Friday, 6 October 2017

6 October 2017

This September, the Boys' Division welcomed a new Head of Sixth Form: Mr Jack Williams. His appointment completed a 'trade' between Bolton School and Hipperholme Grammar School spanning over 100 years: in 1911, former Bolton School teacher Maynard Andrews became headmaster of Hipperholme, and Mr Williams came to Bolton School from that same post!

Children in the Nursery Class have been having fun while learning about the natural world. Each week they take advantage of the School's woodland nature area and recently have experienced the changing of the seasons first-hand.

From September 2018, the Junior Boys' School will introduce an additional Year 5 class. The Junior Boys will have 3 classes of Year 5 pupils to accommodate increased demand or places at the school, and a special Entrance Examination has been arrange for Year 4 pupils wishing to enter Year 5.

The Nursery has announced its Employee of the Month for September 2017 as voted by parents and staff. Khatijah received flowers and a card as a token of appreciation and thanks.

Across the school, parents and staff raised money for Macmillan Cancer Support by hosting coffee mornings as part of the annual 'World's Biggest Coffee Morning' appeal. The Junior Boys' School and Junior Girls' School PAs joined in, as did staff in the Boys' Division Senior School.

Friday, 29 September 2017

29 September 2017

There was excitement in the Great Hall for Year 7 pupils as they attended the launch event for the Bolton Children's Fiction Award 2018! New author Matt Killeen announced this year's shortlisted authors and books: a varied and challenging list that includes themes of racism, anxiety, cyber issues and bereavement, balanced with hope, determination and resilience. The award places the choice of the winner entirely in the hands of young readers.

The week began with a free, public talk on 'Life at Westminster' from former MP John Pugh. He was able to give a fascinating insight into the realities of being a member of Parliament, discussing what the House of Commons is like and how MPs spend their time. He also talked about some of the particular highlights of his political career, which included meeting the Dalai Lama!

John's talk was the first in a series of arts and sciences enrichment lectures to be hosted this year by the Girls' Division. The next event is on 5 October and will feature former Chartered Civil Engineer Isobel Garner, who will talk about 'Engineering the Building Blocks of Life'.

Earlier in the term, pupils were inspired by a visit from Olympic and Commonwealth athletes. Elite athletes from the Girls' Division joined year 11 Boys' Division pupils and Junior Girls in Year 5 to meet Olympic medallist Kelly Massey and two-sport international and Commonwealth Games athlete Dave Readle.

On 19 September, the Boys' Division marked Lord Leverhulme's 166th birthday with a commemorative assembly. Lord Leverhulme played a pivotal role in re-founding Bolton School as two Divisions on the Chorley New Road site just over 100 years ago, and the assembly reflected on some of his work further afield.

Children in the First Steps room at Bolton School Nursery enjoyed a delightful music session with Rhythm Time! They loves playing along on their instruments and hearing the different nursery rhymes.

The Greater Manchester Schools' U14s and U16s' squads recently held one of their training sessions at Bolton School. Two Girls' Division pupils, Lizzie and Anna, are members of the squads as well as being signed up with Tier 1 Regional Talent Centres at Everton and Manchester City.

Children in the Nursery Class for Three and Four Year Olds have visited Park View Residential Home to spend valuable time with the elderly residents there. Research shows that there are many benefits to bringing old and young people together, and so this is the first of several trips to take place through the year.

At the Nursery Class, children had fun learning about healthy world cuisine at cookery school. They joined children from the Butterfly Room at Bolton School Nursery for this informative and interactive session.

On Sunday 5 November, Bolton School's annual Fireworks Night will take place. This year the event promises to be even more spectacular, as the Parents' Association has booked Titanium - the company behind the London New Year display and the Olympic and Paralympic opening and closing ceremony fireworks - to arrange the display to music! There will be the usual stalls and games, great music, and supper including traditional black peas available from the dining all.

The bi-annual Careers and Higher Education Fair hosted by Bolton School will take place on Monday 16 October between 6.30pm and 8.30pm. This event is for all students in Years 9 to 13 and will cover a broad range of careers, apprenticeships and higher education options. There will also be a programme of seminars taking place on the evening.

