Friday, 24 April 2015

24 April 2015

Last week, Bolton School welcomed back distinguished Old Boy the Rt Hon Lord Justice Ryder. He spoke to the whole of the Boys' Division in morning assembly, and followed this up with a talk to the Law Society at lunch time. His erudite presentation compared two contrasting views on how society should be run, and also gave the boys an insight into the different paths open to those looking to build a career in Law.

Lord Justice Ryder was also one of thirty-two former Captains who attended a special Centenary Dinner along with twenty-four former Head Girls. The event formally marked the 100th anniversary of the Bolton School Foundation. There was a dinner in the Boys' Division Great Hall, where tables were named after iconic School objects, while in the Girls' Division Great Hall there was an exhibition about the School, with each decade of its history represented. Former staff and Heads of both Divisions were also in attendance and there was a fantastic atmosphere throughout.

Last week the School also launched its ambitious '100 Campaign' - celebrating 100 years of the Bolton School Foundation by aiming to raise enough bursary funds to support one in three pupils. The School hopes to meet its target of increasing the fund to £50 million over the next 15 years. Anyone interested in donating to the campaign can do so by clicking here.

Over the Easter holidays, pupils at the Junior Boys' and Junior Girls' Schools represented Bolton Town in the Greater Manchester Primary Cross Country competition. All of the Bolton School pupils gave of their best on the day and helped the Bolton Town team to win first place.

Sixth Form star cricketer Haseeb Hameed was also busy over the Easter break, when he travelled out to tour Australia with the England U19s cricket squad. The month-long visit saw the team play a number of matches, with Haseeb's becoming the team's top scorer and earning himself the nickname 'The Wall' in the four-day Youth Test match at the W.A.C.A. ground.

Year 11 pupil Ellie Broome has recently been re-selected for the Cumbria Girls' U18 Elite Golf Squad for the second year running. She has also been chosen as the first female Junior Captain at Kirby-Lonsdale Golf Club, and came 4th in the girls' gross section at the recent British Schools' Northern Open.

Pupils have been engaging with politics with their own series of Mock Leaders' Debates in the run-up to the General Election. Boys' Division pupils from Years 11 to 13 took on the roles of the different main party leaders in order to debate their policies in front of their fellow students. All of the boys involved threw themselves into their campaign: setting up Twitter feeds, producing posters, and arguing their case with great passion at every opportunity. It will be interesting to see how the final votes fall in Mr Britton's opinion polls.

In the Junior Boys' School, pupils with a passion for history were given the chance to join the University of Salford's 'Big Dig' on Monday. They took part in an archaeological excavation in Radcliffe, looking to find remains of 19th Century farm buildings and the earlier Manor House that once stood on the site. This was a really exciting opportunity for the boys to get hands-on with history.

Two of the Girls' Division's talented actors have been busy treading the boards of Manchester's largest stage in an energetic production of the classic musical 'On The Town'. Caroline Blair and Zoe Pillar were both given roles in the musical, with Zoe even taking one of the leads playing Hildy.

Old Boy Jordan Allen returned to School to continue the Lunchtime Concert series on Tuesday. He performed an electrifying acoustic set in the Arts Centre, interspersed with reminiscence about his time at School. Jordan is now coming to the end of a Marketing degree at Leeds Beckett University, and plans to devote his full-time attention to his music from June this year.

Sixth Form pupils were reassured on Wednesday that the graduate job market is the best it has been in a decade. Martin Birchall, Managing Director of 'High Fliers Research', gave the talk, during which he offered pupils excellent information about the current state of the graduate job market, what areas are most and least competitive, and also advice on how to make their CVs stand out.

On Thursday, the School celebrated pupils' achievements with a special Duke of Edinburgh Award Ceremony. Paul Griffiths, the Regional Direction of the Award, addressed the pupils and was able to announce that Bolton School is the the largest independent school provider for pupils achieving the Award in the North-West of England, and also in the top 10 schools in the whole of the North!

A group of Sixth Form girls studying Chemistry also had reason to celebrate after receiving their certificates for the International Chemistry Olympiad. Two girls achieved Gold certificates, two girls were awarded Silver, and four received Bronze.

The final event of the week was the annual Battle of the Bands. This year, three bands went head-to-head in the final, which was judged by representatives from video production company Sitcom Soldiers, including two Old Boys. There was a fantastic variety of music throughout the three bands' performances, but the eventual winners for 2015 were Young Ruin.

