The festivities began with the inaugural Christmas Celebration Concert, held in the Arts Centre and featuring the Friends of Bolton School Choir and a number of school ensembles. This lovely occasion showcased a variety of musical styles and gave plenty of opportunities for the audience to join in with Christmas favourites!
Click here to watch the Friends of Bolton School Choir perform 'Angelicus' at the Christmas Concert, or click here to listen to the whole of the Christmas Concert via the School's SoundCloud.
The whole of the Junior Girls' Winter Warmer is available to watch online: Part One, Part Two.
The Junior Boys' Carol Service offered a host of musical delights. Well-known carols such as 'Once in Royal David's City' and 'O Come, All Ye Faithful' bookended the evening, with performances from the Lower School, Upper School and Chamber Choirs and the massed voices of all the Junior Boys providing highlights throughout the evening.
Click here to listen to the Junior Boys sing 'Silent Night' in Chinese, French, German and English via the School's SoundCloud.
This year's Ceremony of Carols in the Girls' Division had a literary theme. The festive readings included extracts from from Cider with Rosie and Hamlet, and the Middle School Choir performed a song adapted from a poem by Anne Brontë. The musical pieces were performed beautifully by all of the Choirs, and made for an enchanting evening.
Click here to watch all of the performances recorded at the Ceremony of Carols.
The Boys' Division Christmas Festival was an evening of musical delights from the Choirs and orchestra. The soloists gave great performances and all of the Choirs were in fine voice. Christmas carols played by the orchestra and accompanied by the massed voices of the audience were a wonderful way to celebrate the time of year. Readings and reflections, including a meditation from Rev. Tranter, also recalled the true meaning of Christmas.
Click here to watch all of the performances recorded at the Christmas Festival.
Children in the Butterfly and Caterpillar Rooms at the Nursery put on a wonderful Nativity show for their parents and family members. The children had worked really hard with Nursery staff to learn several songs, which made this a lovely occasion.
The Senior Girls held a Christmas Jumper Day prior to the end of term. They came into School sporting their best festive dress, some even wearing reindeer antlers or tinsel headdresses, to raise money for Save the Children.
The Sixth Form Boys also held a Christmas Jumper Day, filling the Riley Centre and Boys' Division with festive cheer! The boys' efforts supported the Zac Vali Foundation.
Children in the First Steps and Tweenies rooms at the Nursery enjoyed a magical Christmas-themed sing-along with Rhythm Time. They played lots of different percussion instruments and sang along to songs like 'Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer' and 'When Santa Got Stuck Up The Chimney'. Parents and family members were also invited along to this event, making it all the more enjoyable for everyone.
Year 12 girls met the ambitious target of collecting 1,300 mince pies and 1,300 cartons of brandy or rum sauce for the 'Saucy Mince Pies Challenge' in support of Urban Outreach's Christmas Hampers. The girls had just three and a half weeks to raise funds and collect donations, but were not deterred by the short deadline and managed to pull together enough pies and sauce to fill all of Urban Outreach's hampers this year.
Beech House has once again collected toys for the Bolton Lions Big Christmas Toy Appeal. Parents, pupils and staff at the Infant School donated a mountain of toys to the cause, which will be given to over 1,000 young people in the Bolton community.
The Junior Girls' Winter Warmer concert held a retiring collection for the charity Retrak, which they had also supported earlier in the term. Gill Lee came into School to tell pupils about her recent trip to Ethiopia with the charity, during which the girls' previous fundraising money was spent, and to accept the Christmas donation.
Pupils in Blackburn House in the Boys' Division chose to support The Blackburn Food Bank this term, and in particular around Christmas time. The boys brought in donations of food items, which they handed over to volunteers from the food bank on the last day of term.
Two Junior Boys recently took part in a fencing competition where they defeated stiff competition from seven rival schools to triumph.
The first Boys' Division vs Girls' Division archery competition took place in the final week of term. Archers from both Divisions lined up in the Boys' Division Gym to compete, with both teams making a good effort. The Girls' Division emerged victorious on this occasion. There are plans to make the competition a half-termly event in the School calendar.
Boys' Division pupils in Year 8 were really pleased to meet Tilly, the trainee Guide Dog they sponsored through fundraising efforts last year. The Golden Retriever/German Shepherd cross visited the Riley Centre with her puppy walker, where she met with Year 8 representatives. At the age of 13 months she will go to the Atherton Training Centre to begin her Guide Dog training.
A team of four Boys' Division Sixth Form pupils have made it through to the Area Final of the Bank of England's Target 2.0 challenge! This competition asks students aged 16 to 18 to analyse economic conditions and then set the interest rate to meet the Government's target. They were the clear winners at the Northern Heat and are now looking forward to the next stage of the competition.
Sixth Form pupil Maria Kettle joined the Boys' Division Hockey Team for the first time.
Pupils in Year 12 in both Divisions took part in the Business Challenge Final as the term drew to a close. Four teams went head-to-head, pitching their business plans before a panel of judges in the style of Dragons' Den. The three judges were very impressed with all of the pupils' ideas, but particularly with the overall winners on the night: Tranquillow.
The annual Gymnastics Floor Exercises Final took place on the last day of term. This competition, which sees Year 7 boys compete for a trophy which is over 100 years old, saw the eight finalists perform their gymnastics routines in front of the whole of Year 7, with the P.E. staff as judges.
Three Boys' Division Sixth Form pupils have been selected for the U19 National Water Polo Squad. Also joining them in the squad along is an Old Boy, who plays alongside them at the City of Manchester Water Polo Club.
This week's Inspiring Mind is Old Boy Stuart Brooks, CMG OBE, who attended the Boys' Division from 1956 to 1966. He read English at Cambridge, representing his college on University Challenge during his time there. He embarked upon a distinguished career in the Diplomatic Service which saw him travel around the world. His fascinating profile recalls his career highlights, memories of drama at Bolton School, inspirational teaching staff, and some good advice.