Friday, 22 September 2017

22 September 2017

Bolton School's water polo players were excited to accept a royal appointment and play in an exhibition match for Prince William, the Duke of Cambridge. The Prince spent some time talking about the sport with Bolton School's players and staff before dropping the ball into the water to start the match. He also discussed the Bolton School teams' achievement of winning all three ESSA titles for three years in a row with their coach, Mr McGinty.

Watch Prince William drop the ball into the water here.

At the start of term, a group of Year 12 girls studying Economics had a first lesson with a difference: they were joined by Old Girl and entrepreneur Ingrid Murray, who offered her insights and advice to the class. She talked about setting up her own businesses, including the circumstances that led to price comparison website!

Year 13 students in the Girls' Division enjoyed the opportunity to explore the relationship between history and digital media with Catriona Oliphant and Caitlin Kennedy, who came into School to talk about a docudrama podcast which brings to life the US entry to WWI. They discussed the docudrama and audio format with the Year 13s and were also interested in hearing their ideas about potential uses in school, and how the girls engage with primary sources.

New cricketing kid on the block Praharsh Parikh has enjoyed a summer of success: he has played for Best of Bunbury (England) U15s, North of England U15s, Lancashire County U15s and Winton CC First XI. He is now in the England Development Programme and the Elite Player Programme with Lancashire County Cricket Club!

On Friday 22 September, Bolton School is looking forward to welcoming former MP John Pugh for an evening talk on 'Life in Westminster' at 7pm. This free, public talk is the first of this year's series of Arts and Sciences Enrichment Lectures, which are organised by the Girls' Division. Last year, the list of speakers included virtuoso percussionist Dame Evelyn Glennie, aurora scientist Dr Melanie Windridge, TV historian Susannah Lipscomb, and particle physicist Professor Jeff Forshaw.

Next month, the Girls' Division Theatre will host a special production of Antigone by the Actors of Dionysus. This performance will follow two sell-out nights at the Lowry Theatre and has been arranged for Bolton School pupils.

Finally, watch Ingrid Murray's inspirational Presentation Evening address and hear her advice to the newest set of Old Girls:

Friday, 8 September 2017

8 September 2017

A new term has begun at Bolton School, and the Girls' Division started the year with the annual Presentation Evening. The guest of honour was entrepreneur Ingrid Murray, who presented girls' with their certificates and prizes and gave an interesting address which was full of fitting advice for the future. She encouraged the Year 13 leavers to celebrate their friendships, find out what drives them, and "ride the waves of change".

Earlier in the summer, Junior Boys' School pupil Alex Bowen-Heaton helped Team Europe overcome the USA to win the Styal Junior Ryder Cup! He won his individual match in the 8-16 year old category.

Former MP John Pugh will give a talk at Bolton School on Friday 22 September at 7.30pm. He will talk about 'Life in Westminster' and his career in politics, including his seventeen years as Liberal Democrat MP for Southport. This free event is open to members of the public and all are welcome to attend.

This academic year, the Girls' Division will once again host a series of lectures arranged by the Historical Association (Bolton Branch). These fascinating monthly talks take place from September in the Sutcliffe Studio and are free for Bolton School pupils and staff, with a small charge for guests.

Over the summer holidays, the staff at Bolton School Nursery presented When You Wish Upon A Star with a cheque for over £1000, which was raised through a charity duathlon. Three members of staff completed the duathlon as a relay team to raise funds in memory of toddler Scarlett Walker, who died last year.

A group of four Old Boys are remembering the loss of their friends Jonny Sharples and Danny Harrison, who died in a car crash ten years ago, by completing a gruelling charity bike ride from the Sharples family home to Jonny's beloved West Ham United. After discussion with Jonny's parents, the group has decided to support When You Wish Upon A Star with their efforts. Click here to support them on JustGiving.

Friday, 1 September 2017

1 September 2017

Earlier this week, Girls' Division Headmisstress Sue Hincks and the Chair of Governors, Mike Griffiths, received the Queen's Award for Voluntary Service from The Lord-Lieutenant of Greater Manchester on behalf of the Bolton School Foundation. They were joined by a group of pupils, teachers and Governor Eric Fairweather for the ceremony, which was held at Gorton Monastery.

