Friday, 20 May 2016

20 May 2016

The School bid farewell to Year 13 this week as they finished for Study Leave before their A Level exams.  The Sixth Form girls held their annual Leavers' Day celebrations with a theme of Childhood Memories, coming into School in fancy dress and enjoying games and a special lunch before departing for Study Leave.

The Sixth Form girls also brought in donations of toys as part of the Leavers' Day celebrations, following the tradition of making a charitable donation on the final day of school. These were given to Bolton Toy Library.

The Junior Boys were also seen in fancy dress for their annual Charity Fun Run, which this year supported the Motor Neurone Disease Association. Mad scientists, Star Wars characters, superheroes, sports stars and many more colourful costumes were seen on the Senior Boys' athletics track for the occasion. The boys ran laps in relay pairs and had lots of fun raising money for this very worthy cause.

The Boys' Division was invited to Buckingham Palace for a Garden Party to celebrate 150 years of the Barnardo's Charity. Mr Joseph, the Boys' Division Head of Sixth Form, represented the School at the celebration, which was hosted by the Duchess of Cornwall. The Boys' Division has been supporting Banardo's for over 25 years, raising tens of thousands of pounds for the charity.

The Senior Girls this term have raised over £700 for St Anne's Hospice. The impressive amount was raised though a non-uniform day.

Children in Reception were inspired by reading the 'Percy the Park Keeper' books to help to tidy up their local park. The children created posted to encourage people to use the bins and also collected litter that had been dropped. They really enjoyed helping their local community.

The Jazz Band impressed the audience at this year's Horwich Music Festival. The band played a number of varied tunes, including some well-known hits such as Moondance and Born to the Wild, and the pupils did very well with their performance, particularly the improvised solos.

A group of five Senior School guitarists rounded off the Junior Boys' Lunchtime Concerts series in style this week. Four boys were former pupils at Park Road themselves, and it was great to be invited back to perform at their old school for the current Junior Boys.

Twenty-three Boys' Division pupils also showed their musical talents at a concert held in the Arts Centre. These musical evenings are held twice a year in School and allow pupils the opportunity to perform in public.

Six Bolton School alumni returned to school to talk to current Year 6 pupils in as part of the annual Careers Carousel. With the opportunity to speak to a Deputy Chief Constable in the police force, a fashion designer, a TV producer, an architect, an entrepreneur, and members of a video production company, there was certainly something for all interests! The children found it fascinating to hear about the many different careers that alumni go on to pursue.

Boys in Year 13 were given a great deal of good careers advice from three alumni currently working in London. Old Boys Matthew Entwistle, Tim Lightfoot and Jon Marsden connected with the Sixth Formers via Skype to talk about their experiences of entering the world of business and their varied career paths since then.

Past and present Bolton School pupils helped the City of Manchester Water Polo team to victory in the Men's British Championship in Gloucester. Five Old Boys and a current pupils were present on the thirteen-man squad who played in this national competition, and went on to beat the reigning champions and British League champions in the final.

This week's Inspiring Mind is Jane Panton, who was Headmistress of the Girls' Division from 1994 to 2005. In her profile, she shares her favourite memories from her time at Bolton School, from the Girls' Division's 125th birthday celebrations to leading morning assembly.

Friday, 13 May 2016

13 May 2016

The Boys' Division held a special Anniversary Assembly to commemorate the School's 500th anniversary, looking at three key periods in the history of the School. This event coincided with the unveiling of a new 'Roll of Headmasters' board, listing all known Heads from the 16th Century to the present. The Assembly therefore contained personal recollections of four former Headmasters: Mr Brooker, Mr Wright, Mr Baggley and Mr Poskitt.

Click here to watch the Anniversary Assembly in full.

Children at the Nursery made a special card for the Queen to celebrate her 90th Birthday and posted it to Buckingham Palace. They were delighted this week to receive a Royal letter back in the post! The Queen's Lady-in-Waiting sent them a thank you card from the Queen and a personal letter, which they opened and looked at together.

The School announced a new level of fee assistance for the families of pupils applying for entry into Year 7 in Autumn 2017. This is aimed at benefitting middle income families. The new sliding bursary scales mean that more families may be eligible for some level of assistance. Full fee remission for families that need it will still remain. For more information, click the link and visit the School website.

Bolton School's Nursery has been nominated for the national 'Apprenticeship Employer of the Year Award' in the National Apprenticeships Awards 2016! They were put forward by Bolton College after showing exceptional levels of commitment to the apprentices who work at the Nursery. It is a great achievement to have been nominated for this prestigious award.

