Friday, 15 December 2017

15 December 2017

Bolton School has once again hosted the Royal Society of Chemistry's Christmas Lectures, welcoming over 1,050 pupils to the Boys' Division Great Hall to enjoy live chemistry experiments on stage. There were flashes, bangs, and a whole host of scientific facts to take in throughout the course of the presentation, which this year was given by Dr Steve Rossington from the University of Salford.


Pupils at Bolton School have once again helped to fill Urban Outreach's Christmas Hampers. This year, the School has donated stuffing and cranberry sauce in enormous quantities to ensure that those less fortunate in Bolton will be able to enjoy a traditional Christmas dinner.


The Nativities continued this week with Year 2's performance of Lights, Camel, Action! Pupils took to the stage as angels, shepherds and sheep, Kings and camels, stars, and even residents of Nazareth  in this dance extravaganza, which ended with two favourite Christmas songs.


Children in Reception also put on a delightful traditional Nativity for their parents. A chorus of Narrators told the story of the birth of Jesus, interspersed with musical interludes including classics like 'Little Donkey' and 'Away in a Manger'.


The Junior Girls performed Hosanna Rock! as their Christmas Concert this year. Tracing the story of the Nativity through songs, narration and recitations of poetry, this upbeat festive treat was filled with delightful moments.


Watch Hosanna Rock! via the following links: Part 1, Part 2. Alternatively, listen to just the songs from Hosanna Rock! by visiting the School's Soundcloud.

Year 12 pupils from the Boys' Division attended the Inspire a Class: Chemistry in Action day at The University of Salford. There they met their chemistry teacher, Dr Turner, who was one of the speakers! Dr Turner gave a presentation about exam preparation.

Recent leaver Chris Rowles returned to the Boys' Division to talk to Year 7 pupils about a life at sea in the Merchant Navy. He was able to talk about his role, primarily as a Navigator, and what it is like to join the Merchant Navy, including the benefits and drawbacks.


The U13 football team won against Stockport Grammar in the Quarter Final of the ISFA Cup. They will now go on to face Lochinver School from North London in the Semi-Final in January.

The 2017 Year 7 Gymnastics Final was one of the closest in recent years, with impressive performances from all of the boys who competed. It was a tough task for the PE staff to choose a winner from the eight boys who had won a place in the Final.


On 31 January, Bolton School will welcome renowned philosopher and theologian Dr Peter Vardy to give a talk on Sexual Ethics in the Girls' Division Great Hall. This event is the next in a series of free, public Arts and Sciences Enrichment Lectures hosted by the School.

The penultimate Inspiring Mind is Old Boy and founder of AO.com, John Roberts. John left the School in 1992 and in his pen portrait recalls his memories of the School, summarises his unorthodox career and offers advice to current pupils.

Friday, 8 December 2017

8 December 2017

During his return to Bolton School last week, Old Boy Ralf Little found time to give a masterclass to aspiring Senior School actors. They worked with unseen script extracts from productions Ralf has appeared in, and he helped pupils as they interpreted character and performed. In the evening, Ralf delivered the Tillotson Lecture.


The UK's favourite weather presenter, Tomasz Schafernaker, visited the Girls' Division this week to continue the series of Evening Enrichment Lectures. He addressed a large, engaged audience of pupils, staff and visitors from the local community about how he became interested in meteorology and his pathway into weather forecasting. Full of anecdotes about his experiences, this fascinating talk gave an insight into the reality of being a weather forecaster and presenter.


The full programme of Arts and Sciences Enrichment Lectures can be found here on the School website. The next talk, on 31 January at 7pm, will be from Dr Peter Vardy, philosopher and theologian, on the subject of Sexual Ethics.

Bolton School is set to become a partner school in a unique independent and state school partnership to recruit more Modern Foreign Languages (MFL) teachers. This is part of the National Modern Languages' School Centred Initial Teacher Training (SCITT) programme.

Year 7 pupils have raised over £3,800 for Key103 and Cash for Kids' Mission Christmas appeal, and this week visited Toys R Us in Bolton to buy a host of toys and gifts to donate to the cause. The girls enjoyed picking out over £2,000 worth of presents for children of all ages, and will also make a cash donation to the appeal.


