Friday, 16 March 2018

16 March 2018

The School's incredible dominance of the ESSA Water Polo titles continued as the Boys' Division U15 team held their title for a fourth year running. This is the twelfth consecutive English Schools' Water Polo title that the School has won.

Over forty local Year 5 pupils 'graduated' from the SHINE Programme at Bolton School last weekend. A celebration dinner was held to commemorate pupils' achievements over the course of the SHINE: 'Serious Fun on Saturday Mornings' programme and also look back on all the fun they had while expanding their learning.

Click here to watch a video about the SHINE programme, which was made by the volunteer mentors.

The Boys' Division Young Musician of the Year final was held this week, showcasing the breadth and talent of 14 pupils, each the winner in his instrument class. On the night, Junior and Senior prizes were awarded, alongside awards for Junior and Senior Young Composer of the Year and Most Promising Musician.

Listen to performances from the Junior Young Musician of the Year, pianist William Miles; Senior Young Musician of the Year, percussionist Henry Webb; and Senior Young Composer of the Year, Jean-Paul Asumu.

Congratulations to Year 7 pupils Uma Patel and Amelia Cordwell, who presented their 'Parched Plants' project at the national final of the BP Ultimate STEM Challenge this week! They were one of twelve teams selected as finalists, and did a good job of explaining their scientific process and findings.

The Year 11 boys took part in a Young Film Academy where they learned more about film-making and the history of movies before shooting their own short film. With only ten shots to work with and restrictions on some of those, they had to work hard to tell their story. At the end of the day there was a special screening of all the films and an 'Oscars' ceremony.

The Joint Chamber Choir performed this week at the Barnardo's Youth Choral Competition. The choir was one of six secondary school choirs chosen to compete in the final, and sang at the Royal Festival Hall in London. They were supported by the Headmaster, Headmistress, parents and alumni who came to see them in action.

Year 7 pupil Vlada Kozak helped Great Britain to gain second place in the recent European Tennis Finals. Her performance led to her being invited to play in an international tournament at a similar level.

The Boys' Division Under 15 team swept aside opposition from across the North-West in a tense Rugby 7s competition held on home turf this week.

Year 10 pupil Shreya Kamath has been chosen to represent Lancashire in the Under 18 team at the upcoming Inter Counties Badminton Tournament. She is currently ranked the number one female player in the Lancashire U18 and Senior teams.

Five Junior Boys in Year 4 will represent Manchester at the national English Primary Schools' Chess Association (EPSCA) final in April. They were selected after their winning performances at Hulme Court School on Saturday 10 March.

Year 11 pupil Amelia Doherty's poem 'Dandelion' has won first place in the Namedropping Poetry Challenge organised by the Poetry Society's Young Poets' Network. The competition, which was open to anyone under the age of 25 world-wide, received hundreds of entries.

Congratulations to Patterdale Hall, which has won the coveted "Boot and Paddle" competition between northern outdoor pursuit centres! Representatives from outdoor centres across the northern region competed in a range of challenges in an effort to win the award, but it was Patterdale's Ann Hurst and Anthony Kavanagh who emerged victorious.

An Old Girl has been announced as the next Anglican Suffragan Bishop of Lancaster. Rev. Dr Jill Duff, who attended Bolton School from 1980 to 1990, will also be the first female Bishop in Lancashire.

Finally, our sell-out 2018 Joint Production opened this week, offering stunning performances full of talent, creativity and complexity. The magic and drama of Shakespeare's The Tempest continues for two more nights!

Friday, 9 March 2018

9 March 2018

Congratulations to all the Year 13 students who have received offers from the Universities of Oxford and Cambridge, and the many more who have received offers from their first choice university.

Bolton School hosted the Royal Statistical Society's William Guy Lecture as part of the Girls' Division's ongoing free Arts and Sciences Enrichment Lectures series. Dr Jeff Ralph talked about what statistics can reveal about society and teenagers, and how the lives of young people have changed over the past dramatic century.

