Thursday, 24 October 2013

18th October 2013

The final week before the half term has been a busy one for events and this year's Open Morning was one of the busiest ever with a record number of enquirers creating a great buzz around the campus. Also this week hundreds of GCSE and A level students from across the borough attended the Bolton School Careers and Higher Education Convention, with delegates from over 70 different companies, training boards and universities throughout England on hand to advise upper school students about their future. On the same evening was a food and drink festival organised by Junior Boys’ Parents Association and parents, pupils and visitors enjoyed tucking into the many delicacies on offer. The event was organised as a social get-together and money raised from the raffle and hire of stalls will go towards buying playground equipment for the Junior Boys. And Year 7 pupils in the Girls’ Division put on a dazzling concert, showcasing the wide range of musical talents in the year, including a number of soloist instrumental and vocal performers and songs from Les Miserables. Year 7 and 8 pupils from both divisions joined around 20,000 children in over 50 countries across the world to compete in the World Marathon Challenge - a simultaneous relay race in support of Save the Children. Each child ran a 200m stretch of the track at Leverhulme Park Athletics Club several times each, passing a baton to their team-mates, covering a total of 26.2 miles – a full Olympic marathon! The weather was much improved from last year and the Bolton School pupils completed their marathon in 2h 15 mins and 40 seconds. In sport, a number of girls across a range of age groups have been selected to play Lacrosse for Lancashire. The girls attended the U18 Lancashire Trials and after a long and tiring day, 16 girls were selected to play for the County squads. The U15 netball team were convincing winners of the Bolton Schools' Tournament scoring an impressive 80 goals whilst conceding only 8! And congratulations go to Rhiannon Fox-Rothwell in the Lower Sixth who has been selected once again to represent Lancashire Under 18 Women’s rugby team. Bolton School has continued its strong links with ISFA this year with four boys being selected for the ISFA north representative sides. Once again pupils at Hesketh House enjoyed an afternoon of healthy eating with the H Factor. The girls took part in the annual healthy eating initiative which saw the children making smoothies on a bike (!), researching healthy food options using netbooks, taking part in quizzes and sampling a range of foods. A team of four boys have defeated local rivals to progress to the Regional Finals of the prestigious Debating Matters competition. The finals will be held at the Manchester Museum of Science and Industry against winning schools from around the North West and North of Wales.

11th October 2013

Old Boy Bryan Appleyard, successful journalist and author, returned to his former school to speak at the prestigious Marcus Tillotson Lecture. His lecture, ‘The Rise of the Machines’ provided an opportunity for an audience of almost 300 pupils, parents, former parents and friends of the School to listen to and engage with a leading literary figure and one of the School’s most gifted alumni. Pupils in the Senior Girls' School have raised over £350 towards sponsoring their third guide dog! The girls already sponsor two guide dogs from earlier fundraising efforts, Rolo and Dickens. Now, they are well on their way to sponsoring a third. The fundraising day was part of the week long campaign Stand Out for Guide Dogs 2013, and, for a minimum donation of 50 pence, girls were allowed to wear an item of luminous clothing. A choir of 30 girls from year 7 to 13 performed to a packed audience at the Star Ball Hilton Hotel on Saturday evening. This exciting black tie event was held in aid of the charity NSPCC. And Year 8 and 9 pupils from Bolton School Girls’ and Boys’ Divisions took part in a whole day STEM (science technology engineering and maths) event, working in teams of 5 to complete a series of challenges leading up to the main task of the day – to design and make a model of a glider. Almost 200 Old Boys and Old Girls joined with former staff and their guests this week for a Bolton School Reunion held at the School. After a drinks reception in the impressive new Riley Centre, everyone gathered in the Arts Centre to catch up with old classmates and to meet with some of their former teachers. Two pairs of multi-generations of Old Boys and Old Girls were there as well as two married Old Boy and Old Girl couples! And the U12 Water Polo team are the Bolton and District U12 Cup winners! The team came from 4-2 down against Warrington to eventually win 6-4! The team are also one game away from winning the league!

4th October 2013

This week, Bolton School, in partnership with the Ogden Trust, played host to the Frontiers of Physics lectures, which brought together over 250 pupils, parents and staff from eight schools in the Bolton, Preston and Leyland areas. Pupils were treated to a series of lectures and given the opportunity to ask real scientists questions. For the finale of the event the great hall was linked, via video conference, to CERN in Geneva. The School also welcomed author and Brit Writers’ Award Winner, Sufiya Ahmed, to officially launch a new initiative supported by the Bolton Schools' Library Service - the “Bolton Children’s Fiction Book Award”. Over 100 pupils in Years 7 and 8 from across the region joined Bolton School pupils at the launch, where Sufiya announced the six shortlisted books and encouraged the pupils to read the shortlisted books and vote for their favourite. Bolton Public Libraries are stocking the shortlisted titles in their branch libraries. In sport, Year 7 and 8 girls at Bolton School, who completed a level 2 football training skills course earlier in the year, were treated to an access all areas tour of the Reebok stadium where they were awarded their course certificate and medal pitch side by the BWFC coaches. Year 10 pupil Georgina Owen in has been selected for the Under 17 Regional EXCEL netball squad - a high performance squad which follows an intensive training schedule with some of the country's top coaches. Further netball success to report in the Sixth Form as Georgina’s sister, Ellena Owen, and Sarah Richards have been selected to represent Cheshire County U18 Netball squad for the forthcoming season. While pupils Nalisha Patel and Haseeb Hameed were honoured at the BoSPAA Sports Awards – Nalisha was awarded ‘Sports Achiever of the Year’ and Hasseb, was runner up in the same category, both for cricket. Bolton School also sponsored the category of ‘Coach of the Year’ at the awards, which went to Lynda Grady of Bolton Trampoline Club. The U18 Boys’ Division Water polo team won all the games in their group to make it through the first round of English Schools’ competition. An impressive performance, especially given that several players were missing from the squad and a number U16/15 boys were included. Beech House pupils joined over 60 Year 1 and 2 pupils from eight other local primary schools from across the region to take part in a Ball Skills Festival where teams of eight children took part different activities ranging from sports such as football, hockey, and tennis to throwing events. And Bolton School also hosted a Maths Challenge for local Primary Schools to help get young people involved in Maths in a fun way. Bolton School Junior Boys celebrated Harvest by joining with parents for the annual Harvest festival in aid of the Drop-in Centre at St Luke's Church on Chorley Old Road. Year 7 Sailor, Matthew Kyle, took to the waves to help pay for expensive repairs to his gran’s church - and raised more than £1,100 by sailing 16km, the length of Coniston Water in the Lake District, And members of the Bolton School Concert Band performed at the Burnden Park Asda on Saturday to help raise money for Tickled Pink.

