Friday, 16 December 2011

16 December 2011

Thirty two A level students from the Girls' Division jetted out to India this week in what promises to be a life-changing experience as they continue the School's efforts in supporting street children in India. The girls will spend 8 days based in Vijayawada City in Southern India and will help out with the Street Kids' Community Villages (SKCV) project. They will offer help in any way that they can, be it teaching English, playing football or helping run dance classes. Whilst out in India they will be assessing where best to spend money that they have raised back home in a variety of fundraising initiatives which include a sponsored fast, a sponsored swim, cake sales, charity lunches, an Indian night and a car boot sale.
Bolton School pupils were joined by pupils from other local schools this week for a Royal Society of Chemistry Christmas Lecture entitled 'Chops n All'. Dr Steven Rossington from the University of Salford led an investigatory look at the chemical elements that constitute human life through a series of fun and explosive chemical demonstrations. While the Year 10 Percussion Ensemble put on a performance for local primary school pupils at Tonge Moor Primary School, consisting of some excellent solo and ensemble performances that were well received by the whole school.
In sport, the Under 14s water polo team are the winners of the Manchester and District Water Polo league this season, despite having one game left to play. And two Year 11 boys, Luke Eccles and James Beardsworth, have been selected for the national U16s' Independent Schools' Football Association (ISFA) team. The two boys have made it into the England squad which comprises the best players from the country's independent schools. The boys were four points clear at the top of the table after winning six out of their 7 games played. And as we approach the Christmas break, a whole host of festive music filled the Great Halls as the Girls' Division, the Boys’ Division and our Junior Boys all held their annual Christmas Carol Concerts. Offerings from our numerous and varied choirs and ensembles provided wonderful evenings of Christmas music, prayers, reflections and readings. And our Sixth Form Girls’ Prefects have been raising money for charity with their 'Prefects Panto'! Students wrote the pantomime themselves and took on the roles of their teachers in the show, watched by Lower school pupils, Sixth Form girls and staff, who each gave a donation at the door.

Tuesday, 13 December 2011

9 December 2011

At first there were nine candidates…but now there is just one Bolton School Apprentice! Since the start of term in September, nine boys from Years 11, 12 and 13 have been vying to become the Boys' Division's first ever 'Bolton School Apprentice'. The candidates have been gradually eliminated following a series of tasks based on those undertaken in the hit BBC TV show, leaving three boys in the spectacular Grand Finale in the School's Arts Centre on the evening of Tuesday 6 December, at which the candidates pitched their ideas for a new fruit-based premium soft drink to an audience of pupils, staff and guests. Following much deliberation, Sam Ball was declared the first ever Bolton School Apprentice and was awarded an iPad as his prize.
A team of Bolton School Sixth Form Girls has won the regional heat of the twelfth annual Target Two Point Zero - The Bank of England and The Times Interest Rate Challenge. Teams of four students from each competing school or college had to analyse UK and global economic conditions and decide what level of interest rate they would set to achieve the Government's current inflation target of 2.0 - just as the Bank of England Monetary Policy Committee does each month. Once they had made their decision the girls had to prepare and give a short presentation, arguing a convincing case for their conclusion, to a panel of Bank of England judges. Two Junior Boys have also triumphed in a local competition which took part amongst primary school children to provide artwork for Keoghs Solicitors' 2012 calendar by designing Olympic mascots.
Pupils at Beech House Infant School have been busy collecting Christmas toys and gifts for local children that are less fortunate than themselves. The Bolton Lions visited the School this week to collect new and second hand toys brought in by the children, which will now be distributed to families who cannot afford to buy presents for their children this Christmas.
While Bolton School's U13s' football team has won their Independent Schools' Football Association (ISFA) quarter-final tie 2-0 against Cheadle Hulme - a win which puts Bolton School into the last 4 sides in the whole country. In order to book a place in the final at Burton Albion FC's ground, the boys will need to overcome Brentwood School in the semi-final in an away fixture at the Essex school on 24 January.

2 December 2011

Anjali Pathak of the Indian food giants, Pataks, was back at Bolton School this week to deliver a captivating cookery demonstration. Anjali, who is Brand Ambassador for the family business, Pataks, was delighted to return to her former school where she met up with her former classmate, Natalie James who is now part of the Food Technology Department, which organised the lunchtime seminar. The packed audience of students and staff were engrossed and inspired as Anjali explained about her family business before treating the audience to a demonstration of how to cook perfect onion bhajis.
Also in school this week we welcomed Year 5 pupils from across the local borough to a day of foreign language lessons at this year's Modern Foreign Languages Festival. The whole day event gave local youngsters the chance to try out a range of new languages including Japanese and Russian, as well as building their understanding of French, Spanish and German. Sticking with languages, our Junior Girls have launched a new lunchtime German Club, adding to the extensive range of activities available to them! The club is run by Head of German in the Senior Girls' Division, Mrs Sheaff, with the assistance of German speaking language assistants, and serves as an introduction to basic German words and culture.
Girls from Middle School and also some Junior Girls were transported back to the age of the dinosaur this week with a hands-on workshop run by the Bolton Museum and Archive Service. Alex McLeman, the Formal Learning Manager from the museum, visited the school and brought along Prehistoric casts and fossils, artefacts and specimens from around the world. Alex spoke to the girls about the origins of the objects and when they lived on the earth, and encouraged them to pick up the pieces and ask questions.
In Senior boys, the amount raised by one form for Children in Need has all been collected and totalled - Harry Bevan and Sam Hassall of 8d wanted to show their support for the BBC's annual Children in Need appeal, so they galvanised the other members of their form into a sponsored run back in November. Their co-tutor Mr Rich was so impressed by this initiative that he promised to donate £10 for every goal his 2nd XI football team registered that same weekend. The boys raised a superb £611.94 by running around The Levels for a lunch time; and this amount was increased by a further £50 through the 2nd XI's impressive 5-0 away victory at Repton School!
And at the weekend Hesketh House successfully hosted the AJIS Chess Congress. The day was a huge success with Sharon Daniel winning the U10 section and Mahima Raghavendra winning the U9 section. Hesketh House and Bolton School Junior Boys' School shared the 2011 Team Championship Shield. The girls also did an excellent job with the organisation and welcoming of visitors to school.