The Business Challenge Final took place, pitting five teams of Year 12 students against one another in a dramatic pitching battle in the style of Dragon's Den. Each group presented their business idea to the panel of judges, and all were praised for their ingenious concepts which would fill a unique gap in the market. However, it was Caterplastic - a company aiming to recycle plastic using wax worms - who were the overall winners.


Sixteen Girls' Division pupils have been called up to join Lancashire Lacrosse's Under 15 and Under 18 squads this year. This number includes two pupils who have been selected for both the U15 A and U18 B squads, and a Year 7 pupils who is 'playing up' by a significant number of years to join the U15 team.


Sixth form student Morgan helped Lancashire RFU U18s to beat Yorkshire in a spectacular Roses clash last weekend, following his recent call-up.

Junior Girls' School pupil Dinburgh has recently enjoyed success in two prestigious competitions, one for ballet and one for gymnastics, winning second place in each of them!

The first Nativity of 2017 has taken place! Children from the Butterfly and Caterpillar rooms at Bolton School Nursery put on their Nativity, which told the story of a very special baby found in Maurice the Mule's manger. The audience was delighted with the children's efforts.


Children in Beech House also got into the Christmas spirit with a pantomime! They thoroughly enjoyed the performance of Jack and the Beanstalk.

Families at Beech House have also helped Bolton Lions to spread Christmas cheer this week with a huge donation of toys to the club's Caring Christmas Appeal. This annual appeal, which the school has been involved with for several years now, gives toys to children in the local area who might otherwise not receive anything on Christmas morning.


At the Junior Boys' School, two groups of Senior School musicians put on a festive concert during morning assembly. The Brass Group and Junior String Quartet managed to set everyone's feet tapping with their feel-good Christmas tunes.

A new book written by the School Archivist which details the history of the Girls' Division is now available. 'Pride in the Past; Confidence in the Future' charts the full chronology of the School from its earliest origins, with each section based on a different Headmistress. Buy it here.

This week's Inspiring Mind is Betty Vause: an Old Girl, Beech House teacher and ultimately Governor who played an integral role in the Girls' Division for many years. She was also the first woman to hold the post of Vice Chairman of the joint Governing Body. She is remembered fondly in her profile.

Friday, 1 December 2017

1 December 2017

The Girls' Division has been named in Parent Power, The Sunday Times Schools Guide 2018, as one of the top ten independent schools in the north west. It is the only independent school from the north Manchester and Lancashire region to appear on the list.

Old Boy Ralf Little, who is famous for his roles in The Royle Family and Two Pints of Lager and a Packet of Crisps, returned to the Boys' Division to give the annual Tillotson Lecture. His presentation reflected on his twenty-year career in the arts, as an actor, writer and producer, and also offered current pupils with a host of life tips based on his own experiences.


Pupils from both Divisions were joined by students from local schools for a STEM Day themed around motorspot. They built miniature electronic racing cars, which went head to head in a series of high-speed races to determine overall winners. There was also the opportunity to explore the University of Bolton's real race car in the Riley Quad.


Girls' Division pupils in Year 7 have once again raised money for the annual Key 103 and Cash4Kids 'Mission Christmas' appeal. They conducted a 24-hour sponsored silence to raise money for the cause, which helps to provide Christmas presents to disadvantaged children in Greater Manchester.

Children in Year 2 at Beech House, Bolton School's Infant School, enjoyed a trip to the Lowry Museum, where they learned all about the artist's famous 'match-stalk men and match-stalk cats and dogs'.


Boys' Division pupils in Year 9 enjoyed an afternoon of careers advice, during which they learned more about a variety of different job options. Two of the industry professionals who joined pupils for the afternoon were Old Boys.

Students in Year 13 connected with two Old Boys through the use of technology to hear more about their careers in finance. Nick Lord spoke to pupils live from Singapore using Skype, while Raj Apte sent a video message about his job in the city of London. Both provided a great insight into the different routes into this type of career.

The whole of Year 12 put their enterprise skills to the test on Business Challenge Day. Working in mixed teams, they came up with ideas and made business plans from scratch in the course of just one day, with a little advice of expert judges. The groups then presented these in front of judging panels, with the five best business ideas going through to a final in early December.



Year 8 pupil Beth has been selected to compete at the British National Dressage Championships next April. Her success follows two years of competing at British Dressage level and in affiliated classes.