This week, the Girls' Division held the final of the Bolton School Bake Off: twenty-two contestants were whittled down over five weeks to the last three pupils, who went head-to-head to create 'Showstopper' bakes to impress the judges. All three girls excelled with their creations and showed huge amounts of skill and creativity.

Children in Year 2 enjoyed a day of adventure at the Anderton Centre! They learned about Bushcraft and tried their hand at Archery and Canoeing. The pupils had lots of fun challenging themselves with these new activities.

Boys' Division staff and pupils faced off in an entertaining dodgeball match, all in the name of charity. The “all-star” staff team had to compete against champion teams from across the year groups, watched by an audience of boys and teachers alike and with an excellent commentary provided by Dr Reeson.

The Year 7 girls took part in their very own Francovision Song Contest. This twist on the Eurovision was part of the pupils' French studies and had the girls creating and singing in a music video entirely in French. Their performances were then played in assembly, and the whole school voted for which they thought was the best.

All of the girls' Francovision entries are available to view on the School's website. Click the song titles to watch the music videos: Viens Tenter Ta Chance by 7B; Laisse-Moi L'Amour Aussi by 7C; Ma Vie C'est La Musique by 7D; Dis Oui, Dis Oui, Dis Oui by 7G; Qui Je Suis, Qui Somme Nous by 7S.

The whole of the Infant School got involved for an exciting Circusology workshop. There were lots of activities to try out, from spinning plates and juggling scarves to devil stick twirling and poi swinging. Pupils had lots of fun encouraging one another, finding out what they were good at, and seeing their own abilities improve over the course of the session.

The Inspiring Mind this week is former Headmaster Alan Wright, who took the post in 1983 and retired in 2008, making this the third longest headmastership in the School's history. In his profile, he reflects on his time at Bolton School, including some of the highlights: building the sports hall and swimming pool and the opening of the new Arts Centre by Princess Diana, including the abseil down the clock tower to present her with a box of Milk Tray! He also talks about the varied changes that took place during his almost twenty years at Bolton School, the many memories he made and the atmosphere he encouraged.

A fitting Inspiring Mind for the week in which the 'Roll of Headmasters' Board was unveiled.

Friday, 6 May 2016

6 May 2016

The Senior Girls' annual May Serenade was once again a moving occasion. The diverse and masterful renditions of a variety of pieces showed the range of musical talent across the Girls' Division. From solos to duets and quartets to full orchestral pieces, and musical styles ranging from the classical to modern chart hits, this was a really enjoyable evening.

A number of pieces from the May Serenade are now available to watch again. Click on the title to view: Für Elise (Senior Clarinet Choir), All Creatures Great and Small (Senior Flute Quartet), Fields of Gold (Senior Choir), Move (Joint Chamber Choir).

Year 5 pupil Janani Velayutham has been celebrating this week after winning the regional chess 'Megafinal' of the Delancey UK Schools' Chess Challenge! This means that she will go on to compete in the national semi-final round, called the Gigafinal.

Marcus Williams in Year 6 has been selected to fight for Great Britain in the Thai Kick Boxing Championships later on this year. Despite his young age, he has already claimed three title belts.

The Year 5 and Year 6 swimmers at the Junior Girls' School recently qualified for the ESSA National Finals following their excellent performance at the North West Division Championships! The five girls competed in two team relay events and took podium positions in each, earning them the right to swim in the national competition in June.

On Friday, the Boys' Division hosted Dutch U17 team Koudekerk for a match. The Dutch side regularly host the Bolton School team when the School visits Holland on tour, and it was the perfect opportunity to return the favour.

The School wished three Old Boys good luck at the end of the week as they headed to Turkey with the Great Britain Under 19 Men's water polo squad for the European Qualifying Tournament. Aaron Winstanley captains the squad, continuing a strong family tradition of playing water polo for Great Britain: his older brother Drew also played for the U19s in his time, while younger brother Jos was recently selected for the U16s.

The School recently hosted a Graduation Dinner for all of the gifted and talented Year 5 pupils who completed the SHINE: Serious Fun on Saturday Mornings programme. Fifty children from thirteen local primary schools took part in the cross-curricular sessions over eleven weeks, and enjoyed traditional lessons and unusual subjects alike. At the Graduation Dinner their achievements were celebrated.

Old Girl Nikki Reid has been commissioned an an officer in the British Army following a year of training at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst. She took part in the Sovereign's Parade, which marks the passing out of Officer Cadets.

This week's Inspiring Mind is Rita Garthwaite, an Old Girl who attended the School from 1957 to 1964 and former member of Girls’ Division Staff fro 1976 to 2006. In her profile, she shares memories of French lessons with Barbara Morley and walking up Winter Hill with Miss Higginson, as well as memories of exchanges and Princess Diana's visit to open the Arts Centre in 1993.