Thursday, 31 March 2011

28 March -1 April 2011

A sporting week for Bolton School as over 100 primary school children from Bolton and Greater Manchester enjoyed Sales Sharks' Tag Rugby Festival which was held at the School. The event was the finale of several weeks of tag rugby coaching in 17 primary schools from across the borough and the Year 5 and Year 6 boys and girls had a wonderful afternoon at what was a hotly contested tournament. The overall winners were St James CE Primary School Daisy Hill, who overcame Bolton School in a tight final by 4 tries to 3. Coaching tips and prizes were handed out on the day by Sale Sharks players Will Cliff and Fijian international Wame Lewaravu. The Girls' Division Senior Lacrosse and Netball teams are getting set for a tour to Canada and America! The teams will travel to Vancouver, Vancouver Island and Seattle during the two week trip in July, playing matches against different schools and clubs along the way, as well as fitting in some sightseeing! Over the last 12 months, the girls have been involved in a number of fundraising events including two fashion shows and bag packing at Tesco to fund the trip. And more sport news as Year 10 pupil Andrew Keat is the English Schools' Biathlon Champion in his age group after an outstanding performance at the final of the competition. Year 11 pupil Oliver Walker also gave an impressive performance, finishing third in his age group, and thanks to their successes at the competition, Andrew and Oliver have qualified automatically for the British Biathlon Championships to be held in Birmingham in May. It seems that talent runs in the family as Oliver's sister Lydia in Year 10 of the Girls' Division came 7th in her age group and also in the Girls' Division, Aimee Smith finished 9th in the Year 9 age group. The Junior Boys' team also did well in the competition to take second overall in their age group. Year 10 pupils from Bolton School were joined by students from St Joseph’s, Derby High and St Mary’s Wigan on Thursday for the ‘Ever Wondered Why’ Roadshow. Teacher David Richardson from Clifton College in Bristol delivered the show, designed to enthuse students about physics and the world around them, to the audience of around 300 pupils. He covered a range of topics, from the size of the universe to optical illusions, and low-temperature physics to the world’s largest physics experiment - the LHC (Large Hadron Collider) built by the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN), all with the aim of persuading pupils that physics is an important and valuable part of what they study at school and beyond. David carried out several experiments on stage to demonstrate the theories – including a controlled explosion of a balloon containing hydrogen gas! Over at the Nursery, pupils aged 3-5 took part in a charity walk to raise money for MedEquip4Kids. Children from the Caterpillars and Butterflies walked around the nursery outdoor area completing 5 laps in total, and their efforts raised over £200 for the charity.

Friday, 25 March 2011

21-25 March 2011

Foundation United in Red for Japan
All 2,400 children from across the Bolton School Foundation - the Nursery, the Infant School, Junior Girls, Junior Boys, Senior Girls, Senior Boys, Sixth Form Girls and Sixth Form Boys - have come together in a fundraising effort for the British Red Cross Japan Tsunami Appeal. The call for help came from the Makino family who have a boy and girl, Kei and Ai, in the Infant School and two boys, Eichi and Jei, in the Junior Boys' School. Mrs Makino used to live in the Sendai province, which is one of the worst hit areas and where she still has friends. Pupils were all asked to wear something red to show they were supporting the campaign and there was also a raffle with some very unique prizes including a Manchester United football shirt signed by Ryan Giggs, some football boots signed by Phil Neville, a t-shirt and photo signed by Amir Khan and photographs signed by Kevin Davies.

Students from the Boys’ Division made history by being part of a 100-strong team of schoolchildren who presented the first live TV broadcast from the BBC’s new base in the North on the annual BBC School Report News Day! Along with other students from across the North West and Yorkshire, the boys worked for the day from The Studios at MediaCityUK in Salford to produce a live bulletin to a national deadline of 2pm. Back at school boys from years 7 to 9 also got involved by spending the day creating video, audio and text-based news reports to publish on the website by the 4pm deadline. Simultaneously, 30,000 pupils from 800 schools across the UK were busy creating their own news reports which the BBC then linked up to when the deadline was up!