Old Boy Julian Butterworth returned to Bolton School to speak to students in Year 13 about the dangers of alcohol. He gave a frank and moving account of his personal recovery from alcoholism, which led to a mature question and answer session, with students asking a series of pertinent questions.

Pupils in the Girls' Division celebrated National Chemistry Week towards the end of November with a series of competitions. They wrote poetry, created mug designs and posters, and even baked cakes in the first 'Chemistry Bake Off' in School! Prize winners received periodic table mugs.


The Joint Jazz Bank put on a wonderful lunchtime concert for pupils at the Junior Boys' School. They performed and also passed on some extra information about the Jazz Band's instruments to interested Junior Boys.

Pupils from the Girls' Division learned all about 'Physics Acting Out' from Hannah Renshaw, the Institute of Physics North West Regional Officer. They found out more about many of the different projects that the Institute of Physics is involved with to change people's perceptions of science, with a particular focus on the events and projects related to drama and music.

Friday, 24 November 2017

24 November 2017

Bolton School has been shortlisted for the Times Educational Supplement (TES) Whole School Community Initiative Award in recognition for its work with The Bolton Sports Alliance. The collaboration exists between the School and other organisations in the local community, and was launched in 2015 by Olympic gymnast Beth Tweddle. It aims to provide high quality sport and physical education for the primary schools of Bolton using recognised local deliverers. The winner of the Whole School Community Initiative Award will be announced at the Independent School Awards ceremony in February.


Trevor Pledger, the School's former Director of Partnerships and previously a teacher in the Boys' Division, was recently honoured at the Bolton News Schools Awards. He received the Lifetime Achievement Award for his tireless dedication to young people's sport.

The Junior Boys' lollipop man Barry was also recognised at the Bolton News Schools Awards. His friendliness, dedication to serving his local community and positive attitude whatever the weather won him the Unsung Hero Award.


Both Trevor and Barry received their awards at a glittering awards ceremony in Bolton.

Staff from Bolton School and Patterdale Hall joined Manchester's business community for the 25th Manchester Evening News (MEN) Business Awards ceremony in the city centre. The School was once again proud to sponsor the Young Business of the Year Award, which was presented to Real Handful, a healthy snacking start-up.

Girls in Year 7 were fascinated to discover more about the Enigma machine - the device used by the Germans in the Second World War to turn their messages into code. They were given a potted history of cryptography from mathematician and lecturer Dr James Grime before a demonstration of a genuine 81-year-old Enigma machine. The girls were able to see this amazing antique up close while learning about its history and how the code was cracked and some were even fortunate enough to be able to touch it!


Jr Girls' School teacher Mrs Marsden recently returned from working in Malawi with the charity Retrak, which aims to help street children in Africa and South America. She worked at Chisomo Children's Centre, helping to set up a new 'Hesketh House Art Corner' in honour of the Junior Girls' School, which has now raised over £5,000 for the charity in total.


Last year's Battle of the Bands event raised an incredible £1,000 which has been donated to Trust Music, a charity which aims to allow equal access to music for all children, regardless of background or circumstances. The Parallel Oreos, the winning group from Battle of the Bands 2017, presented one of Trust Music's trustees with a cheque for the donation.


Alumni Thorrun Govind and Alex Quayle, both now practising pharmacists, returned to Bolton School to give a talk on the dangers of drugs, going into some detail about a variety of illegal substances and their adverse affects. They also educated the Year 12 boys about work as a pharmacist and the process behind bringing a new drug to market. Students really engaged with the subject matter and asked a number of pertinent questions at the end.

The Infants at Beech House have recently been learning all about the Great Fire of London. They had fun in an interactive session with the Freshwater Theatre Company which allowed them to learn more and think about how the fire would have affected people.


Girls in Year 10 enjoyed a one-day film school with the Young Film Academy. They worked in small groups to put together a ten-shot short film over the course of the day, working from storyboard to filming and taking on the roles of director, actors and camera crew. The day ended with a special screening and 'Oscars' award ceremony.


Boys' Division Head of Sport and Master in Charge of Rugby Mr Fernside has received an award from the RFU Mitsubishi Motors Volunteer Recognition Programme. He was nominated for his dedicated and long-term contribution to rugby union.