Friday, 25 November 2011

25th November 2011

Bolton School pupils now have access to Apple iPads which encourage learning through interactive books and apps! The arrival of the iPads this term has excited both pupils and teachers in equal measures as subject teachers from across the academic spectrum of both the Girls' and Boys' Divisions from Art to Psychology to PE to Science are increasingly taking advantage of the devices. Classics students have been taking virtual tours of ancient cities, scanning their way around courtyards, in Psychology pupils can learn about stress and anxiety and in Science they have been dissecting frogs - it seems there is an app for virtually everything! On Thursday this week, our Junior Girls planted a time capsule at the front of their school for future Hesketh House girls and teachers to dig up in 25 years time! The Head Girl and Form Captains helped to bury the lead capsule in the earth at the front of the school, and the capsule also leads those who dig it up to a further box inside the school containing more items, photos and memories of life at the school in 2011.
Several of our Year 8 girls have been making magic by creating their own Harry Potter spells this week! The girls took part in a Classics Harry Potter workshop taken by Post Graduate Student of Classics from the University of Manchester, Aimee Schofield. Aimee explained to the girls how JK Rowling uses Latin within the Harry Potter books before the girls split into small groups to make up their own spells from Latin nouns, verbs and adjectives. Our Year 8 boys took part in the prestigious President's Trophy water polo tournament last weekend and made a great start to the cup by winning the group stages of this national knockout, beating every team along the way! In the semi-final the boys also won convincingly, but unfortunately finished 4-2 to King Edward's in the final.
And Bolton School Boys' Division serves as the backdrop for a new video teaser from Robin Hill. The track, Chill 22, has been released this week by Old Boy Robin to promote his forthcoming new album Standing On Air, due for release in December. Robin Hill is a classical guitarist who has been performing worldwide for over 30 years. He has performed with a wide variety of musicians including Luciano Pavarotti, Lesley Garrett, Russell Watson, Jethro Tull and Deep Purple.

Thursday, 24 November 2011

Chill 22 - Robin Hill

Old Boy Robin Hill using the Boys' Division as backdrop to his taster video, Chill 22, promoting his new album, Standing on Air. This video was released on 22 November and the new album is out in December.

Tuesday, 22 November 2011

18th November 2011

Local schoolchildren from nearby primary schools, Eagley Junior School and St Brendan's RC Primary, joined the pupils of Bolton School to produce a sensational Boys' Division Autumn Concert this week. They were the 25th and 26th local primary schools to take part in the annual concert. They joined Bolton School Year 8 boys and a number of soloists from Years 8-13 in producing an upbeat grand finale to the evening - a Beatles Medley, which included Hard Day's Night, All You Need is Love, Yellow Submarine, When I'm Sixty Four, and Hey Jude - complete with dimmed lights and waving light sticks.
We also welcomed the "world's greatest living Paleoanthropologist", Professor Lee Berger, to the School to deliver his lecture "Out of Africa…in Search of the Missing Link" on Monday. A privileged audience of members from the Bolton Lads and Girls' Club, Warrington Youth Club and the Bolton School community were mesmerised by the story of how, in 2008, he and his curious 9 year old son, Matthew, discovered two remarkably well preserved, two-million-year-old fossils of an adult female and young male, known as Australopithecus sediba.
Nursery Manager Claire Thompson certainly did her bit for Children in Need on Friday by undertaking a particularly difficult Bushtucker Challenge where she had to eat dried caterpillars and crickets washed down with a Salmon Risotto drink! The event was part of Challenge Claire Day where the different age groups set her tasks throughout the day. She undertook everything that was put in front of her, including dressing up as a baby! The children and staff were also all wearing spotted items and there was a cake sale which raised further funds. In the Junior Girls' School further money was raised through a cake sale and painted nails, while the Senior Girls' School held a dress down day to mark the day.
Our Under 14 Rugby League team created history for the town as they beat Haydock High School, St Helens number one seed, in the Carnegie Champion Schools Competition. It is the first time a school from Bolton has competed in Champion Schools RL and to beat a team from a town that is known for Rugby League is a huge achievement for the school. The 22-20 victory means Bolton progress to the Quarter final stage of the County competition - only a few games from Wembley! And good news from the 1st XV rugby team too – they have reached the U18 Lancashire Cup semi-finals for the first time with a fine quarter final win away at St Edwards, Liverpool. The semi final will see Bolton travel away again to the winners of two of our closest rivals Manchester Grammar or Hutton Grammar. Our Junior boys have won the annual North West AJIS Quiz Tournament! There were 10 rounds, all with varying amounts of points to be won, and the boys won with a tie-break question.

Friday, 11 November 2011

11 November 2011

Pupils and teachers at Bolton School have been officially welcomed in to London 2012's Get Set network, in recognition of their commitment to the Olympic and Paralympic Values. The London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games (LOCOG) awarded the School a plaque and certificate to acknowledge their involvement in the London 2012 education programme, through the emphasis on sport within the school and the work the school does to encourage sport in the local community.
Year 5 girls and boys from seven local primary schools are benefitting from the resources and experience of teaching staff at Bolton School by taking part in the SHINE Project, which kicked off on Saturday. The aim is for children to be challenged and inspired whilst having fun and learning. They study a mix of traditional subjects such as English, Maths and the Sciences but are also introduced to more unusual offerings such as Japanese, Psychology, Ceramics and Drama. This year will also see them enjoying new sessions in Business Studies and Food Technology.
Also this week, the Girls' Division handed over a cheque for £2500 to the Guide Dog for the Blind Association, enabling them to sponsor and name their second guide dog puppy! Girls and staff took part in many fundraising activities to raise the money, and having reached the target to sponsor a second dog, girls will now put forward suggested names for the puppy.
The Girls' Division's Autumn Concert provided a wonderful celebration of music this week, and showcased the depth and breadth of talent within the school. Hundreds of girls took part in the evening and they were ably assisted by Bolton School boys who performed with them in a variety of joint bands and choirs. The evening offered a wide spectrum of styles and genres of music and Headmistress Miss Hincks commended the music staff in bowing to the tastes of the girls by allowing them to perform covers and tributes to the likes of Lady Gaga, Coldplay and Westlife.
And on Friday, special assemblies were held in all our schools to commemorate the Armistice - the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month of 1918 ending the First World War. At Hesketh House Year 6 pupils led a special Remembrance Day assembly, based on work they have covered this term in English, learning challenges, music and ICT and was based primarily around the study of the novel, War Game by Michael Foreman. The special assembly used video footage of Paul McCartney's famous song, Pipes of Peace, and John McCrae's evocative poem, In Flanders' Fields, along with pupils' research and music making about the Great War and how Remembrance Day first came into existence.