Our pupils triumphed in the face of adversity this week with their stunning performance of Aristophanes' Greek Comedy 'The Frogs', despite the show nearly being ruined by a leaky radiator! With less than a week to go until opening night, the drama studio was flooded overnight by the radiator, leaving some of the set and technical equipment damaged. Undeterred, the Maintenance team and staff got to work drying things out with dehumidifiers and repairing and replacing the scenery, and the show could go on! Pupils from Year 7 to the final year of Sixth Form, along with many teachers, have been involved in the joint production which was a huge success on opening night, and will also run tonight and tomorrow evening.

Year 5 and 6 pupils from Junior girls and boys have been training hard in the run up to the Sale Sharks Primary Tag Rugby festival, which will be held at Bolton School on Wednesday 30th March. The pupils took part in a training session with Bolton Rugby Development Officer Steph Veal who gave them a few pointers for the tournament which will involve a mixed team of Bolton boys and girls competing against 16 other local primary schools.

Also in School this week our pupils were joined by students from other local schools for an inspiring lecture on Medical Imaging by Dr Michael Wilson from the University Hospital Birmingham, and our pupils gave some excellent performances at this year's Manchester Classical Association Reading Competition where Adam Woolley was joint winner of the boys’ GCSE Greek category, Tim Varghese was joint winner of the boys’ GCSE Latin category and Lydia Hounat and Jainee Patel achieved second prize in the girls’ beginners Latin category.
And we say goodbye to Yuka Sugawara, a 2nd year student majoring in Economics at Soka University in Tokyo, who has spent four weeks at the School working with pupils of all ages as part of a programme run by the University of Manchester's Language Centre.

Friday, 18 March 2011

14-18 March 2011

Headmistress of the Girls’ Division Mrs Gill Richards has announced her retirement after five and a half years at the head of the School. The new Headmistress of Bolton School Girls' Division will be Miss Sue Hincks, currently Senior Deputy Head of The King's School, Worcester, who will take up the appointment in September 2011. Sue Hincks obtained a First Class Honours Degree in Modern History and Modern Languages, from Magdalen College, Oxford.

Musicians from Canon Slade and Rivington and Blackrod schools joined pupils from Bolton School on Thursday to enjoy a day's music workshop with the Northern Chamber Orchestra's (NCO) Wind Quintet. The quintet spent the early part of the day performing for Junior Girls and Junior Boys at Bolton School and encouraging the pupils to try out different wind instruments. They then performed a 20 minute concert for the 140 Year 7-13 students and spent time talking about their individual instruments including the oboe, the French horn, the bassoon, the flute and the clarinet. After the concert pupils worked in groups to prepare pieces for the Ensembles' Concert in the evening, where they performed outstandingly as a Massed Wind Band to a delighted and appreciative audience.

Also this week Bolton School hosted its annual Maths Challenge day for local Primary Schools to help get young people involved in Maths in a fun way. Twenty two Primary School teams took part in the challenges, which were based around an adventure in space! They had to tackle a series of different mathematic activities on each planet including constructing keys and building power packs for their spaceship, spotting the odd alien out and working out the weight of space rocks. After completing the challenges, pupils were able to build their own rockets! After a morning of brain taxing puzzles, the teams had a well deserved lunch in the school Dining Hall before regrouping to hear the results. This is the second year the event has been held and once again the day was a huge success, becoming another established community event at the school, alongside the SHINE programme and the Language, Sports, Literacy, 5-a-side Football and Science Festivals which Bolton School run for local Primary Schools.

In sport, Year 13 student Alex Davidson will make his debut for rugby league giants, Salford City Reds, in tonight's Engage Super League clash against Hull KR. Alex, who is likely to be on the bench to start with, is fully expected to make his debut as prop; he will find himself up against Hull's recent signing and rugby league legend Willie Mason. And Bolton School Swimmer Emma Saunders has secured her place in the World Youth Championships this summer by putting in a strong performance at the British Gas Championships in Manchester.

And it was red noses all round today as all the Schools did their bit to raise money for Comic Relief. Children at Beech House were delighted when Mario and Luigi, the famous video game characters, dropped into their school to help out with the infants' fundraising. Pupils were hoping to raise in the region of £1,000 during the day, through dressing down, a cake sale and a book and dvd sale. Junior Girls set up stalls selling cakes, raffle tickets to win teddies and a giant lollipop, silly bands and tattoos, and also had their own singing competition, finishing off the day with a whole school comic relief song performance.

