Friday, 19 May 2017

19 May 2017

Bolton School's U13 water polo players have successfully defended their title, and in doing so have claimed the 'triple triple': the School has won the ESSA National Championships in all three age groups for an unprecedented third year running! The U15 and 18 teams won their age group competitions in March, and the U13s overcame the favourites in the final to maintain the School's winning streak.

The Year 13 students enjoyed their final days as Bolton School pupils this week before departing on Study Leave before their A Level exams.

In the Boys' Division, the whole of Year 13 enjoyed a valedictory assembly which offered them advice and guidance for the future. They also learned more about becoming Old Boys and heard from former School Captain David Seddon about the mentoring opportunities available through the generosity of alumni.

Year 11 pupil Emily Graham has been awarded first place in the Portico Library's Sadie Massey Award for Young Writers! Her piece 'Bolton' will now be published, alongside work from children's authors and the other winning entries, in a collection titled Time Travellers and the Crystal Dome.

The Friends of Bolton School Choir performed The Armed Man: A Mass for Peace at Bolton Parish Church. They were supported by the two Junior School choirs, which performed musical pieces on a similar theme of peace. The concert was a moving and thought-provoking evening for all who attended.

Children in Year 1 at Beech House, Bolton School's Infant School, had a fun day at the HIVE at Moss Bank Park. They enjoyed investigating plants and learning lots of interesting information in a hands-on environment.

Old Boy John Craven gave his time to speak to Sixth Form boys from his London office via a live internet link. He talked to them about his career in investment banking and was able to give a great insight into educational options and the world of banking and finance.

This year's series of Lunchtime Concerts was brought to a close with a fantastic performance from Junior RNCM musicians. Members of the public and Bolton School pupils alike enjoyed listening to the music at this final concert of the year. The series has once again been a great success.

Tenacity of Bolton, the ketch built by Boys' Division staff and pupils, is celebrating the tenth anniversary of its completion! The 15m ketch was finished in May 2007, having been built over nine years as a Millennium Project at the suggestion of former Head of Technology Mr Mike Whitmarsh. The boat is now operated by the Tall Ships Youth Trust, with Bolton School pupils regularly making use of it for expeditions.

A fun series of tennis workshops for pupils in Years 1 and 2 at Beech House allowed the children to increase their skills and have a go at the sport. The sessions were run by a Bolton Arena Tennis Centre coach.

Children and parents at the Nursery recently enjoyed a Saturday-morning drop-in session which included an exciting 'dough disco'!

Finally, the Old Boltonians AFC 1st XI have claimed the Lancashire FA Bluefin Sports Insurance Amateur Cup for the second time in four seasons! Four Old Boys were instrumental in achieving the win for the team, and it is a great achievement for the Old Bolts club.

This week's Inspiring Mind is The Lady Smith of Leigh DL TCert. B.Sc (Hons) (Lond), High Sheriff of Greater Manchester 2016-17. She attended Bolton School from the age of 8, leaving in 1963. She recalls fond memories and inspirational members of staff in her profile.

Friday, 12 May 2017

12 May 2017

Boys' Division chemistry teacher Dr Kristy Turner, who also teaches at the University of Manchester, is the Royal Society of Chemistry Schools Education Award winner for 2017. This is awarded to someone who has demonstrated an exceptional ability to teach chemistry and inspire students at any pre-university level.

Nineteen Junior Boys have had their work selected for the second round of judging in the 500 Words writing competition organised by BBC Radio 2 and Chris Evans. They are among just 5,000 children who have been chosen for the next round from over 131,000 initial entries - an excellent achievement!

Year 7 pupil Anupam has recently competed in a national table tennis competition. He represented Greater Manchester Schools in the U13s competition, winning two out of three group matches.

The Bolton School Bake Off Final took place this week, with the four finalists creating 'showstopper' bakes to impress the judges. Baking to a strict time limit and coming up with creative and delicious products, all four girls excelled, but the eventual winner for the second year running was Yasmin with yet another spectacular cake.

The Junior Boys were treated to a wonderful lunchtime concert from their teachers, Mrs Ives and Miss Ormerod. They listened to music on the viola, recorder and bassoon as well as some singing.