The next Enrichment Lecture will take place on 18 April at 7pm and will be a talk from Dr Suzie Imber, Associate Professor in Space Physics and winner of the BBC television series Astronauts: Do You Have What It Takes? She will discuss her experiences on the programme as well as the upcoming European Space Agency BepiColombo mission to Mercury, 'Space Weather' and high-altitude mountaineering. This event is free and open to the public: save the date!

Boys in Year 11 enjoyed a day off their normal timetable this week to produce ten-shot movies with the Young Film Academy. They learned about the history of film-making and discovered the terminology and techniques used in creating films today before being sent out into the School's grounds to shoot their own dramatic scenes.

Pupils in Years 7 to 11 watched Une vie de chat as part of a 'More, Gifted and Talented' afternoon in the Girls' Division. The French Department organised this treat to allow pupils to take part in the annual University of Oxford French Film Competition: the film was paused before the ending to allow pupils to come up with their own creative finale and enter the competition.

Boys' Division students in Year 12 learned more about the World of Work on a morning arranged by the Careers Department. Six alumni and a variety of other visitors talked to students about their jobs and the pathways to access these professions, from medicine and dentistry to fashion and design to software engineering and tech. The morning culminated in a talk on apprenticeships for the whole of Year 12, featuring insights from a recent leaver.

Children in the Nursery Class for Three and Four Year Olds prepared for Mother's Day by creating canvases in celebration of their mums. As well as beautiful heart-shaped designs, these included special messages about why they love their mum.

The Junior Boys learned to Speak out Stay safe with the NSPCC. The whole school found out about the different kinds of abuse and how to talk to a trusted adult in morning assembly. Year 5 and Year 6 pupils then went on to a workshop where they discussed challenging topics relating to abuse in more detail and the messages from assembly were reiterated.

The Boys' Division Under 15 cricketers received tips, advice and best wishes from former Lancashire players Warren Hegg, John Abrahams and Sajid Mahmood at their latest training session! The professional input could not have been more timely: the team is looking ahead to their ESCA Northern quarter final match against Sale Grammar in April.

Friday, 2 March 2018

2 March 2018

Wintry conditions dominated the week at Bolton School! Though the School remained open, it was covered by a blanket of fresh snow for several days.

Pupils of all ages across the Foundation were involved in World Book Day celebrations on Thursday 1 March.

At the Nursery, children dressed up as their favourite characters and listened to stories throughout the day. Costumes included Guffalos, Elmer the Elephant, Stick Man and Peter Rabbit.

Children attending the Nursery Class for Three and Four Year Olds also dressed up and brought in their favourite books to share.

The Junior Girls filled the halls of Hesketh House with literary characters for the day. Pupils in Year 4 shared the tale of 'The Story Stealers' in assembly and girls were encouraged to write their own ending. The whole school sang the World Book Day Song and took part in themed activities throughout the day.

The Junior Boys' School was also filled with a colourful array of characters. Pupils heard all about their teachers' favourite childhood tales in assembly and during lessons. At lunchtime, they had the chance to take part in a book-themed scavenger hunt around the school.

In the Senior Schools, the Libraries led the way with the festivities. There were two literary quizzes for readers to challenge themselves with over lunchtime, and pupils could also create their own cover designs. In the Girls' Division, pupils dressed up as literary characters, while in the Boys' Division there was 'Not Lost, Found!' book hunt around school.

This week, the School received the Heraldry Society’s Corporate Heraldry Award following an application prepared and submitted by Old Boy Malcolm Howe. Laura Henthorn, Chairman of the Old Girls' Association, and Lionel Price, President of the Old Boltonians’ Association, received the award on behalf of the School at the Society's Annual Anniversary Lunch held at The Royal Air Force Club in London.

Friday, 23 February 2018

23 February 2018

This week, Dr Michael Scott returned to Bolton School to talk about Sicily: an island for everyone which serves as a mirror for globalisation. He recapped the rich, multicultural history of the island, covering its identity in Greek mythology and as the 'breadbasket' of Rome, and discussing its unique ability in the early Middle Ages to bring together diverse cultures that could not get along elsewhere. He also talked about the problems Sicily faces today, including mass migration.