Friday, 4 November 2011

4th November 2011

Back to school after the half term and over the holiday twenty one Bolton School boys headed off to Malta for a full week of intense swim training! The boys, from Year 8 up to Year 11, were accompanied on the swim tour by PE staff Mr Howard, Mr Windsor and Mr Hughes, who put them through their paces with two 2 hour swim sessions a day. It wasn't all hard work though as the boys still found time to explore the local area and shops, visit the Malta Experience, take a boat tour around Valletta, and watch the premier league football in the movie room! The trip was a great success and will definitely go ahead again in the future. All the boys gained a great amount of fitness and vastly improved on their swimming skills.
Sixteen Bolton School students proudly "graduated" at a ceremony held at Bolton Victoria Hall and hosted by the Lads and Girls' Club on 19 October to mark their completion of the National Citizen Service (NCS) scheme. This new initiative supports the Government's vision for building a Big Society and was open to Year 11 pupils over the summer holidays. It offered pupils the chance to learn some new skills and to make a real difference to their community or an issue which they care about whilst meeting new people. Over a period of three one- week blocks, including two weeks away from home, and 30 hours of service on a part-time basis the students undertook exciting outdoor activities and designed and delivered their own project in the local community.
In Girls’ Division sport, Ellena Owen in Year 11, Emma Donald in Year 12 and Helen Potts in Year 13 have all been selected for the Cheshire County Under 18 netball squad. The girls played their first match for the squad against North West Wales at the weekend and will form part of the team up until the end of the season at Easter. For the Boys, Year 9 cricketer Chris Brownlow has been named as Young Player of the Year by The Cricketer magazine! Chris impressed the magazine with the breadth of cricket he has played across so many age groups, including senior cricket, for school, club, district and county and that he has been able to perform well at all levels. The magazine described Chris as the junior whose all round performances for school, club and county have been most impressive and appearances on the under 16 honours board unstoppable.
And our Junior Girls are already looking forward to the Spring, when they will get to see the fruits of their labour after taking part in the national Big Bulb Plant! Following an afternoon of digging, planting and sowing, the girls will be able to enjoy a colourful display of daffodils and crocus covering the banking in the Spring, whilst the vegetable patches will provide crops to be used by the catering department. The Big Bulb Plant encourages communities around the UK to get together during October or November to plant spring flowering bulbs to brighten up their surroundings, whether it's a school playground or a front garden.

Friday, 28 October 2011

28 October 2011

Half term at Bolton School and what a busy couple of weeks it has been in the run up! Our Open Morning was once again a huge success with many potential pupils and parents visiting the School to find out what we are all about. There was fantastic news for our Catering Department who are officially the best independent school catering team in the country! Catering Manager, Mrs Karen Riley and her colleague Mr Andrew Scialipi-Sullivan, Catering Coordinator, represented the team at a glittering black-tie awards dinner at the 5 star Royal Garden Hotel in Kensington, London for the final of the 2011 Educatering Excellence Awards, which saw 350 of school catering's elite gather to decide the final winners of 13 categories. Bolton School overcame stiff competition in the shape of Eton College and Cheadle Hulme School to take the title. Our Grounds team are also in the running for a National Groundsmanship Award! After being short-listed by the Institute of Groundsmanship for the Independent School Award, the team will now be judged on site by the Institute, and if successful will go on to the national awards at the Reebok Stadium in December. An exciting new option for Nursery parents is opening in January 2012 at the School. A new Nursery class for 3 and 4 year olds will be teacher led and open during term-times and will offer a caring, safe and stimulating environment where children are valued, happy and secure. This new educational service will run alongside our highly successful and established preschool unit and together they will offer the highest quality choice for children preparing for their first year at Infant School.

In sport, our U16 Netball team has won the Bolton Schools' Netball Tournament. In a Round Robin competition, the girls were undefeated throughout the tournament, scoring a total of 54 goals whilst conceding only 14. Several of our girls have been chosen for the Lancashire County Under 18 Lacrosse squad, and will represent their County in the Northern Counties Tournament competing against Cheshire and Yorkshire. Year 2 pupils at Beech House presented a cheque for £193.56 to Bolton Wanderers Captain Kevin Davies, for his charity Kids of Bolton, raised through a cake sale at the School. And our Junior Girls and Boys joined in with the Skip2Bfit national campaign to find out how many skips they could do in two minutes. The top skippers were awarded with certificates presented by professional boxing trainer John McCormack who is leading the initiative.

Friday, 7 October 2011

7 October 2011

It was a big week at Bolton School as Lord Sebastian Coe and Sir Philip Craven, President of the International Paralympic Committee, convinced a large North-West audience at the School that the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games will bring a much needed lift to the whole country. The pair were on stage at an evening co-hosted by Bolton School and Bolton Council, which was attended by hundreds of people from across the region. Sir Philip had returned to his old school to deliver the annual Tillotson Lecture and he had brought his close friend Lord Coe with him. Both were keen to spread the message about the once in a lifetime opportunity that the Games represent for the UK. The two were joined on stage by two 2012 hopefuls, Sophie Hancock, a local paralympian and Daniel Sliwinski, an Old Boy of the School and Commonwealth Games swimming bronze medallist.
The following evening, Bolton School pupils were joined by students from other local schools for an inspiring lecture by one of the country's leading cancer research scientists - Professor Ross Sibson from the Department of Molecular and Clinical Cancer Medicine at Liverpool University. Around 300 pupils and parents from Bolton School Girls' Division, Boys' Division, Canon Slade and Smithills School, gathered in the Girls' Division Great Hall to listen to Professor Sibson's talk entitled 'Astronomical Problems with our Genes?' The lecture aimed to give them a better understanding of genetics and was attended by pupils ranging from Year 10 up to Year 13. It was organised by the Girls' Division Learning Support Able and Talented enrichment programme, an ongoing programme which aims to enrich students' learning experience and develop their thinking skills.
In sport, Year 9 pupil Nalisha Patel, who plays for the Under 13 Lancashire County Girls Cricket team, has been voted player of the season! It was a double celebration for Nalisha as the Lancashire Girls U13s also triumphed as National Champions for 2011, after beating Sussex in the final. And a successful season for Bolton School's U13 Cricket team saw them crowned runners up in the county final. Our Senior Boys were fortunate to witness a gymnastics extravaganza first thing on Monday morning as Paul Hockwart (Director of Coaching at Bury Gymnastics Club) came into to a Year 7 Assembly to promote the sport of gymnastics. Accompanying him was a Great Britain gymnast called Mason Whealing who demonstrated a variety of floor work and trampette exercises, including round-offs, handsprings, flic-flacs, somersault with a twist, and a spectacular double somersault to finish. This was excellent inspiration for the boys in time for the start of the Year 7 Gymnastics Club and their annual Gymnastics Competition.
And a visit from the Kinetic Theatre helped inspire, educate and entertain our Junior girls with a musical play geared to the National Curriculum for Science. The interactive story of Robin and the Withering Wood went down exceptionally well with the girls, who joined in enthusiastically.