During the last academic year, Sixth Form students Nadiya and Reem were nominated as Ogden Trust School Physicists of the Year for 2017. They received their awards over the summer holidays at a ceremony at the University of Manchester.

The U13 football team has made it to the Quarter Finals of the Independent Schools' Football Association (ISFA) Cup. They had to defeat St Bede's College to obtain their place, and though they faced a challenging opening to the match, the Bolton lads emerged triumphant 4-2.

Boys' Division pupils in Years 8 to 13 took part in an art project to remember the victims and survivors of the Holocaust. Their moving pieces of artwork, which is based on the theme of 'the power of words' and influenced by survivors' and victims' art, will b displayed at Bolton's Holocaust Memorial in January.


A current pupil and a recent leaver have played their part in helping the England U21 Water Polo Team win the EU Nations' Tournament held at Manchester Aquatics.

A pair of Girls' Division Sixth Form students have won the North Schools' Modern Languages Debating Competition in French! Caroline and Maya debated a variety of complex topics entirely in the foreign language and in the final argued against the motion, 'Everyone should carry a weapon'.

Two Boys' Division Sixth Form students have won the North Schools' Modern Languages Debating Competition in German! Sam and Joe argued for and against a range of motions, entirely in German, to ultimately win the competition.

The Boys' Division Autumn Concert was a magnificent evening of entertainment, with an uplifting programme of music from the moment the Drum Corps took the stage to the Year 8 boys' grand finale.


Watch the Joint Chamber Choir's renditions of The Cloths Of Heaven and Keane's Somewhere Only We Know.

Watch the Year 8 boys' Grand Finale.

Pupils in the Sixth Form signed themselves up to the Anthony Nolan stem cell register with a 'cheeky swab' at lunchtime. The charity set up in the Riley Sixth Form Centre cafe to register students, with many members of Year 12 coming forward to sign up as potential stem cell and bone marrow donors.


This week, two Year 10 girls with the help of Eye Film produced an illustrative video about how schools benefit from the GSA Conference, which was attended by Miss Hincks, Headmistress of the Girls' Division. Watch their film here.

There was a buzz in the corridors as the Boys' Division Beekeeping Club announced that the hives had produced enough honey for jars to go on sale! Staff flocked to the science labs to watch as members of the club carefully extracted, sieved and jarred the honey, ready to be purchased. The money raised will go back into the club to support Bolton School's bees in the future.


Old Boy Dr Mobeen Qureshi returned to Bolton School to talk to aspiring medical students about the realities of life as a doctor. He discussed his tough years as a junior doctor and gave an honest and balanced account of the advantages and disadvantages of the job, while also showing his passion for his career.

This week's Inspiring Mind is Chris Goudge. He attended the School from 1949 to 1954 and was a suberb athlete, attested by numerous reports in The Boltonian. He went on to represent Great Britain in the 400m hurdles at the Rome Olympics in 1960.

Friday, 10 November 2017

10 November 2017

The flags flew at half mast on Friday 10 November as pupils took part in Remembrance Assemblies ahead of Armistice Day.


The Boys' Division held a special morning assembly to commemorate the Armistice. This powerful occasion paid particular tribute to the Old Boys who died during the Third Battle of Ypres, also known as Passchendaele. There were readings of poetry, first hand accounts of the conditions at Ypres in 1917 and tributes to the lives of Old Boys from Year 10 pupils.


The Senior Girls remembered all those who have lost their lives due to war, and in particular those who died at Passchendaele, in their Service of Remembrance, which was also attended by Old Girls. The service included readings of poetry, hymns and music. The two minutes silence at 11 o'clock, framed by The Last Post and The Rouse, was a poignant moment of reflection.


Pupils in Year 6 conducted the assembly at Hesketh House, Bolton School's Junior Girls' School. They recalled the bravery and sacrifice of those who died in the First World War as well as the brutality of that conflict and why poppies are worn in remembrance. Poetry readings and songs made this a moving occasion.


This term, the Junior Girls raised over £2,000 to send one of their teachers to Malawi to work with the charity Retrak. Last year, pupils were really inspired by the important work this charity does in Africa and South America to help street children, and as a result of their fundraising Mrs Marsden was invited to join the charity on one of their trips during the October half term. The money was raised through a sponsored dance on the playground.