The School's elite athletes and Junior School pupils enjoyed an inspirational afternoon with Rio 2016 Paralympian and GB Wheelchair Rugby athlete Ayaz Bhuta and Old Boy Dr Vasudevan Mani, who is Leeds Rhinos’ Team Doctor. They each delivered a fascinating insight into sport at the highest level.

At the end of the week, the Divisions went head to head in a boys vs girls archery competition held at lunchtime. After shooting over short and long distances, the Boys' Division emerged victorious overall.

Friday, 16 February 2018

16 February 2018

Bolton School has won Whole-School Community Initiative of the Year Award at the prestigious TES Independent School Awards. Judges praised the "extraordinary amount of work being done" and called the School and its efforts "A shining city on the hill." Read more about why the School was entered in this category here.

Last week, Bolton School Boys' Division hosted the first northern Young Scientists Journal Conference. Pupils with a passion for science were treated to a day that emulated what it would be like to be a real peer-review scientist attending a conference, with lectures, workshops, discussions and more on offer. All of the pupils who took part threw themselves into the activities and had fun throughout the day.

A Flickr album of further photographs from the day is available here.

It has been an enterprising week for pupils at Beech House, Bolton School's Infant School. They learned about a wide range of jobs from parents, who were happy to share their professions with the Reception, Year 1 and Year 2 classes. Pupils also took part in a range of activities to develop skills that might be useful in the workplace.

The first trainee teacher to pass through Bolton School as part of the Modern Foreign Languages (MFL) School Centred Initial Teacher Training (SCITT) programme has completed her time with the School. She spent a busy half term teaching Spanish and French and shadowing a Year 10 form tutor, as well as attending INSET and departmental meetings and completing lesson observations.

The Junior Boys' Music Festival celebrated the wide range of talent across the year groups. The two day event was adjudicated by Mr Powell, who expertly judged each of the categories, culminating in groups and ensembles. This was a fitting high-note on which to end another hugely popular and successful Music Festival.

A group of pupils visiting from Bocai Boarding School in China enjoyed a taster morning at Bolton School. The children are visiting the North West with the intention of applying to schools in the region during the next academic year. The children were assigned Bolton School "buddies" to help them get around the campus, and they enjoyed a series of taster lessons capped off with a typical Bolton School lunch.

Pupils in the Junior Girls' School discovered the languages and culture of India on their annual Modern Foreign Languages Day. Each pupil completed a 'passport' of activities throughout the day and took part in an Indian dance workshop, arts and crafts activities, language lessons focused on songs, and a delicious themed lunch from the catering department!

In sport, Girls' Division Year 8 pupil Lucy Dixon has won a handful of medals over the course of three weekends in the Lancashire County Swimming Championships. She is now Lancashire County Champion in the Girls' U13 800m Freestyle event, and won podium positions in a further five events!

The Year 8 boys' Vaulting Final was once again a remarkable occasion. The finalists had the difficult task of performing under pressure not only in front of the judges, but also before an audience of their peers during morning assembly which was held in the gym. Mr Johnson and Mr Chilton were very impressed by all of the boys' efforts. All eight boys received certificates, with the top three receiving medals for first, second and third place.

Year 9 pupil Lizzy Harkness has been invited to the FA National Performance Camp (NPC) at the University of Warwick at the end of the month. This camp is for players who have been identified as having elite potential.

Two Girls' Division pupils have helped the Bolton Town team achieve success at the Greater Manchester Championships, which were held at Heaton Park. The girls' strong finished positioned helped both the Year 7 and Year 8/9 Bolton Town teams finish in second place.

Girls' Division pupils in Year 7 have been learning more about staying safe online as part of their PSHEE programme. The girls produced projects focusing on online safety following discussion in their forms.

Pupils in Years 11 and 12 learned more about unusual degree options and unconventional career choices at a Specialist Careers Day. Representatives from several universities visited the School to talk about the courses on offer, from Operating Department Practice (ODP) to Earth and Environmental Sciences, Aerospace Engineering to Medieval and Renaissance Studies. The opt-in day was popular and very informative.