Two Girls' Division pupils have received prestigious Arkwright Scholarships for the duration of their A Level studies! Aaliyah Ascroft and Grace Palmer aced the tough selection process and will now gain access to exclusive enrichment events and the mentoring of an industry sponsor. Arkwright Scholarships are awarded to potential future leaders in engineering, computing and technical design.

Before the start of the new term, a final look back at the summer and some of the fun the children had on Sports Days!

The Junior Girls enjoyed a host of different activities on their Sports Day! From sprints to long jump to 'obstacle course' relays, and of course including the traditional sack race, there was plenty to get the girls active.

The Infants at Beech House took part in not one but two Sports Days. A carousel of activities including egg and spoon races, sprints and even welly throwing got the Reception children enthused about sport. Closer to the end of term, pupils in Years 1 and 2 had fun competing in sprints in the sunshine for their sports day as well.

On the last day of term the Junior Boys' School houses went head to head in the last competition of the year on Sports Day! They were cheered on by a great crowd of family members and the sun shone for much of the event. The boys gave their all in a variety of different running races.

Friday, 25 August 2017

25 August 2017

Sixth Form students in the Girls' Division had plenty to celebrate on A Level Results Day this year. The percentage of papers graded A*-B and A*-C improved, and 42.4% of grades were at either A* or A!

Boys' Division Sixth Form students celebrated an excellent crop of A Level Results as well. The number of A*-C grades rose to 91.5%, from 89.1% the previous year, and 40% of passes were at A* or A grade.

Fourteen students in total achieved the grades needed to accept their Oxbridge offers, and there were many more individual success stories on A Level Results Day.

On GCSE Results Day, pupils in the Boys' Division discovered that they had performed outstandingly as a year group and there were lots of happy faces in the Great Hall. This year saw a significant rise in the percentage of A* and A grades, from 52.7% to 57%! There was also an increase in the percentage of papers graded A*-C. Nine boys achieved nine or more A* grades.

Pupils in the Girls' Division also had an excellent set of results, which included English Language and English Literature grades in the new numbers system. 21.2% of grades in those two subjects were at either level 8 or 9. Every girl at Bolton School Girls’ Division achieved at least 5 A*-C grades (9-4), with nearly 60% of all grades being at A* or A (or 9-7). Thirteen girls received nine or more A* or 8/9 grades.

Earlier in the holidays, Three students in the Sixth Form walked from Grenfell Tower to Manchester Arena to raise funds for those affected by the fire and the bombing. They covered almost 200 miles in just six days! They have so far raised just over £2,000 with a goal of £3,600 - help them reach their target by donating at the JustGiving page.

Over the summer, eighteen Boys' and Girls' Division pupils went on a "once in a lifetime" trip to Dominica to take part in biodiversity research with Operation Wallacea. Over the two weeks, students worked in a terrestrial forest camp, enjoyed a volcanology or canyoning day, and took part in a marine ecology week. They worked with lizards, birds, invertebrates, bats and a host of marine life, and even had the opportunity to go spear-fishing for invasive lionfish!

Pupils in the Boys' Division also went on a cricket tour of the Caribbean and participated in the Sir Garfield Sobers International Schools Cricket Tournament. See a gallery of photos from their trip here.

Back at School, children taking part in the three-day Netball Roadshow run by Activate Sport had the exciting chance to learn from England player Rebekah Airey. She spent a whole day with the girls, putting them through their paces and giving coaching advice. She also talked about her experience playing netball for England.

The Andrew Flintoff Cricket Academy also had a star visit from Lancashire bowler Simon Kerrigan. The boys taking part in this programme, which is also run by Activate Sport, thoroughly enjoyed meeting Simon and hearing his tips and tricks as part of the five-day progamme.

As the summer term came to an end, Boys' Division biology teacher Mr Teasdale attended the international Science on Stage festival. He was there to present a slime mould project jointly created with Dutch teacher Hans Mulder, and their efforts were Highly Commended by the judges! In addition to showing off their project with a stand, Mr Teasdale and Mr Mulder gave a workshop to interested teachers.

Eight Girls' Division students at the end of last year received Copper Awards in the Cambridge Chemistry Challenge. They sat this extra test straight after their AS Level exams and received their awards based on attainment.