The Sixth Form Boys have raised over £1000 for three charities with a fun walk event. The money will be split between the Alzheimer's Society, Barnardo’s and Anthony Nolan, the UK's blood cancer charity.

Children at Bolton School Nursery have also been fundraising with their Peppa Pig's Muddy Puddle Walk! All of the Nursery children enjoyed a messy obstacle course on the Boys' Division sports field, splashing through puddles and squelching through mud to raise money for Save the Children. Over £1000 was donated to the cause through this event.

Old Boy John Craven gave a talk on investment banking to the Sixth Form boys. The event was facilitated by a WebEx link, allowing him to address the group from his London office. The talk was interesting and varied, and gave insight into career prospects in the world of banking and finance.

The Junior Girls sent a team of Year 5 pupils to the AJIS Biathlon competition at Rossall School. The six girls performed well in both events and won first place overall!

Six students in the Sixth Form and four Old Boys were key players for Bolton RUFC U18s in their Colts League Shield Final against Tarleton at the weekend. The Bolton School lads helped the town team to victory with a final score of 18-15.

The Year 6 pupils from the Junior Girls' School are at Patterdale Hall this week. They captured one of their eggs-citing challenges on film - watch it here or click the play button below!

On 19 May at 7pm, Bolton School will host a free talk about Squadron Leader Roger Bushell, the man behind "The Great Escape". Simon Pearson has written a book about the remarkable life and death of The Great Escaper, and will share his insights during this event. The talk has been organised to support the Great Britain Junior (U19) Water Polo squad, which includes many Boys' Division pupils, and a collection will be held at the end.

Friday, 5 May 2017

05 May 2017

Last week, the Girls' Division welcomed members of the public for a fascinating talk on 'The Poetry of Art and the Art of Poetry' from art historian Michael Howard. In taking the audience on a tour through the art of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, he reflected on specific paintings and poems and the reciprocal nature of both art forms.

The School held an awards evening to celebrate the achievements of pupils in both Divisions who have been awarded gold, silver and bronze Duke of Edinburgh Awards. Old Girl Janette McCormick, now Deputy Chief Constable of Cheshire Constabulary, was the guest speaker for the evening and congratulated the award recipients on their efforts, particularly in the field of volunteering. Pupils also shared their D of E experiences in the course of the ceremony.

A team of four Boys' Division pupils have been crowned the winners of the Royal Society of Chemistry's national Top of the Bench competition! They completed an individual written test and a two-hour group practical task, and despite the challenges of the day they emerged victorious.

The May Serenade was a wonderful celebration of pupils' musical talents. The varied ensembles, soloists and choirs created an enchanting programme of music throughout the evening. The two award winners from February's Music Festival also received their awards.

Pupils in the Girls' Division have once again taken part in the British Science Association's Crest Awards. The girls undertook a science-based project of their choosing, and presented their varied findings to Mr David Ward, the regional Crest Coordinator.

The annual Battle of the Bands took place, judged this year by Governor and record producer George Apsion who handed the prize over to Year 12 band The Parallel Oreos. He was impressed by the overall quality of all four bands who performed on the day

Young gymnast Dinburgh has once again been crowned Champion at the North West Rhythmic Gymnastics Open after competing in the U10 category. She achieved first place in the 'free' and 'ball' sections as well as overall first place in her age group.

Recent leavers Zack Weir and Jackson Shaw are planning to undertake a 1,000 kilometer bicycle ride through five European countries to raise money for Alzheimer's Research UK. Both have recently witnessed the devastating effect of the disease on their grandmas and are raising the money in their honour. Track their progress and donate to their cause here.

Friday, 28 April 2017

28 April 2017

It has been a busy start to the summer term. Over the Easter break, children at the Nursery enjoyed an Easter Egg Hunt. Families had fun with a host of craft activities as well as live music in addition to the egg hunt itself.