Friday, 23 September 2011

19th - 23rd September 2011

A new pictorial history book of the Boys' Division has been launched this week by the two authors, David Shaw and Charles Winder, at an Old Boys' lunch held at the School. The book, Bolton Boys in Focus, is a collection of photos from 1875-2010 and shows the startling range of activities and events that the boys have been involved in over the years. The two authors both started teaching on the same day at Bolton School in September 1964 and both of them remained at the School until retirement, Charles in 1999 and David in 2002. Anyone interested in purchasing a copy should contact Mr Stuart Chell on 01204 434718 or at
It was a successful week for publications as the School's History magazine 'The HistOracle' has won 'Best School History Magazine' 2011, as awarded by the Young Historian Project in conjunction with The Spirit of Normandy Trust. This is a huge honour for the School and the magazine, which is a biannual publication of eclectic historical essays and articles produced by boys of all ages and the School has come out ahead of all schools in the country to win.

Also this week our Junior Boys presented a cheque for £2389.87 to the Help for Heroes Appeal, raised through their Annual Charity Fun Run in May. Arthur Roe from Help for Heroes came to collect the cheque and gave a presentation in assembly, showing the boys how their money will be used to provide practical, direct support for wounded Servicemen and women. The amount being donated is half the proceeds from the charity fun run.
And Bolton School Year 3 pupils have the H Factor! The Junior girls and boys took part in an annual healthy eating initiative which saw the children making smoothies, researching healthy food options using netbooks, taking part in quizzes and sampling a range of foods. Over the course of the afternoon children had the chance to choose fruits from a selection to make and taste their own smoothie, and each designed their own school lunch menu, of which one will be chosen by the Head teachers of each school to be served in the dining hall one lunch time. They were introduced to plates of unusual and exotic fruits, vegetables and spices including dragon fruit, star fruit, ginger and rocket and were encouraged to touch, smell and taste the different foods. The afternoon was run by the school catering department who also produced some homemade yoghurt for the children to try.

Friday, 16 September 2011

12-16 September 2011

Old Boy and highly respected London Business School Professor of Accounting, Chris Higson returned to Bolton School this week to deliver a well attended presentation to the local business community about how to exit the recession and reindustrialise the British economy through the nurturing of SMEs. The lunch time address focused on the positives and reminded the audience that, despite the recession, the UK is still the sixth largest manufacturer in the world and top in terms of the proportion of its exports that are high tech. Earlier in the morning, Professor Higson had worked with Sixth Form girls and Sixth Form boys as they tried to understand the causes of the recession and how the UK might exit the current situation. Old Girl Dr Joyce Tyldesley also returned to School this week with some compelling advice for those students about to go out into the world. At the Sixth Form Presentation evening, Dr Tyldesley, a renowned Egyptologist, furnished the girls with a number of wise old maxims from Ancient Egypt, including "if you spit in the sky, it will land on your head". She then brought the sage advice up to date with three key messages canvassed from a poll of Old Girls. The advice from Dr Tyldesley, a Senior Lecturer at the University of Manchester, brought to a close an evening that celebrated another highly successful year for the pupils of Bolton School Girls' Division.

Sophie Bolton and Emily Robinson, who have just started their A Levels at Bolton School, have both been selected to receive a prestigious Arkwright Scholarship. The girls were chosen in part due to their GCSE Design and Technology projects for which Sophie designed and built a retro style iPod dock and Emily a rocking horse. Only 300 scholarships were awarded from over 900 applicants from 256 schools. The Arkwright Trust supports young people during their A Levels by awarding £300 a year to assist with the purchase of materials and books. Sophie and Emily will also carry the status of ‘Arkwright Scholar’ into university.

Meanwhile, year 10 pupil Alex O'Donoughue has been selected to represent ISFA (Independent Schools, Football Association) nationally at Under 15 level. Following the U14 programme last season and a series of trials at camps held in the Summer Holidays, the final squad was selected to represent the association during the 2011/2012 season and Alex secured his place.

Also over the summer, some of our Sixth Form boys experienced the trip of a lifetime with a two week conservation trip to Indonesia. The boys undertook conservation work and research for one week in the forests of Southern Sulawesi and another week diving and inspecting coral reefs on Hoga Island, which Jacques Cousteau, by far the most famous undersea explorer of the 20th century, described as one of the best places in the world for diving!
And former Sixth Form pupil Giles Makinson was part of the winning MCC Schools side in the annual match against the England Schools' Cricket Association at Lord's. The MCC Schools team consists of schoolboys who have played against MCC during the 2011 cricket season, and whose names have been put forward by MCC Match Managers as good cricketers, in addition to being players who would make good representatives of the Club. Throughout the year the MCC play against 250 schools, meaning Giles was selected from a pool of more than 2, 500 schoolboys. The scores were ESCA 199 all out and MCC Schools 200-3, meaning Giles' team won by 7 wickets.

Friday, 9 September 2011

7 - 9 September 2011

After a long Summer break we welcome back all our pupils and staff this week, and give a warm welcome to all those joining us. The first few days of the new term are always a hectic but exciting time and this year is no exception as we all settle into new routines. Our new pupils in all the Schools have been getting to know their new tutors and classmates and familiarising themselves with how the school works before their first full week of lessons next week.
Our excellent exam results over the summer mean that the Girls' Division has been ranked the 65th best Independent School in the country, according to the Daily Telegraph GCSE result rankings. The table is based on the percentage of subject entries graded A* and A, and puts the school easily within the top 100. In the Telegraph A Level results table, published the previous week, the Girls' Division again fared well and placed at 123rd in the rankings, and in the Manchester Evening News A Level league table for Independent Schools, the School was ranked fourth in the region. The Boys' Division also did well, ranking at 160 in the Telegraph GCSE table and 202 in the A Level table. They were placed 6th in the Greater Manchester league table.