The annual bonfire night event organised by the Girls' Division PA was a real Fireworks Extravaganza this year! The superhero-themed display was designed and launched by Titanium Fireworks, the company behind the London New Year fireworks, and it lived up to everyone's high expectations. The many stalls and games, the musical entertainment and the delicious food in the dining hall also made for a fun-filled and enjoyable evening for all.

You can watch the fireworks display here.


Year 11 pupil Amelia Doherty has won second prize in the 2017 August challenge #1 on Young Poets Network (YPN). The poem was based on the theme of edgelands, the borders between rural and urban spaces, and impressed the judge with its imagery and language. Read 'Camping In The Edgelands With My Cousin' here.


Old Boy and actor Ralf Little will return to Bolton School to give this year's Tillotson Lecture. After leaving Bolton School, Ralf go his TV break with a role in BBC sitcom The Royle Family, and since then has played a variety of roles on TV and radio as well as in theatre. The Tillotson Lecture will take place on Wednesday 29 November 2017 at 7.00pm, and all are welcome to attend: please email Mrs Michaela Fox Makin (MFoxMakin@boltonschool.org) to confirm numbers, or bdinfo@boltonschool.org for the general public.

Friday, 3 November 2017

3 November 2017

Parents and staff across the Bolton School Foundation took part in the "World's Biggest Coffee Morning" to raise money for Macmillan Cancer Support. The Junior Boys' PA, Junior Girls' PA and Boys' Division staff all hosted coffee mornings and enjoyed delicious home-made and shop-bought cakes alike while chatting together before the start of school and, for staff, at morning break.

Isobel Garner continued the Girls' Division's series of evening enrichment lectures with a fascinating talk on 'Engineering the Building Blocks of Life'. She talked about her career as a Chartered Civil Engineer and her work as a career mentor. The lecture series will continue throughout this academic year: find out more about future events and speakers on the School website.


The Girls' Division recently hosted a performance of Antigone by the Actors of Dionysus. This spectacular production, which came to the School directly following two sold-out nights at The Lowry, offered pupils studying Classics and Theatre Studies a unique opportunity to see a modernised version of a timeless Greek tragedy in performance.

The Junior Boys and their families made a huge Harvest donation this year, filling the stage with tinned and packaged products which were given to local charity Urban Outreach. The boys were joined by the charity's CEO, Mr Dave Bagley, for their Harvest assembly and were reminded of the importance of contributing to charitable efforts.

Following the assembly, Mr Bagley collected a further Harvest gift for the charity from the generous families of children attending Beech House, Bolton School's Infant School. Year 2 led the assembly in school with a 'Harvest Rock and Roll'.


Pupils in the Junior Girls' School also made a large Harvest offering which further added to Urban Outreach's Winter Watch campaign. In their assembly, girls learned about the origins of the festival and how it has changed over the years, but the sentiment of helping those less fortunate is no different now.

The Senior Girls also donated a wealth of tinned and packaged products to Urban Outreach for Harvest.

Pupils at Beech House enjoyed a visit from the Travelling by Tuba duo, who took them on a musical tour around the world. They used music to evoke different landscapes and countries while also allowing pupils to learn about the origins of instruments. Some of the children were even able to join in with the music making!

The Girls' Division's U16s Netball Captain Cate has joined the Manchester Thunder U17s squad. Cate, who is in Year 11, was successful in her bid to join the team following trials.

The Senior Boys will once again collaborate with RoughHouse Theatre throughout the forthcoming academic year on a special theatre project as part of the theatre's School Residency Programme. This year's piece of verbatim theatre will be inspired by the Mass Observation Project, which began in Bolton in 1937. This will involve the voices and experiences of pupils, staff, and local people from across Bolton coming together to create a new piece of theatre to be performed.

Follow the Mass Observation theatre project's progress via the School's Noticeboard and social media platforms, particularly @BoltonSchool and @drama_bsbd on Twitter.


Over the summer holidays, Sixth Form student Alexandra took part in a medical skills residential at Liverpool Science Park. She was able to develop a host of practical skills for performing clinical tasks and lab work, which will no doubt be invaluable in her future career.

The Chamber Choir is entering the Barnardo's National Choral Competition. The choir has booked a recording session and has been hard at work, rehearsing the two pieces needed for entry into the competition. If successful, they will have the opportunity to perform in the final at London's Royal Festival Hall in March.