Pupils in Years 7 and 8 were excited to meet an entomologist from Bolton Museum and find out more about some of the beetles and bugs in the museum's collection. This fascination lunchtime session was organised by the library to tie in with Beetle Boy by M G Leonard, one of the books shortlisted for the 2017 Bolton Children's Fiction Award. As well as looking at preserved insects, boys and girls made the most of the opportunity to hold two different kinds of cockroach!

The Junior Boys' and Junior Girls' Cross Country teams will this year share the title of Bolton League Champions. The two teams ended with equal points following the four League events earlier in the year, and the trophy was awarded at a recent Bolton Schools' Cross Country Championships event.

The 2017 SHINE Programme for talented Year 5 pupils, organised by staff at Bolton School with the help of Sixth Form volunteers, has drawn to a close with the annual celebration dinner. Over 40 pupils from 11 local schools took part this year, enjoying a variety of Saturday morning activities including new sessions on Creative Writing, Italian and Music!

GCSE pupils studying Food Preparation and Nutrition received a masterclass in butchery from the experts from Provenance Food Hall and Restaurant. In this interactive session, the girls learned how to cut a whole chicken into portions.

Inspirational Old Girl Nicola Grinstead returned to the Girls' Division to address Sixth Form students about her life and career. Nicola currently has two roles: she is the Deputy Chief Executive for Great Ormond St Hospital and simultaneously the Chair of the World Board for the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts. She talked about both of these roles and how her experiences led her down this path, as well as offering useful advice and guidance for the future.

There was a competitive buzz in the Riley Centre as pupils from eight local primary schools congregated for the annual Spelling Bee hosted by Bolton School. Each school sent their best two Year 5 pupils and the sixteen entrants went head-to-head, spelling increasingly complex words against the clock.

Year 9 pupil Shreya recently played for Lancashire at the Inter County Badminton Tournament in Nottingham. She played as a Rank 1 player in the U18 Girls' category, and had the opportunity to face some of the best U18 badminton players in the country.

Bolton School hosted the AJIS Proms. Eighty pupils from independent schools across the North West, including Bolton School Junior Boys and Girls, came together to form the AJIS Orchestra. They rehearsed together for just one day before putting on a marvellous afternoon concert featuring pieces by Stravinski, Grieg, Holst and Gershwin.

The Girls' Division held its annual Open Mic Night, this year hosted by acclaimed poet and playwright Caroline Bird. The pupils' readings of their creative writing pieces was thought-provoking and moving throughout the first half of the evening, and showed the breadth and depth of creative talent in School. Caroline's performance after the interval mixed humour and pathos, and made for a memorable end to the evening.

Boys' Division pupils were put through their paces by the Army North West Outreach Team as part of a Leadership Afternoon. They enjoyed a series of nine 'Command Tasks' which helped them to develop skills such as teamwork and problem solving while also having lots of fun with their friends.

Around 500 pupils thoroughly enjoyed an evening of spirited matches at the Football Festival for Year 3 and 4 pupils. This non-competitive event saw the youngsters having fun playing round-robin games, and was a great success.

Later in the week, the Year 5 and 6 Football Festival kicked off, with 800 pupils from 40 local primary schools taking part in the A Team, B Team and Girls' Tournaments. Each of the competitions were incredibly closely matched and there were dramatic scenes in all three finals.

With the help of the Young Film Academy, Boys' Division pupil in Year 11 put together their own short films. From screenwriting to acting to handling the camera and editing together their footage, the boys completed their film-making project themselves and the afternoon ended with a screening, complete with the award of an Oscar to the best film of the day!

The School is placing itself firmly behind the recent HMC and Digital Sisters' campaign, which focuses on how technology is great if we are in control of it. Headmaster Philip Britton recently blogged about how parents can take control of social media and plans to support the campaign by ensuring that Bolton School pupils view the digital addiction film.

There most recent Inspiring Mind is Old Boy Professor Peter Robson OBE FREng. He attended Bolton School from 1942 to 1949 and went on to become an internationally renowned Electrical Engineer whose work influenced many technological developments that impact our lives today. His Inspiring Minds profile is taken from the obituary written for him in 2010 by his life-long friend, fellow Old Boy Professor Roy Jackson.