The children at Beech House were excited to meet two police horses, who visited school along with their riders. Pupils learned more about the important work these animals do to help keep everyone safe.

The winners of the Junior Girls' Photography Competition were announced in the final assembly of the year. The theme was 'My Favourite View' and produced a wide variety of images. Judging fell to Old Boy and photography expert Mark Power, who was very impressed by the high standard. The overall winner was a moving photo of the tributes to the Manchester Arena bombing victims in St Ann's Square.

Friday, 28 July 2017

28 July 2017

At the end of term, the Year 6 Junior Girls took a trip through history with The Keymaster. This play tells the story of a bored history class who are shocked to discover that their supply teacher is the mysterious time-travelling Keymaster, who takes them on a journey to visit the past. However, it is their trip to the near-future that leaves the most lasting impression. The girls all gave wonderful performances in this funny and informative production.

Click the following links to watch the Year 6 girls' performance of The Keymaster: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4

The Year 6 boys were also hard at work as the year drew to a close putting the final touches to their production of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat. They tackled this Andrew Lloyd-Webber musical with confidence and showed off their musical talents in all of the songs! The colourful and entertaining retelling of the Biblical tale delighted audiences from start to finish.

The Senior Girls in Year 7 to 9 told the story of George Orwell's Animal Farm in their end of year production. The political fable was brought to life on stage with the help of some fabulous costumes, created by the Textiles department, and the girls' wonderful acting skills.

At the end of term, three pupils in the Sixth Form decided to walk from Grenfell Tower in London to Manchester Arena to raise money for those affected by the fire and the victims of the Manchester bombing. They are now into the last day of their over 170 mile journey, which has taken just under a week, and on track to finish as planned! They are still hoping to raise additional funds and meet their target of £3,600 - £20 per mile. Donations can be made at their JustGiving page.

Listen to Chelsea Norris interview Stewart, Nikolaii and Adam about their endeavour on BBC Radio Manchester's Drivetime. The interview starts at 1:09:45. (This will be available on BBC iPlayer until 23 August 2017.)

This week's Inspiring Mind is architect Robin Partington, the man behind 'The Gherkin' skyscraper in London, who attended the Boys' Division from 1964 to 1978. Robin studied Architecture at Liverpool University, and has worked on many fascinating projects during his career since becoming a qualified architect. He mentions some of these in his profile, as well as discussing his School influences, inspirations and memories.

Friday, 21 July 2017

21 July 2017

Earlier this month, Bolton School celebrated winning the MEN's Active Community Award sponsored by Redrow for making a positive contribution to the local community! The award was received at the Manchester Evening News's Greater Manchester School Awards Ceremony, and follows the School receiving the Queen's Award for Voluntary Service in June. This is a wonderful recognition of all the work that pupils and staff do for the local community.

Congratulations to Year 12 student Adam Hall, who was the Secondary School winner in the Saatchi Gallery Schools Art Prize! His piece, 'Bolton School: A Modern Tradition', was taken to the Saatchi Gallery for the Awards Evening and subsequent public exhibition, and he was joined by members of staff and several alumni for the Awards Evening itself. He was one of just twenty young artists to be shortlisted from over 24,000 international entries.

The winning installation, 'Bolton School: A Modern Tradition', can be viewed in virtual reality here. (Click and drag or use the arrow keys to look around, and press the arrows at the bottom of the page to switch between the 'modern' and 'traditional' sides of the piece.)

The Bolton Children's Fiction Award Ceremony took place at Bolton School with three of the shortlisted authors and pupils from fourteen local schools in attendance. Pupils enjoyed workshops with the authors and were able to pick up signed copies of the books before the exciting moment when the winner was finally announced. Congratulations to this year's winner, Andrew Norriss, author of Jessica's Ghost.

The Junior Girls were also treated to a special performance of Roald Dahl's The Twits from storyteller John Kirk on the day of the Award Ceremony. John was in School to host the Bolton Children's Fiction Award, but found time to bring this classic tale to life for the Junior Girls and visiting pupils from Beaumont Primary School.

A team of pupils from the Boys' Division has continued the School's Chemquiz winning streak, taking the top prize at the event for the second year in a row! The four boys will now go on to compete in the national Top of the Bench competition in the next academic year. The pressure is on to follow in the footsteps of last year's team, who won first place.