Boys' Division pupils raised money for Leukaemia CARE with a non-uniform day. All the boys wore at least one orange item to raise awareness of this illness, and also received wristbands after making their donation to promote further awareness.


Year 9 pupil Lizzie has been selected for the Football Association's Under 14s Regional Development Programme. This is a particularly great achievement for her, as she has only been playing with a Tier 1 Regional Talent Centre for six months.

Junior Girls' School pupil Dinburgh has been selected to join the British Gymnastics U12s squad! This follows her a bronze medal winning performance in June at her first national competition.

Old Boy Edward Hibbert attended Beech House and Park Road and, following a successful career in software development went on to become the Chairman of Freegle. He returned to Bolton School to give the Sixth Form boys an insight into why we should reuse items and extend their lifespan before recycling them or throwing them away. He also gave a valuable perspective on the importance of doing something for the benefit of the community.

Pupils quizzed Labour MP Sir David Crausby on a wide variety of topics when he visited the School. Girls' Division pupils from all year groups joined members of the Politics Club and A Level students from both Divisions studying Politics for this fascinating session. Pupils engaged with some complex political topics and asked for Sir David's thoughts on Trident and his opinion on Jeremy Corbyn


The Girls' Division Tennis Squad became Division 1 champions in the Year 8 AEGON Teams Tennis Competition during the summer term, and recently took part in the next stage of the competition. The Regional Knockout was closely contested, with the Bolton girls just losing out.

The Nursery Class for 3 and 4 Year Olds recently learned about the Hindu festival of diwali. They visited a local temple to enhance their learning further.

Year 12 student Thea has been selected for the GB U19 Women's Water Polo Squad! This year she will also undertake the prestigious Sporting Excellence Award by Swim England Waterpolo alongside her A Level studies.

The Junior Girls thoroughly enjoyed a visit from Travelling by Tuba. The girls loved learning about a variety of different instruments and where they are from in the world from this musical duo. A lucky few pupils were chosen to take part in the performance.


Year 13 pupil Morgan has been chosen to play rugby for Lancashire U18s in a match against Cumbria. As well as playing for the school team, he also plays for Bolton RUFC.

Sixty-five Girls' Division linguists were invited to take part in a morning focused on Modern Foreign Languages. They learned more about studying languages at university and the benefits and opportunities it can provide in the workplace, as well as hearing from Old Girl Izzy about the daunting thrills of the year abroad experience. They also got to experience a taster session in a new language: Mandarin, Arabic or Russian.


Two Boys' Division pupils and a Girls' Division pupil have played water polo for ESSA over the October half term break in the Malta Exiles International Water Polo Tournament. They helped the ESSA teams to success with the boys' team achieving silver medals and the girls winning gold.

On 3 December at 7pm, Bolton School will host a talk from BBC weather presenter Tomasz Schafernaker. Earlier this year he was named the UK's favourite weather presenter, and he recently travelled to the US to report from the middle of Hurricane Irma, so he will certainly have some stories to tell from his television career. This free event is open to the public and is part of an ongoing series of Arts and Sciences Enrichment Events hosted by Bolton School Girls' Division.

Friday, 6 October 2017

6 October 2017

This September, the Boys' Division welcomed a new Head of Sixth Form: Mr Jack Williams. His appointment completed a 'trade' between Bolton School and Hipperholme Grammar School spanning over 100 years: in 1911, former Bolton School teacher Maynard Andrews became headmaster of Hipperholme, and Mr Williams came to Bolton School from that same post!


Children in the Nursery Class have been having fun while learning about the natural world. Each week they take advantage of the School's woodland nature area and recently have experienced the changing of the seasons first-hand.


From September 2018, the Junior Boys' School will introduce an additional Year 5 class. The Junior Boys will have 3 classes of Year 5 pupils to accommodate increased demand or places at the school, and a special Entrance Examination has been arrange for Year 4 pupils wishing to enter Year 5.


The Nursery has announced its Employee of the Month for September 2017 as voted by parents and staff. Khatijah received flowers and a card as a token of appreciation and thanks.

Across the school, parents and staff raised money for Macmillan Cancer Support by hosting coffee mornings as part of the annual 'World's Biggest Coffee Morning' appeal. The Junior Boys' School and Junior Girls' School PAs joined in, as did staff in the Boys' Division Senior School.