Friday, 7 April 2017

7 April 2017

Children at Beech House, Bolton School's Infant School, celebrated the approach of Easter with an egg decorating competition! Pupils showed incredible creativity and often humour with the designs they painted onto their boiled eggs, and everyone enjoyed the display at the end of term.

The Spring Concert held in the Boys' Division delighted the audience with a wide range of music, including a Wicked medley, foot-tapping contemporary numbers from Michael Buble and Bon Jovi, and classical pieces by Berlioz and Bizet. The boys produced marvellous performances throughout the evening.

Four Girls' Division students in the Sixth Form recently took part in the first round of the annual Chemistry Olympiad and were challenged with a tough two-hour test based on real world problems. All four achieved Gold or Silver certificates for their efforts.

Children at Bolton School's Nursery enjoyed a week themed around 'Healthy Body, Happy Me!' They focused on exploring a different sense each day, with the chance to try different spices and sauces on Tasty Tuesday and music-making on Listening Thursday, among a host of other fun activities.

In the 1970s and '80s, Cyril Shaw's daughter attended the Girls' Division and crafted a hexagonal wooden box. In the intervening years, this was cherished by the family by was sadly misplaced earlier this year. When Mr Shaw contacted the School to ask if someone could make another for him, Jennie in Year 12 was happy to put her skills to use and make a replacement. At the end of term, she invited Mr Shaw in to School to collect the new box.

Friday, 31 March 2017

31 March 2017

As the Spring Term drew to a close there were lots of exciting events at Bolton School. One of the highlights of the end of term was the stunning Joint Production of Miss Saigon. The show was a sell-out, and the talented cast of pupils from both Divisions offered a mature and sensitive portrayal of the tragic tale.

Old Boy Jason Appleton paid a flying visit, quite literally, to Bolton School: arriving and departing by helicopter, much to the enjoyment of pupils from the Nursery to the Sixth Form! He is now Station Commander of RAF Shawbury in Shropshire, and was able to give numerous pupils a tour of his Squirrel helicopter during its time on the sports field and delivered an absorbing talk to Sixth Form students over lunch before taking off once more.

Click here to watch a video of Jason leaving Bolton School by helicopter (take off is at 7 minutes 50 seconds).

Old Girl Katie Clinton, now a Partner at global accountancy firm KPMG's Manchester office, returned to School to launch the seventh year of paid summer internships with KPMG. This exclusive opportunity offers a pair of Bolton School Sixth Form students the chance to work for the company in the Audit and Corporate Finance teams and get an idea of a workplace environment.

There was excitement in the Junior Girls' School as pupils were visited by Bumble, the police horse that has been sponsored by the School! Bumble and his fellow police horse Maxwell, ridden by Chris and Kerry, came along at playtime and were proud to show off some of their special skills, such as moving backwards and sideways.

This week, Dr Heather Williams considered the history and workings of medical imaging in a fascinating lecture held at Bolton School. From Leonardo da Vinci's anatomical drawings, through the discovery of x-rays and through to the most up to date technology, she talked about how the internal workings of the body have been viewed throughout history and how various different medical scanners work today.

Dr Williams's talk is available to watch in full on the School website: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3

In sporting news, the U14 rugby team reached the Lancashire County Schools' Finals' Day following success in earlier rounds. They played well, and came in second place in the Plate competition.

The Year 7 netball team have become Bolton Town Netball Champions this week following their impressive performance in the Bolton Schools' Netball Tournament. The girls scored 67 goals while conceding just 3 across the whole tournament!

The U12 football team has won the Bolton Schools' Football Tournament, overcoming Rivington and Blackrod High School in the final to be named Town Champions! This followed a close encounter in the semi-final last week.

Individuals have also been performing well in sport. Jos Winstanley has followed in his older brothers' footsteps and been called up for the England U17 Water Polo squad. He will take part in the European Nations' Tournament in Brno, Czech Republic, over the Easter holidays.

Old Boys Aaron Winstanley and Lewis Daly, along with former member of staff Addison Brown, have been named in the England water polo squad.

Year 8 pupils Lizzie Harkness has successfully trialled and been signed for Everton U14s!