Just before returning to school, Girls' Division pupils Natasha Lomas and Penny Roberts enjoyed success at the Lancashire County Tennis Championships at the Bolton Arena, which took place from 26th August to 4th September. Year 11 pupil Natasha Lomas won the U18 singles final and Year 8 pupil Penny Roberts also had a successful tournament as runner-up in both U12 and U14 girls' singles events.
And not only is Bolton School pupil Hannah Pike preparing to start her A Levels in the Sixth Form, she is also is looking to establish herself as an international Hockey star, having captained the England Under 16 girls' national side. Hannah was made captain for the Four Nations tournament against hosts Spain, Holland and Germany at Easter. She then helped her country to a 2-0 series victory against Scotland in Glasgow before taking on Belgium in Canterbury and Germany at the National Sports Centre at Lilleshall. Hannah was voted best overall player on and off the pitch in the 2011 squad.

Summer Break 2011

Students and staff at Bolton School Girls' Division celebrated another year of outstanding Exam results. At A level, ninety five per cent of girls achieved A*-C grades with the overall pass rate being at 99.4% and three girls recorded a full set of A* grades. The Boys' Division fared equally well with an overall pass rate of 99.4% and four boys recording a full set of A* grades. It was a record breaking year for Girls’ Division GCSE results as 43.5% of all grades were at A* with an overall pass rate at the A*-C level of 99.8%. Seven girls achieved the remarkable feat of securing 11 A* grades, with 34 of the 120 girls gaining A* and A grades only. The Boys also recorded an excellent set of GCSE results with three boys achieving 11 A*s and an overall pass rate of 5 A*-C grades of 99.2%.
The Girls' Division has also been named one of the top 100 schools in the country for successfully placing students in the top 30 universities in the country, in a report by the Sutton Trust. The School is one of only eight in the North West to be named in the list. The Sutton Trust research examines the success of schools during the last three years in gaining places for their pupils in the leading 30 UK universities, including Oxford, Cambridge, UCL, Imperial, LSE, Warwick, Durham, Birmingham, Manchester, Nottingham, York, and Edinburgh. Bolton School Girls' Division, with a 79.1% success rate over three years, is placed 67th in the rankings.
During the summer break some of our Year 10 girls experienced the trip of a lifetime when they headed out to East Africa to spend two weeks learning about life in Tanzania, particularly the Maasai culture and helping out at the LivLife Meserani Education Centre. Before heading off on their trip, the girls forged strong friendships with the Maasai via a Skype link up in their Geography lesson and through sending learning materials to help the tribespeople improve their English. Whilst out in Tanzania, the girls helped out at the centre teaching the children and playing games with them, and assisting in the organisation of a Sports Day. They got to know members of the Maasai tribe and their elders and helped to build a traditional Maasai hut. And our Senior Lacrosse and Netball teams enjoyed a tour to Canada and America, travelling to Vancouver, Vancouver Island and Seattle during the two week trip, playing matches against different schools and clubs along the way, as well as fitting in some sightseeing!
Also during the summer Sixth Form pupil James Roberts was selected to be part of the first ever Independent Schools FA Student Management Team for the 2011-12 season. As such, James will be partly responsible for coordinating the annual ISFA Leadership Camp which he has previously attended himself. He will be one of ten student faces for the camp, which this year will take place at Bradfield College on Saturday March 31st to Sunday April 1st 2012. The camp is aimed at developing core leadership skills of young leaders from around the country with National FA tutors guiding them through a range of footballing disciplines.

Monday, 11 July 2011

End of Summer Term 2011

The end of the school year is upon us, yet the final week has been just as eventful as ever! Hesketh House, the Junior Girls' School of Bolton School has now been officially opened by Sir Richard Brook, Director of the Leverhulme Trust. In a ceremony attended by all 188 girls aged 7 to 11 years of age, he unveiled a plaque which marked the official opening of the new state-of-the-art school. Parents then joined the party and there was a toast to the new school and a cake-cutting, and the afternoon ended with each child letting off a Hesketh House balloon, which symbolised the "learning without limits" ethos of the school.
There were further celebrations at Kidzone where the Mayor and Mayoress of Bolton were the special guests invited to celebrate ten years of success. They joined Heads from the Girls' Division, Boys' Division and Infant School, as well as teachers, governors and staff for a buffet lunch. And Beech House parents celebrated the end of the academic year with a Casino Royale themed Summer Ball. The glitzy, well-attended event was held at The Platinum Suite, The De Vere Whites Hotel at the Reebok Stadium. Funds raised on the night went to the Boot Out Breast Cancer charity.
In sport Year 13 pupil Henry Thompson has made school history by scoring an outstanding 186 runs against Cheadle Hulme School in a 50 over match. Bolton School ended their innings on 374-3 with another record being set when Thompson and Haseeb Hameed put on an opening partnership of 288 in 42 overs before the first wicket fell. Bolton School won the match by 125 runs. And our Junior Boys also enjoyed cricket success as the Under 11 team won the Association for Junior Independent Schools' Cup for the first time since 2008 against opponents from Newcastle under Lyme School. Three of our Junior Girls travelled to London and met with success at St Paul's School, Hammersmith in the national chess final - congratulations go to Year 4 pupil, Sharon Daniel, who won the Plate Award, having missed out on a final place by only half a point. Year 5 girls, Naadiya Mohammed and Zara Walsh also had a successful day, gaining 7th and 8th place in the U10s' National Girls' Chess Championship Final.
The Advanced Guitar Group gave an excellent performance at the Music for Youth National Festival this week after previous success in the regional heats where they were described as 'outstanding performers' by one of the adjudicators. Their main recital was given in the Adrian Boult Hall at the Birmingham Conservatoire, where the adjudicator complimented their playing as 'stunning and captivating with a true sense of flair'.
And the Senior School boys enjoyed a challenging final week before they broke for the summer holiday in which they focused on a variety of activities aimed at developing their horizons. Year 10 pupils were put through their paces by the army, who developed the boys' leadership, communication and teamwork skills through a number of assault courses and mental exercises. Year 7 enjoyed a week of culture,Year 8 had a week themed around outdoor pursuits, and Year 9 took part in a week revolving around Science activities. Throughout the activity week, Sixth Form students helped out in the running of events, whilst developing their own leadership skills.