Friday, 9 February 2018

9 February 2018

This week marked 100 years since the first women were given the vote in the UK, and the Girls' Division library celebrated the occasion with a display of inspirational fiction and non-fiction books, propaganda posters from a century ago, and newspaper articles talking about the inequalities that still remain.

The annual Junior Girls' Music Festival took place, with the event split into a Piano Day and Instrumental and Ensemble Day. A wide range of instruments were on show, including double bass, saxophone, electric guitar, drums, violin, clarinet and ukulele. The girls enjoyed performing and being part of the audience.

Ten aspiring mathematicians at Lostock Primary School have boosted their learning by attending after-school classes with two Bolton School Girls' Division teachers. Mr Wrigley and Miss Doran focused their tuition to help the pupils improve their grades on their National Curriculum Assessments.

Nine Girls' Division pupils have been selected for Lancashire Lacrosse U13 A and B squads. They will play in the Northern Counties tournament in a few weeks.

Seven Boys' Division students in Year 9 and above have achieved success in the annual inter-school quiz competition. They acquitted themselves admirably throughout the competition and returned with a trophy.

On Monday, Year 13 students in the Boys' Division heard from Old Boy Richard Garland, who is now a police officer, about the effects of drug abuse. He in particular focused his talk on the negative impact that drugs have on mental health and lifestyle.

The SHINE: Serious Fun on Saturdays programme has once again inspired a group of Year 5 pupils from the local area. Running over the course of the Spring term in the Boys' and Girls' Divisions, the course aims to offer a variety of activities to widen students' learning both within and beyond the normal curriculum.

Watch some videos from recent SHINE sessions: MusicChemistryFood Technology and Physics.

Friday, 2 February 2018

2 February 2018

Last year, 33 girls in Year 11 at Bolton School took part in National Citizen Service (NCS), meaning that almost one third of the year group was involved! Now, the current Year 11s have visited Bolton Lads and Girls Club to find out more about the NCS scheme and how they can get involved, boost their skills and make a difference.

The Joint Chamber Choir has reached the national final of the Barnardo's Choral Competition. The group, which consists of boys and girls from Years 10-13, has already beaten off stiff competition and will sing at the Royal Festival Hall on Monday 12 March alongside six other secondary school finalists.

Pupils in the Junior Girls' School were inspired to join in the annual Library writing competition by the adventures of Paddington Bear. They were asked to imagine they were Paddington, writing a letter home to Aunt Lucy, and came up with a huge range of creative responses which really impressed the judges. The results were announced in assembly, with five girls receiving books and one overall winner taking home Paddington himself!

The Girls' Division Junior and Intermediate Swimming Teams excelled in a recent swimming gala held at Bolton One. Both teams were crowned Town Champions after their excellent performances.

Pupils in both Senior Schools and the Junior Girls' School traded Bolton School for Hogwarts as they celebrated Harry Potter Book Night in the Libraries with some magical lessons. They competed for House Points as they tried to identify Fantastic Beasts from Pictionary-style drawings and Charades-style mimes.

Boys' Division pupils in Blackburn House recently made a huge donation of toiletries to Night Safe, a charity helping young homeless people in the Blackburn area.

Sixth Form pupils enjoyed taking part in a French Day which immersed them in the language and the topics they are studying at A Level. Years 12 and 13 discussed a wide range of complex issues related to the curriculum, and the experience will undoubtedly have helped to increase their confidence and fluency.

Dr Zubair Hanslot and James Kitson from the University of Bolton visited pupils at the Junior Boys' School to talk to them about careers in Engineering. They inspired the boys with descriptions of what engineers do and how they "change the world" with creative problem solving, using maths and science. The boys were also excited to meet the university's programmable robot, Able.

This year's Joint Production is The Tempest. Pupils will put on Shakespere's final play from 14 to 17 March, with tickets on sale at £5 each. Though the Saturday night performance has now sold out, there is limited availability Wednesday-Friday: book your tickets soon to avoid disappointment!