A Girls' Division team also took part in Chemquiz and achieved a creditable sixth place overall. However, they did manage to win first place in the tough Quiz section of the competition!

Technology entrepreneur and Old Boy Rob Dobson was the guest speaker at this year's Prizegiving. As well as presenting pupils with their awards, he gave an interesting address on work and the function of technology in the world of work, both now and in the future. The Headmaster also gave an insightful Review of the Year an offered his comments on independent schools.

Rob's Prizegiving Address is available to view in its entirety here.

The Headmaster's Review of the Year is also available to watch again here. A video containing just Mr Britton's remarks on independent schools as 'strong and stable' and 'for the many, not the few' can be found here.

A group of three Sixth Form boys are planning a charity walk from Grenfell Tower in London to Manchester Victoria train station. They hope to raise £3,600 for  the We Love Manchester Emergency Fund and the Grenfell Tower Emergency Fund.

Please support their efforts via their JustGiving page.

The Junior Girls raised over £1,200 for a variety of good causes on their Charity Afternoon. This annual event saw Year 6 organise a range of stalls for younger pupils to enjoy, and the day also included a sponsored skipping challenge for all the girls which raised money for the British Heart Foundation.

In the Summer Term, Girls' Division senior school pupils have raised over £1,700 for four very worthy charities: Refuge, LivLife in Tanzania, Ehlers-Danlos Support UK, and the victims of the Grenfell Tower fire. This was raised through a variety of events such as cake sales, a staff relay race and non-uniform days.

The U14 cricket team has been crowned Lancashire Schools' Cricket champions! They won the Association Cup Final by 117 runs, defeating Oldham Hulme Grammar School.

A team of girls in Year 5 and Year 6 recently did well at the AJIS Athletics competition. They achieved five podium positions, with the Year 5 Relay team giving a particularly impressive performance!

Pupils in the Girls' Division commemorated the Battle of Passchendaele during morning assembly. The assembly focused on the equality of all men's sacrifice in the First World War, reflected by the ranks of identical headstones in Commonwealth War Graves Commission cemeteries, and on two lives lost during Passchendaele. The first was Lieutenant Fred Carrie, an Old Boy of the School. The second was Welsh poet Hedd Wyn, who went on to posthumously win the Bard's Chair at the National Eisteddfod only a few weeks after his death on the first day of the battle.

During the assembly, Year 12 student Caroline Blair sang 'Hen Wlad Fy Nhadau' (Land of my Fathers) in Welsh. Click here to listen to her performance.

From September 2017, the Boys' Division Technology department will be known as the Department of Design, Technology and Engineering (DTE). This rebranding is a move to to more accurately reflect the nature of the courses and activities taking place within the department.

String players came together for a workshop and masterclass led by cello virtuoso and opera singer Matthew Sharp, which took place at Bolton School. This wonderful evening of music-making culminated in a short concert, featuring some incredible solos from Matthew himself.

A group of recent leavers returned to talk to pupils in the Boys' and Girls' Division Sixth Forms about life immediately after School. They offered their real-world experience and advice from their perspective at the end of their first year at university or following a gap year.

Children at the Nursery enjoyed a trip to Smithills Open Farm, where they really enjoyed getting close to lots of different animals, including some they might never have seen before!

The Business Enterprise and Skills Training days for Year 12 students in the Boys' Division were a hugely beneficial experience. The two days of activities helped the Sixth Formers to improve a range of skills that will be vital in the workplace and challenged them to come up with innovative ideas.

Girls in Year 12 were encouraged to look Beyond Bolton School on a special day organised by the Careers Department. With visitors from various universities, talks on apprenticeships, and information about gap year opportunities available throughout the day, this was a useful opportunity for students to think about their futures.

The Junior Girls put on a spectacular performance with their Songs of the Earth Summer Concert. Pupils in Years 3 to 5 took their audience on a journey through the natural world, using poetry recitals, narration, facts, musical numbers and dancing to evoke all the elements that make up the planet.

Click here to watch the whole of the Songs of the Earth concert again. The songs from the Junior Girls' Summer Concert are also available to listen again on Soundcloud.