Friday, 1 July 2011

27th June -1st July

A busy week for the School as the end of term approaches fast. On Monday, Holocaust Survivor Iby Knill visited the School to tell her story of how she survived a Nazi concentration camp and the effect it had on her life. Her visit was an invaluable opportunity for Year 9 pupils in the Boys' Division to hear a first hand account from one of three survivors of Auschwitz still alive in the UK. Iby's is a powerful message about never labelling groups and always having the courage to address individuals and their actions.
Pupils from twenty two primary schools from across the region took part in our Sports Festival this week. The annual event, now in its eighth year, saw pupils taking part in a wide range of events to test their sporting skills, including a rugby challenge and penalty shoot-out as well as having their golf, hockey, tennis, athletics and cricket skills tested. This year the overall winner was St Matthew's Primary with the runner up places going to St Peter's in Farnworth and Markland Hill CPS.
The Boys' Division rocked the great hall on Thursday evening with a sensational Summer Concert, culminating in a rock medley involving the whole of Year 7.The dramatic finale saw the Year 7’s join forces with soloists from Years 8 to 13 to belt out a series of classic rock anthems including 'These are Crazy, Crazy, Crazy Nights' from Kiss, Whitesnake's 'Here I Go Again', Guns and Roses' 'Sweet Child O Mine', Pink Floyd's 'We Don't Need No Education' and Bon Jovi's 'Living On A Prayer'.
Year 8 girls were delighted to welcome author Annabel Pitcher to their reading circle, who just seen her debut novel, My Sister Lives on the Mantelpiece, nominated for The Guardian's Children's Book of the Year prize. Twenty nine year old Annabel ran a wonderful creative writing session with the girls, helping them create a character's voice.
And our Junior Boys presented a cheque for £3, 000 to the Red Cross Japan Tsunami Appeal, raised through their Annual Charity Fun Run and a Dress in Red Day. Jackie Pickersgill, Community Fundraiser for the Red Cross, came to collect the cheque and gave a presentation in assembly, showing the boys how their money will be used to benefit those affected by the disaster. Also at Park Road the Year 6 boys have been entertaining family and friends with their annual drama production which this year is 'Hoodwinked' -a modern and witty take on the 'Robin Hood' story.

Friday, 24 June 2011

20th - 24th June 2011

Twenty Seven primary schools visited Bolton School this week for a Science Festival aimed at inspiring young minds. The festival provided an opportunity for gifted young pupils from Year 5 to make use of Bolton School's laboratories and resources and to absorb themselves in Science for the day. Local schools entered teams of four who spent the morning in the Biology, Chemistry and Physics laboratories undertaking a number of challenging practical activities, assisted by their own "Science Buddies" - pupils from the Girls' Division and Boys' Division. Bolton School has been the Independent Schools Football Association (ISFA) Focus School for the Manchester and Northwest region almost two years now and during this time has been involved in many schemes and initiatives to drive football development in the region. Click here to see the full presentation. Sticking with sport, representing Lancashire our Year 8 rugby league team overcame Birkdale High from Sefton by 60 points to 8 to become this year's North-West Emerging Schools' Cup Final winners. Old Boy Tony Wadsworth, Chairman of the BPI, has been awarded the CBE in the Queen's Birthday Honours' List in recognition of his services to the British Music Industry. Tony, who attended Bolton School from 1967-1974, previously was the longest serving Chairman and CEO of EMI Music UK and Ireland from 1998 to 2008. Over the last three months the Catering Department has been raising money for Reece who has epileptic seizures, helping to fund a soft, safe play area for him within his home. Fundraising activites included an Easter raffle and a sponsored slim by Catering Manager Karen Riley and Boys’ Division Catering Supervisor Ronda Figgins, who collectively lost two and a half stone. In total an impressive £1158 was raised and Reece and his parents visited the school to be presented with the cheque.

Monday, 20 June 2011

13th - 17th June 2011

Our Sixth Form students enjoyed a fascinating lecture by eminent Sport Psychologist, Professor Ian Maynard of the Centre for Sport Performance at Sheffield Hallam University, as part of their Gifted and Talented Programme. In a lively and interactive session, enjoyed by Sixth Formers and staff, Professor Maynard spoke of how athletes have to be able to deal with pressure and as such it is imperative that they develop a professional attitude. He talked about anxiety and stress management, stressing the importance of avoiding negative self-talk, and how much of sport psychology can be transposed across to life situations, including dealing with exam and work stresses. Professor Maynard worked with Olympic athletes at the Barcelona and Athens games and in a wide variety of sports including lacrosse, rugby, cycling, diving and boxing; he is currently undertaking work with Premiership football referees.

Another opportunity for our Sixth Form students is the chance of a 4 week paid vacation programme at KPMG in Manchester. This unique new scheme will see one girl and one boy undertake meaningful employment with the accounting giant, spending two weeks in the Financial Services Audit Team and two weeks in the Corporate Finance team. The two lucky students will be involved in client work and will be "at the coal-face" undertaking real research in an ongoing summer scheme between the school and the big four accounting firm. Students are being asked to apply for the work placement as if they were applying for a full-time position and they will be judged on their application form and a subsequent interview.

In Senior Boys, the U15s' football team has received a Fair Play commendation from the Independent Schools' Football Association (ISFA). The awards are made on the basis of marks given and comments made by match referees in the ISFA Cup competitions and comments made by opposing schools.

Our Junior Girls undertook half an hour of vigorous walking around their school this week to raise funds for MedEquip4Kids, a charity based in the North West of England for paediatric healthcare facilities at local hospitals. Fun was injected into the "Walk4kids" event as girls were allowed to dress in their pyjamas - more of a sleep walk really! By the end of the day a fantastic sum of over £1,800 had been raised! The Year 6 Girls have also been busy performing their bite size interpretations of William Shakespeare's comedy, A Midsummer Night's Dream. After studying and exploring the play, pupils challenged their own thinking and skills of interpretation to produce short devised pieces. Under the title "Devising the Dream", the girls will perform their work to their parents. And the Year 4 girls had some interesting visitors from Blackpool Zoo, coming face to face with a giant hissing cockroach, a snake and a stick insect when Russell from the Zoo came to talk to them about habitats and adaptation. To the girls' delight he brought several animals from the zoo with him to demonstrate what he was talking about!