Matthew Mair has received not one but two county vests in recent weeks! He played hockey for North Lancashire and ran for Greater Manchester in the National Intercounties Cross Country.

Children at the Nursery got involved with Sport Relief with some fun hurdling activities. The children were really keen to have a go at the hurdles, which they had never tried before, and everyone who took part received a medal to take home.

The Nursery Class has recently been having lots of fun! The children enjoyed playtime based on the story of 'Hansel and Gretel' after reading the story together.

Eight gifted and talented pupils at Lostock Primary School have been benefitting from extra Mathematics tuition in after school classes with Girls' Division teachers Mr Wrigley and Miss Doran. The aim was to help the children prepare for their KS2 National Curriculum Assessments in the Summer Term.

Mums and Grandmas were invited to Bolton School's Nursery last week to celebrate Mothers' Day with their children. Each of the rooms put on a host of activities for the children to enjoy with the mothers and grandmothers, including baking, games and crafts.

The Nursery Class also invited Mums and Grandmas in to spend extra time with their children before Mothers' Day as a special celebratory treat.

The Junior Girls were lucky to enjoy glorious sunshine for their Spring Fair over the weekend. A host of stalls, games and raffles provided fun for everyone, and the pupils also offered fantastic musical entertainment and a lovely Maypole dance.

Sixth Form pupils were given an insight into the government's Budget over lunchtime thanks to Lisa Wilson and Dominic Aspinall of chartered accountancy firm Cowgill Holloway. The audience of predominantly Business and Economics A Level students came with a host of questions for the guests to answer, considering all things relating to the Budget.

The Nursery Class 'ate their words' with a delicious French Breakfast after their morning French lesson. The three and four year olds have been learning the French words for many Breakfast foods, and the meal was a great opportunity for them to try out some of the delicacies!

A Careers Carousel for Year 9 boys held this week offered pupils a view into the world of work. The afternoon featured a range of industry professionals, including three Old Boys who have taken very different career paths.

The Junior Girls in Year 4 were enthralled when a Roman soldier visited their classroom. They learned all about Roman Britain and were even able to try on some of the soldier's gear for themselves!

The Junior Boys welcomed the new season with a wide variety of music at their Spring Concert. This was a delightful occasion which showcased the talents of the musicians in the Junior Boys' School, and culminated in a fantastic Elton John Medley sung by the whole school!

Girls' Division pupils in Year 11 were given an enlightening talk about stress and depression, delivered by Old Girl and Consultant Adolescent Forensic Psychiatrist, Dr Lynne Daly. She talked about a range of symptoms for stress and anxiety and offered some tips to pupils on how to combat these, then moved on to discuss depression.

The whole of Year 2 enjoyed an exciting trip to Jodrell Bank to learn more about space. They took part in workshops about astronauts and constellations and were able to see the telescopes up close.

All six Junior Girls who recently took Trinity Music Exams have received Distinctions after achieving scores of over 90! This is a wonderful achievement for them all.

Earlier in the Spring Term, the Girls' Division held a non-uniform day in support of Birtenshaw, a charity providing a range of services for children and young adults with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities. The girls raised over £700 for the charity, which was suggested by Year 13 pupil Alex Duxbury, and on the last day of term a cheque was presented to Birtenshaw for the full amount.

After the Easter break, art historian Michael Howard will give a free, public talk on 'The Poetry of Art and the Art of Poetry' at 7pm on 27 April in the Girls' Division Sutcliffe Studio. Michael is President of Bolton Decorative and Fine Arts Society and taught in the History of Art department at Manchester School of Art and Design at the Manchester Metropolitan University for over 30 years. He is married to the artist, Ghislaine Howard and is a practising artist in his own right.

There are two Inspiring Minds this week.

The first is Commonwealth Silver and Bronze Medal-Winning Swimmer Emma Saunders. Emma left the Girls' Division in 2012, having already won Commonwealth Silver and Bronze medals at Delhi in 2010 while still a pupil! In her profile, she talks about the importance of balancing her studies with her athletic achievements.

