Monday, 17 February 2014

14 February 2014

The highlight of this week was undoubtedly the Bolton School and Friends Gala Concert, which was held on Wednesday evening. Organised by the Boys' Division, the concert featured all of the Year 7 boys, a number of joint bands, choirs and orchestras, and the vocal talents of four local primary schools! The Medley (sung by Year 7 and the primary schools) and the evening's grand Finale are available to watch online.

The Junior Girls at Hesketh House enjoyed their Music Festival this week. On Monday and Tuesday, all of the girls were given the opportunity to enjoy the festivities in the hall. The quality of the music was excellent throughout, with even the external adjudicators commenting on how great the girls' performances!

This week we also learned that the Junior Girls' U9s and U11s Chess Teams have made it through to the semi-final of the English Primary Schools' Chess Association's national championship!

Not to be out-done, the Junior Boys' U9s and U11s Chess Teams will also be competing in the semi-final! With excellent scores in their previous round (U9s 21.5 and U11s 29.5) they are strong contenders, so this is sure to be an unmissable event!

For the career-conscious pupils in Years 10 to 13, there have been a number of inspirational events this week.

Old Boy Mike Shaw returned to the school on Monday to give Boys' and Girls' Division pupils from Year 10 up an insight into a career in law. The talk began with a general overview, then moved into the specifics of what they could expect in different legal fields before finally giving them some hints and tips to make their future applications stand out!

The Girls' Division invited two Old Girls back to talk to Year 11 about their adventures after leaving Bolton School. Georgina Carter told the girls about her exciting experiences with Teach First, while Rachel Flanders shared the epic story of her Atlantic crossing - both inspirational tales, though for very different reasons!

This week also saw the KPMG Enterprise Trophy final, during which the teams pitched their business ideas 'Dragon's Den style' to a panel of judges. Although all of the teams were commended for their innovative ideas, "[Scan] and Edit" were announced as the overall winners of the competition.

In the summer of 2014, KPMG will once again team up with Bolton School to provide two unique paid work placements to a lucky boy and girl from the Sixth Form. Old Girl Katie Clinton returned last Friday to launch the competition for the fourth year running.

The Sixth Form Boys were also encouraged to studying abroad this week. Old Boy Tom Whittaker, who went to university in the US and now works for the University of British Columbia, talked to them about their options and his own experiences, both with American and Canadian universities.

It has also been a great week for the Boys' Division sports teams!

On Monday, the Boys' Division celebrated the centenary of Gymnastics in the school with the annual Year 7 Gymnastics Competition! Old Boy George Farnworth (Class of 1957) was a member of several school sports teams, including the Gymnastics Team, and returned to award the hundred-year-old Challenge Cup to the overall winner, Andrew Hurt.

George also returned later in the week for the Year 8 Vaulting Competition. There was a high standard of ability in evidence from all of the boys who took part, but the overall winner was Adam Salisbury. George presented him with the cup, the runners up with medals, and all of the competitors with certificates of commendation. On both occasions, George shared a little of his wisdom from the past 57 years since he left the school.

Last weekend, Year 12 student Aaron Winstanley and James Barker from Year 11 played last weekend for national champions City of Manchester in the British Water Polo Championships. They joined several Old Boys who are also on the team.

Aaron is one of several boys from Years 8 to 12 who have been selected from the most recent GB team try-outs. These boys will join a number of their peers who are already on the GB programme, meaning that the school's World Class players now represent the country in the U14, U15, U16, U17 and U19 teams!

This excellent news comes on top of the school's Water Polo teams' successes in their most recent matches. U18s team sailed through their second round in the English Schools' Swimming Association Water Polo Championship, while the U14s team have now made it through their first round despite the other teams having a significant age advantage.

The U13s Rugby Team has also achieved success this week. On Thursday, they took on Audenshaw and, despite a closely fought match which ended in a draw, Bolton School as the away team took the spoils. They will now compete in the Lancashire Plate Final!

The senior boys have also been kept busy making way for a colony of bees which is set to arrive in the summer! The 'Bee Club' spent a sunny winter's lunchtime assembling frames which will become the basis for the hives.

Meanwhile, the Year 10 girls were given an eye-opening presentation about the realities of the First World War. Dressed as a British soldier and with a backdrop that evoked the trenches, Dave Thirlwall from Danelaw Living History focused not on dates and names of important battles, but on what the soldiers – from all of the countries involved – would have dealt with during World War One. Despite the heavy material, the girls were completely captivated throughout the afternoon.

The Girls' Division also welcomed Julie Gray, a representative of the Children's Adventure Farm Trust, to the school this week to hand over the money raised last term. The cheque for £1203.50 will make an enormous difference to the charity, and Julie took the opportunity to thank all of the girls for their efforts during morning assembly.

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