Friday, 10 June 2011

6th - 10th June 2011

This week Bolton School hosted a Technology Festival for local Year 4 primary school pupils, providing an opportunity for them to make use of the School's technology facilities and to absorb themselves in Technology for the day. Eight local Primary Schools took part, giving pupils the chance to spend a whole day focusing on technology and to experience activities in different technology areas. The day had a carnival theme - in Resistant Materials the pupils produced plastic masks which they each decorated in their own way, in Textiles they made colourful headdresses decorated with printed fabrics, and in Food Technology they made their own scone based smiley face pizzas. At the end of the day certificates were awarded to all pupils for taking part.

Year 12 students and their parents enjoyed a celebration evening this week as they collected certificates and gave presentations about the community work they had undertaken over the past year. In total, over 10,000 hours, the equivalent of 3 years' work had been undertaken by the Sixth Form students! All Year 12 students in the Girls' Division and the Boys' Division have to undertake a minimum of 20 hours of community work after which they receive their bronze certificate. Anyone undertaking 50 to 99 hours receives a silver award and 100+ hours students receive a gold award.

Our Junior Girls enjoyed a day with a difference when a Viking came to visit Year 4 and brought history to life. His talks and workshops about Viking life went down particularly well. He brought with him a wide range of artefacts, from cooking pots to animal fur, from swords to chainmail, and spoke to the girls about Viking life, invading and settling. In the afternoon the girls participated in workshops about playing Viking games, making thumb pots, sketching artefacts and acting out Viking warfare!
On Monday, Mrs Ruth Brierley, Head of Junior Girls' School, held an informal drop-in session for anyone wishing to learn more about Bolton School Junior Girls (aged 7-11). Further sessions are scheduled for Monday 13 and 20 June at 2.00pm If you (and your daughter) would like to attend one of these sessions, please call Jennifer Agogue, the Head's PA, on 01204 434761 to arrange your appointment.

Friday, 27 May 2011

23-27 May

The final week before the half term holidays and our Year 5 boys and girls have been enjoying themselves at our Outdoor Education Centre, Patterdale Hall, on the shore of Ullswater in the Lake District. Despite the mixed weather the pupils have been making the most of the activities on offer - from climbing to archery, kayaking and sailing.

Year 8 pupils at the Girls’ Division got to experience four countries in one day by taking part in a Languages day! From German cookery to Cuban Salsa the girls got to learn a bit about the culture of each country and get a flavour of the food, the language or the dance. In German cookery the girls made traditional German biscuits and waffles while in Italian and Russian they learned how to introduce themselves and how to say what they like and dislike. They also learned how to dance a traditional Cuban salsa, counting their steps in Spanish!

The winners of our Maths Challenge were rewarded this week as Miss Gorner, Primary Liaison Coordinator and Chemistry teacher in the Boys' Division, visited an assembly at Leigh Church of England Junior School to congratulate the girls and boys who won the challenge earlier in the year. The four pupils - James Partington, Courtney Berry, Jamie Barnes and Olivia Beaumont - overcame more than 20 other teams to win the overall prize. Each winner was given a W H Smith voucher worth £15 and the junior school won £100, which they said would be spent on maths equipment.

Money is still coming in from the Junior Boys’ Fun Run last week for the charities selected by the School Council, and we look forward to announcing the total raised in the near future. If you have any outstanding money, then please send it in to the office as soon as possible. And over in Hesketh House a fun afternoon was held aimed at Year 2 girls and their parents - from Bolton School's Infant Department (Beech House) and from other schools from across the region. The girls got to take part in activities including a treasure hunt and code cracking, while parents had the chance to meet the Head and teachers and see more of the new Junior School.

Friday, 20 May 2011

16-20 May 2011

Bolton School Junior Boys took to the field today dressed in an array of colourful fancy dress outfits in order to raise money for Derian House and for the British Red Cross Japan Tsunami Appeal, through their annual Fun Run! Pirates, cops and robbers, clowns and cowboys ran alongside characters from Star Wars, superheroes, a skeleton and Fred Flintstone! Joined by the Head of Junior Boys Mr Stephen Whittaker, the boys ran around the Senior School field for 40 minutes. The pupils ran in pairs, one would run whilst the other rested, and they were supported all the way by cheering parents.

Four Year 10 girls have also been raising money for charity by completing the Bupa Great Manchester Run. Mellissa Pye, Jessica Unsworth, Georgina Wallis and Abbie Palmer ran the 10 km and raised almost £3000 for Leukaemia and Lymphoma Research, a charity close to their hearts as their school friend Eleanor Harding is currently being treated for Leukaemia at the Royal Manchester Children's hospital. Family and friends supported the girls by giving generously, and their hard work in training and on the day was rewarded by the huge amount of money they raised.

The Bolton School Under 13 Rugby team showed they can adapt outstandingly to Rugby League when they attended a prestigious Independent Schools Rugby League competition at Ellesmere College. In the group stages Bolton played 4 games, winning 3 and drawing one. The final was played in front of all the competing teams and numerous officials from the host school and the administrators of The Rugby Football League. With the Bolton Boys taking the lead with a well earned try, opponents Glyncoed replied immediately and scored a winning try with 2 minutes remaining.

And our Year 5 girls got to spend a day in the life of a Tudor this week by taking part in a Hautbois Workshop. Hautbois are a lively and talented duo who use music as a vehicle for historical learning. The girls got to dress in full period costume, listen to the music, handle artefacts, and debate important issues of the time to enable a deeper understanding of the Tudor period. While Year 3 were also taken back in history to Roman times with a visit from a Roman Soldier! The girls got a taste of what it was really like to live in Britain over a thousand years ago through an interactive history presentation which gave them the chance to handle objects and artefacts from the period.