The second is Major William Ainsworth, who was the highest ranking officer connected with Bolton School to die as a result of either the First or Second World War. He was killed in action on 16 April 1917, aged 39. His profile is based upon his entry in Remembered with Honour by Eric McPherson, the book commemorating the Old Boys and staff of Bolton School who died in the two World Wars.

Friday, 17 March 2017

17 March 2017

Last week, pupils visited the moon, ventured into the heart of a volcano and even travelled back in time to an Anglo-Saxon village with Google Expeditions! Children from both Junior Schools and in Year 1 and Year 2 at Beech House Infant School were able to take part in these virtual reality adventures which got pupils excited about learning in a wide variety of curriculum areas.

The Junior Boys raised £1,350 for the Breast Unit at Royal Bolton Hospital. They were motivated by School Secretary and Old Girl Mrs Iddon's breast cancer diagnosis a year ago, and the boys threw themselves into designing wrapping paper to sell at the Christmas Fair. Additional funds were raised by the Parents' Association. Surgeon Clare Garnsey, also an Old Girl, and Nurse Mal Sheridan came into School to accept the donation during assembly.

Sixteen Girls' Division pupils were selected at trials to join the U15 Lancashire Lacrosse A and B teams and reserves. One pupils was even selected as the A team captain!

Gifted and talented pupils from a range of schools across the North-West came to Bolton School for an English and Design and Technology Saturday Challenge workshop based on Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream. They were able to get involved in a range of activities as part of this experience, aptly named 'The Mechanics of the Mechanicals'.

Current Year 13 students in the Boys' Division took advantage of technology to hear from two Old Boys this week via Skype and FaceTime. They connected with tech entrepreneur and investor Rob Dobson and with investment banker Adam Crook. Both Old Boys spoke about their career paths and offered advice for the future.

The Junior Boys enjoyed a wonderful concert from four Senior Boys who recently won their sections at the Young Musician of the Year competition. The younger pupils very much enjoyed the varied programme of music.

Children in Year 1 at the Infant School recently visited Knowsley Safari Park to learn more about the animals there! They had fun getting up close and personal with all kinds of creatures, from tall giraffes to tiny hissing cockroaches.

Badminton player Shreya Kamath in Year 9 has been selected to play for Lancashire at the upcoming Under 18 Inter County Badminton tournament in April. She has already won several gold medals at U14, U16 and U18 level in Badminton England tournaments.

Old Boy James Dunne's love of dance began at the School's Strictly Dance Club several years ago. He is now entering a charity dance competition to support Christie's and returned to School to collect a donation, and also to dance with current members of his old club!

Junior School pupil Vlada Kozak has been called up to the Great Britain tennis team and will take part in a French national tournament next week! She is currently the number one player in her age group.

Children in Year 2 at the Infant School have been whipping up delicious treats to enjoy as part of their Baking Club.

The U14 Netball team last weekend won the Bolton Schools' Netball Tournament after a tense final played against Turton School.

This week the School hosted a 'Bad Day at School' conference, organised by Ease Training. Girls' Division Headmistress Sue Hinks was one of the afternoon speakers at this event, which offered advice to schools on what to do when problems arise.

Sports enthusiasts at Bolton School recently heard from massage therapist Sally Barker, who in 2016 travelled to Rio to support the GB team at the Paralympics! She spoke to them about this amazing experience and also offered inspirational career advice.

Infants have been comparing the toys of today with those from the past, most recently by weighing and measuring their favourite toys.

Click here to watch the clip from North West Tonight about Old Boy and chess grandmaster Nigel Short's recent visit to Bolton School, when he faced more than twenty pupils in a simultaneous chess match!

This week's Inspiring Mind is Lord Peter Smith, and Old Boy who attended the School from 1956 to 1964 on a scholarship. He trained at the London School of Economics and went on to become a lecturer, teaching politics and economics at colleges in London and then Manchester. He has a long career in local government, beginning in 1978 when he was elected Labour Councillor to Wigan Council, and was given a life peerage in 1999 for his services to local government. In his profile, he talks of his fondest Bolton School memories of trek camps and teachers, and offers the advice to 'never stop learning' to current pupils.