To watch a video of Young Ruin performing at Battle of the Bands, click here.

Friday, 17 April 2015

17 April 2015

The first week of the Summer Term at Bolton School was as busy as ever with pupils returning with news of overseas trips during the holidays and lots of events taking place.

This year marks the 30th Anniversary of the French Exchange. A group of Boys' and Girls' Division pupils travelled to Moulins in central France to stay with their exchange partners from Le Collège Saint-Benoît, and this week the French pupils are visiting them in return. The Bolton School pupils had a fantastic time sampling the culture of the Auvergne region, and during their visit the French pupils will enjoy all the North West has to offer in return. The long-standing links between the schools ensures that pupils on both sides of the English Channel have the fantastic opportunity to form new friendships and practice their foreign language skills with their peers.

The Sixth Form footballers' Madrid Tour was also a huge success. The boys found themselves very evenly matched in all six games against local Spanish club sides, and had a great time training at the Real Madrid CF Academy. Some of the boys even met Spanish National Manager Vicente del Bosque outside their hotel!

In other sporting news, Old Girls Natasha Lomas and Olivia Brown sent word of their successes playing tennis for the Wanderers tennis team. Their performance helped the team to win the Bolton Tennis Federation Winter League’s first division mixed doubles competition!

Once back in School after the break, pupils had the chance to enjoy a fantastic Lunchtime Concert featuring the talents of three young musicians: eight-year-old pianist Harry James Bowden; thirteen-year-old flautist Alexandra Clarke, who is a member of the National Children's Orchestra; and sixteen-year-old Elliott Gaston-Ross, the 2014 winner of the BBC Young Musician of the Year Percussion Category Final who also performed with the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra in the televised grand final. The quality of music from all three musicians was exemplary and the audience thoroughly enjoyed the performance.

This was the first in a series of Lunchtime Concerts which will continue for the next three Tuesdays; they are free of charge and open to the public. For more information, including venues, times and performers, please check the Noticeboard.

Over the Easter break, Boys' Division chemistry teacher Dr K Turner found out that she has been selected to give a workshop at Science on Stage, a prestigious European science education showcase. She has come up with a new way for GCSE pupils to visualise the covalent bonding in molecules using pipe cleaners and beads,and will give a workshop and present a stand at the festival.

A group of Sixth Form science students in the Girls' Division recently took part in the Chemistry Olympiad, a competition which requires pupils to complete a highly challenging written test. Several girls achieved Gold and Silver certificates, which is a fantastic achievement.

The end of the week brought about the dramatic close to the Bolton School Bake Off, with the grand final taking place on Friday lunchtime. All four finalists baked complex and delicious products which showed off the best of their talent and skill. Mr Britton, Miss Hincks and Unilever representative Mr Byrne had the difficult task of judging the Bake Off, and decided to crown Year 8 pupil Issy Plant the overall winner!

On Thursday the 23rd of April, the Infants and Junior Schools will open their doors for an Open Afternoon. This will provide an opportunity for children and parents to enjoy guided tours around the Infant (co-educational, 4 to 7 year olds), Junior Girls’ (7 to 11 year olds) and Junior Boys’ (7 to 11 year olds) schools and to meet our teaching staff and pupils. There will be various activities and exhibitions and visitors will be able to learn more about applying to Bolton School. This should be a very enjoyable afternoon for all.

Friday, 3 April 2015

3 April 2015

While several groups of students are away on a variety of school trips, some final news stories from the end of term have arrived.

Old Girl Dame Janet Smith recently gave this year's Ryder Lecture at the University of Bolton's Law School, and spoke on the subject of whether public inquiries are worth the money. This very timely and topical lecture was fascinating to the students and will no doubt have informed their understanding of the subject. Dame Janet is the first woman to give the Ryder Lecture.

A group of Boys' Division Senior School and Girls' Division Junior School pupils took part in the Greater Manchester School Games. The Junior Girls' Year 5 swimmers earned themselves gold medals in the Primary Girls' competition, and the Boys' Division U13 Water Polo team won overall as well!

Boys and girls also took part in the Greater Manchester Climbing Championships last week. After performing extremely well against tough opposition, Isabella and Zoe Grainger both took home medals for achieving podium positions in their age categories, and the School won second place overall!