Monday, 16 May 2011

9 - 13 May 2011

Rob Moss, who left Bolton School in 2001, returned to the Sixth Form Common Room this week to revisit his past, whilst raising funds for Bolton Lads' and Girls' Club. Rob, who has twice been England Table Soccer Champion, took on pairs of Sixth Form students in the Common Room, where he first developed his skills. Each student pairing paid £2 each to play the current England Coach and if any pairing beat him, and one couple did (Elliot Lloyd and Chris Sumner), he paid them £20. Rob lost just the one match in an hour's worth of playing.

Chloe Wynne, a Year 11 pupil in the Girls' Division, has won the Be Creative: Be a Screen Champion national competition run by Film Education and The Industry Trust. Her prize is an iPad and the School has received four iMacs, a digital stills camera and a digital video camera. The competition involved students researching, designing and creating an original campaign to promote legitimate film and TV content - both at home and in the cinema - and discourage illegal downloads.

Sport wise, Sixth Form student James Roberts once again represented England as part of the Cerebral Palsy Development Football Squad, this time in the 7-a-side Development Tournament held in Denmark. James was part of the England squad who took on The Netherlands, Scotland and Denmark in matches played over three days in Vejen. Competition was tough but the team came away with the bronze of the tournament after beating Scotland 2-1 in the third place play off, and James even captained the squad in the game against Holland. Year 10 pupil Patrick Whelan has won the national U15s' basketball championship with his team Manchester Magic. The final was held at Stoke Mandeville Stadium and in an exciting game, Manchester Magic ran out winners at 83-73 points against Newham All Stars Sports Academy from London. Patrick has been playing basketball since he was six years old and he currently trains three times a week and plays at least 2 matches per week. His mother played for the Cameroon international team and inspired him to take up the sport. Patrick very much has his sights sets on playing for the U16s' England team. And our U13 boys are County Cricket Indoor Champions, having made their way through the qualifying rounds to the finals at Old Trafford where they beat Audenshaw in the final match to take the title.

And last weekend Bolton School pupils, teachers, parents and friends took over the Arts Centre and danced the night away in their very own version of the BBC's popular television show 'Strictly Come Dancing'. With the School's Swing Band and Guitar Group providing the musical entertainment, a series of dances were performed by members of the School's cross-divisional lunchtime Dance Club, before guests were invited to partake of a group dance and a Barn Dance. However the highlight of the sell-out event was the eagerly-awaited teachers' contest which pitted three pairs of the Boys' Division teaching staff against one another in a dance-off! The event proved to be a splendid evening of fun for all who attended and plans are already afoot for next year's 'Strictly Bolton School' evening.

Friday, 6 May 2011

2-6 May 2011

This week the School co-hosted a football festival with Bolton Wanderers, which offered an afternoon of fun and coaching sessions for Year 3 and Year 4 pupils from seven local primary schools. The after school sessions were the first part in the School's Football Festival for primary schools which is stretching over two evenings this year. Coaches from Bolton Wanderers and from the School, including two Sixth Form boys who have just completed their coaching badges with the Independent Schools' Football Association, taught the youngsters learnt about passing, shooting and dribbling and how to incorporate these into a game. Wanderers gave 100 tickets to the primary schools for children and their parents to attend the home game against Sunderland on Saturday. The second part of the festival will see over 260 Year 5 and Year 6 girls and boys taking part in a 5-a-side knockout tournament.

Also this week the Girls' Division Great Hall was filled with a magical showcase of music in their annual May Serenade. The very best of Bolton School's musical talent was on show for the concert, which involved the Senior Concert Band, Intermediate Concert Band, Joint Orchestra, String Ensemble, Percussion Ensemble, Middle School Choir, Senior Flute Choir, Junior Chamber Choir, Chamber Choir, Senior Choir and the Jazz Band. A collection at the end of the evening raised money for SKCV (Street Kids' Community Villages) in India.

The U15 Cricket team returned from their three day tour to Worcester with two out of three wins! First off the boys beat Wolverhampton Grammar, followed by a victory over Hereford Cathedral School. The final match of the tour was against Old Elizabethans and however this time the boys lost out by 3 wickets.

Two of our Sixth Form boys have been representing the nation abroad in their respective sports - Sam Higgins was "Back of the Tournament" on the successful Easter tour to Zimbabwe with the Combined English and Scottish Independent Schools' Barbarians (ISB). The standout game of the four match tour was against the national Zimbabwe U19s team at St John's in Harare, which the Barbarians won 21-14. It was the first British rugby tour of Zimbabwe for over 10 years and the boys were warmly received. They also found some time to help out in the local community and provided a coaching session at the Mbare Academy for 5-12 year olds. While James Roberts has once again been selected to represent England as part of the Cerebral Palsy Development Football Squad, this time in the 7-a-side Development Tournament held in Denmark. James will be playing for England against The Netherlands, Scotland and Denmark in matches played over three days in Vejen. He made his debut for England last July with a winning performance at the Home Nations Tournament in Dublin. We wish him and the England squad the best of luck this weekend.

And this evening will see the School play host to a Strictly Social evening where pupils from the joint Year 11-13 Strictly Dance club will be trying out their new skills in front of parents, staff and friends. Since November, pupils from both divisions have been learning ballroom and latin dance. The night will allow them to show off what they have learned.

Thursday, 28 April 2011

9 - 28 April 2011

Beech House children sent their best wishes to Prince William and Kate Middleton for tomorrow's Royal Wedding.

The 4-7 year old girls and boys were enjoying an alfresco Royal Wedding Celebration Lunch after two days of cross-curricular work on royalty and tradition.

It was double success for Bolton School Year 10 pupil Natasha Lomas who won both the Tyldesley Winter Tennis League with mixed doubles partner Chris Blackshaw and the LTA Winter County Leaderboard competition in Lancashire for the U16s girls' singles age group.

Sixth Form girls have been busy demonstrating their business acumen as they aim to become Young Consumers of the Year. The team of four won the regional round of the Trading Standards' Institute's Young Consumer of the Year competition, overcoming seven other schools from the Greater Manchester region in a knockout quiz. They won £200 for the School and follow in the footsteps of a Bolton School team who won the same competition in 2004.

Old Boy Jack Forster returned to the school with his Sale Sharks team-mates and coaches to provide a rugby camp for clubs from around the country. They were also joined by rugby legend, Jack Leonard, an England World Cup winner and one of the world's most capped internationals, who trained a group of lucky children chosen by Aviva. The camp ran prior to Sale's Aviva Premiership rugby match against London Irish at the Reebok Stadium, home of Bolton Wanderers.