Friday, 11 March 2011

7 - 11 March 2011

Local primary school children visited Bolton School this week for our inaugural Primary Schools Literacy Challenge. Year 5 pupils from nine local primaries took part in a ‘Reading Challenge’ where they had to read aloud a passage from their favourite book, with the emphasis on fluency, expression and the communication of enthusiasm for their chosen book through their delivery. There was also a fun introduction to Shakespeare drama session, and a third session of games and tasks based on ‘The Odyssey’. The day concluded with the presentation of certificates and prizes and all pupils were given a Thesaurus as a memento of the day.

Also in School this week was Mark Robson, best-selling author of 'swords-and-sorcery' style adventures for children, who visited Bolton School Boys' Division to share with the pupils what it takes to be a successful author and publisher, and to show them that sheer hard work can get you anywhere. Mark spoke to Year 7 and 8 pupils about his life as a Royal Air Force pilot and how he went from this to being an author. When speaking about his life and career so far Mark's energy and enthusiasm inspired confidence in the boys by showing them that through setting goals, personal motivation and hard work, anything is possible. In the afternoon, Mark ran a Publishing Workshop with Year 9 boys, designed to give them an insight into some of the different disciplines that go into producing and marketing a book.

Bolton School Girls' Division celebrated International Women's Day on Tuesday, remembering how pioneering women won them the same educational rights as boys. In a special assembly Headmistress Mrs Gill Richards reminded girls about their important work with other women around the world in less fortunate circumstances than themselves, particularly through the Bolton School Global Village, which brings together under one umbrella, the school's varied activities with international schools. Links have already been established with a Maasai tribe in Tanzania and schools in Chile and China, and Bolton girls have also visited India and helped changed the lives of those living in poverty through the charity SKCV.

And Junior Girls have once again been broadening their horizons with a workshop by the Young Shakespeare Company – this time getting into character with a Midsummer Night’s Dream.

Friday, 4 March 2011

28 February - 4 March 2011

Bolton School’s Under 15's finished runners up in the national final of the Independent Schools Football Association Cup, staged on Thursday at Burton Albion FC’s Pirelli Stadium. Having moved serenely into the final with convincing victories in their previous rounds, including a comfortable win over Manchester Grammar School in the semi final, the boys failed to overcome Whitgift School, Croydon, losing 4-0 in a final featuring flowing and attractive football from both teams.

Our Beech House pupils have been named the UK's most talented young storytellers in a competition launched to celebrate National Storytelling Week. The competition was run by Playforce and involved pupils imaginatively narrating the tale of Three Billy Goats Gruff in an outdoor setting, using musical instruments. Schools captured the performances by taking photos and recording short video clips, which were judged by Playforce's team of experts. You can download the Beech House photographic story here. As first position winners, talented Beech House pupils were able to select the prize for their school grounds, opting for a Playforce Storyteller Chair. Pupils at Beech House have also been getting creative to help save Moss Bank Park Butterfly House by making colourful paper butterflies that were used in a publicity event. Local residents are hoping to reverse the decision to close the Butterfly House and called on local schoolchildren to help them rally local community support through the event, which saw the the entire grass banking in the park covered with paper butterflies.

The Junior Girls celebrated this year's International Day on Thursday with an 'all things Italian' theme giving them a flavour of the country's language, food and culture. The girls spent a day filled with cross-curricular activities, where they enjoyed food-tasting, singing and dancing and even played Italian bingo for cakes brought specially from Italy! For some, the Venetian mask-making was the highlight of the day, whilst others enthused about tower-building in the Art Straw Team Challenge. Everyone got into the spirit by wearing red, green and white clothing - including some imaginative usage of flags, ribbons and feathers!

And Bolton School have handed over a cheque for £750 to neighbouring children's charity Bolton Lads and Girls Club, raised through a non uniform day on Valentine’s Day which saw all pupils from the Boys' Division pay £1 to wear their own clothes.