Girls in Year 7 and Year 8 also put on a wonderful Celebration Concert at the end of the year. They offered a brilliant tribute to children's author Roald Dahl with their songs and readings, punctuated with vignettes from the author's life. The event also served as a presentation evening, commending girls on their achievements throughout the year.

The Roald Dahl tribute is available to watch in two parts: One & Two.

This summer, the School said a fond farewell to Trevor Pledger, who joined the School in 1986 to "improve water polo". He retires confident that he has achieved that goal, with the Boys' Division teams victorious in all three ESSA age groups for the third year running! His career at the School was celebrated with a water polo reunion, featuring 'friendly' matches at Bolton One followed by a dinner at School.

Friday, 30 June 2017

30 June 2017

Pupils' contributions to the community were celebrated at the annual Year 12 student volunteering awards night. There was extra cause to celebrate this year, with the School having recently received the Queen's Award for Voluntary Service (QAVS). Over the course of the evening, some students shared their volunteering experiences and everyone received certificates from The High Sheriff of Greater Manchester, Mr Kui Man Gerry Yeung.

The whole of Year 9 in the Girls' Division has been involved with the Send my Friend to School project as part of their Geography lessons. Pupils created a jigsaw puzzle piece which illustrates the aspects of education that they feel are the most important. They sent these to local MP David Crausby, asking him to take their messages to Parliament during the Send my Friend campaign week.

Year 10 pupils in the Boys' Division set aside their technology for 24 hours to raise money for the We Love Manchester campaign. The boys managed without their phones, iPads, computers and all other forms of technology both in school and at home for a whole day to raise as much money as possible for this worthy cause.

Four Girls' Division pupils in Year 9 recently attended the Salters' Festival of Chemistry at the University of Manchester. They thoroughly enjoyed the two practical challenges that were set on the day, and did so well in the 'University Challenge' that they came in first place!

A group of Girls' Division pupils attended the University of Bolton's STEM Challenge. Split into mixed groups with students from schools around Bolton, they participated in a series of tasks which tested their practical science, technology, engineering and maths skills. The Girls' Division pupils' teams did well, and Summer Kay and Kaitlyn Paton were both in the overall winning group! They will go on to the Regional Final.

The School's annual Community Music Concert Series has begun. So far, the Junior Concert Band and Boys' Division Brass Ensemble have given performances at local primary schools. These events help to introduce younger pupils to a range of fantastic music and also give those primary school children a chance to get involved and try out a samba routine with the Bolton School pupils.

The Year 3 Outdoor Learning Day was once again a huge success! The Junior Girls had fun taking part in a range of outdoor learning sessions in the School grounds. They were very excited to try out archery, orienteering, bushcraft, and a range of team-building activities.

A trio of Year 7 pupils from the Boys' Division helped the Bolton Futsal U12s team to victory in the National Youth Futsal Finals last weekend. Joel Burgess, Luca Latona and Ben McCarthy all play for the town team, and were excited to represent the North West in the national round of the competition, playing teams from across the UK for the title.

In the Girls' Divison, two pupils have recently been offered contracts with professional football academies. Anna Phillips in Year 9 has been offered a place with Manchester City, and Lizzie Harkness in Year 8 with Everton. Both girls' parents are delighted with their achievements, which are the result of their dedication to training and hard work.

The Year 5 and 6 swimming team qualified for the ESSA National Championships for Primary Schools earlier this year, and travelled to Ponds Forge for the competition in June. It was a wonderful achievement to have made it to this stage of the competition.

Year 7 pupil Hollie Asquith has had a busy month competing in two separate British Championship roller skating disciplines. She achieved fifth and third place overall: an excellent achievement in both cases.

The Junior Girls' annual Photography Competition has now been judged! Old Boy Mark Power, who is now a freelance photographer, set the theme before half term and returned to judge the entries. All the girls are now eagerly awaiting the results, which will be announced at the end of term.

This week's Inspiring Mind profile features Deanne Cunningham, who attended the Girls' Division from 1994 to 2001 and was Head Girl in her final year. Deanne went on to study law at Magdalen College, Oxford, and spent two years as a trainee solicitor in London and Tokyo before deciding to pursue a more creative career. She is now a freelance script editor and producer and has worked on TV dramas for Channel 4, Sky and ITV.