read at home to an adult every night. Please use the Reading Record Book and Reading Folder to send any messages to your child's teacher. Information to you from the school will be in the Reading Folder. Reading is an important part of the pre prep. Each child reads daily from either a shared or individual text.

For safety and insurance reasons no child should be at school before 8.25 am. Children who come by coach will be met and escorted to the Pre-Prep building. At 3.30 pm you should collect your child from the school. Children who travel on the coach will be supervised and then put on the coach.

We have a resident school matron. If your child is hurt at any time they can obtain first aid from matron. For any bump to the head (even very slight) you will receive a note from matron. Also if your child feels unwell and is given any medication then a note will be sent home. If your child has any allergies or health problems please notify the school.


Although there is no official homework at this stage boys and girls do take home spellings, tables and reading books from an early age. It is of considerable value if parents can listen, help, where appropriate and liaise closely with the class teacher.

In P1 every child is encouraged to read to an adult every night. Please remember to use phonics. Say the sounds not the names, of letters. In the summer term the children are given ten words to learn on Monday and have a spelling test on Friday.

In P2 the children continue to read every night and learn key words.

In P3 the reading and spellings continue. Also the children learn some multiplication tables and have a written test every Friday.

Parents can also help their children in the following ways:-

always write in lower case letters never in capitals

play counting and word games

say nursery rhymes

read a bedtime story


8.45 am Registration in Form Rooms

Morning Assembly

There is an assembly each day, with the exception of Fridays when there is a final assembly. Assemblies are taken by the school Chaplain, the Headmaster, and individual forms. A whole school service is held each half term and special services take place at Harvest and Christmas time.

The final assembly provides an opportunity to report on the week's achievements, academic, cultural and sporting including presentations when appropriate. Acknowledgement of individual and collective House Points provides a fitting conclusion to the academic part of the week.


Form 1

There is a natural development in Form 1 where boys and girls have spellings, tables, reading books, handwriting practice, work sheets, to take home on a regular basis in the course of every

week. Work sheets on different subjects are also set from time to time. The nature of the work is such that parental guidance is again invaluable.

Form 2

In Form 2 pupils are introduced to more formal homework.

Form 1 (Mon-Thurs) Form 2 (Mon-Thurs)
Spellings and Reading (Monday) Science
English and Handwriting (Tuesday) English (Spellings and Handwriting)
Maths X Table (Wednesday) Maths
Revision, Spellings X Tables (Thursday) Humanities
Fridays - No homework set Fridays - No homework set

Forms 3 & 4

One subject each evening - F3 20 minutes, F4 25 minutes (Science, Humanities, Maths, English and French, reading as required).

Every child has a homework notebook which records the homework set each day.


This section introduces some of the background information about activities and interests within the school.

You can read the list of events planned for this year.

We also have a list of the term dates.

The School publishes a handbook for parents, which contains useful information about the school and it's activities. It is available in Adobe PDF format and you can read the handbook here. (If you wish to download it for printing then right click on the link and select save)

Here are some of the comments made by parents of pupils at the school:

"After being somewhat disillusioned with one of the state schools on the island, we were invited to have a look around the Buchan. We were impressed with the systems in place, facilities and the attitude in helping the children achieve their best that we felt the Buchan would be the school that our children would thrive in."

" The dedication and commitment of the teaching staff to our boys over the last three years has changed their lives forever. They love going to school and are so happy at the Buchan. The warmth, care, strong Christian values and high standard of teaching from the classroom to the sports field is a privilege that our boys have experienced and one that they will carry with them throughout their lives"

primary schools in Castletown, secondary schools in Castletown, schools in Castletown

Editorial office:
tel. + 48 (094)