20th September 2013

Year 12 pupils at Bolton School Girls’ Division received expert business tips and motivation from Old Girl Caroline Plumb, as part of a Business Enterprise and Skills Training Day. Successful businesswoman Caroline, Co-founder and CEO of FreshMinds Group, spoke to the girls about her own career and passed on tips and advice to help them succeed in the future. The day was part of the careers programme for the girls, and also included workshops and seminars with local Business leaders. Also this week GCSE and A level students, their parents, staff and friends of the School enjoyed a fascinating insight into the work of a Medical Physicist. Dr Heather Williams, a Senior Medical Physicist for Nuclear Medicine at Central Manchester University Hospitals and Honorary Lecturer in the Centre for Imaging Sciences at Manchester University, outlined the contribution of clinical scientists to healthcare and the work of medical physicists, like herself. Pupils from seven schools across Bolton have been making a stand for farmers across the world. The event, organised by Bolton School Girls’ Division and Oxfam, and supported by The Co-operative is part of a campaign for a better deal to be struck for the world's smallholder farmers. 30 pupils from six Bolton primary schools along with 30 current Year 7s from Bolton School Girls’ Division learnt about where their food comes from, the problems that small scale food producers face and the important role they play in providing food globally. 12 Year 8 water polo players have all made the regional squad for water polo after performing well at the recent trials at Manchester Aquatics Centre. While Year 11 pupil Matthew Potts has been selected to represent the North of England at Hockey as the U17 goalkeeper. Three Bolton School Girls’ Division pupils have been selected for the Halle Youth Orchestra. Following successful auditions, the girls have been awarded full membership for the 2013-2014 season. Year 12 pupil Katie Hurt will play the cello, Year 13 pupil Holly Holt will play the flute and fellow Year 13 pupil Natasha Lomas will play the clarinet. Despite the rain, Old Boltonians and their friends have once again made a significant contribution to the School's Bursary Fund through the annual Bolton School Bursary Golf Day, held at Bolton Golf Club. Teams from across the School Community joined teams of pupils from the Boys’ Division and the Girls' Division at the event. A fantastic grand total of £5, 600 was raised through the event. Fourteen students, who left Bolton School in the Summer, have raised £57,531 to help provide bursaries for future Bolton School pupils. Over a two week period, the students called former Bolton School pupils who had indicated that they would be happy to talk to current students about fundraising activities. And Junior Boys presented the Bolton Branch of the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) with a cheque for £4356.58, raised through their annual fancy dress fun run!

13th September 2013

On the first day of the Autumn Term, Sixth Form students at Bolton School were thrilled to move into their new £7m Riley Sixth Form Centre. The stunning glass-fronted three storey building gives independence to more than 400 Sixth Form students and includes an ICT suite, seminar rooms with touch-screen tvs, quiet study areas, a common room, a refectory cafe area, exhibition space and the main school reception. Quoting Shakespeare’s Polonius in Hamlet, “To thine own self be true”, Professor Jennifer Clack, ScD FRS (Professor and Curator of Vertebrate Palaeontology at the University Museum of Zoology, Cambridge), returned to Bolton School as Guest Speaker to offer wisdom and advice at the Girls’ Division Sixth Form Presentation Evening. Professor Clack, who was the subject of a recent BBC documentary, “Beautiful Minds”, impressed upon the girls the importance of not bowing to pressure from others and to take advantage of opportunities when they present themselves. All Sixth Formers at Bolton School are actively encouraged to get involved in supporting their local communities and as part of this, a Volunteering Fair was held for Year 12 pupils, giving students the opportunity to meet with local organisations and make decisions about the kinds of voluntary activities they might pursue. Former Bolton School Girls’ Division pupil, Katherine Monks, was part of the winning University of Liverpool team on University Challenge last night. Katherine, who is reading Classics at Liverpool, performed outstandingly well for her team who easily beat Keele with an amazing score of 295-40 in their first round match.

Summer 2013

The summer holidays by no means signifies a quiet time for Bolton School! Pupils have been celebrating outstanding GCSE and A level results – at A Level in the Boys’ Division, 76.1% of results were A*, A or B and overall, students achieved a 99.4% pass rate with just under half of the grades awarded being A* or A and 89.1% of grades being at C or above. Four boys achieved 3 or more A* grades. Students in the Girls’ Division at Bolton School achieved a 100% pass rate at A Level with over half of the grades awarded being A* or A and 93% of grades being at C or above. The pass rate at A* to B was 82.3%. Six girls achieved 3 or more A* grades. 70.7% of the grades awarded at Bolton School Girls’ Division were A* or A with 33% of grades at A*. Seven girls achieved 11 A* grades and three girls achieved 10 A* grades In the Boys’ Division two out of every three grades obtained were at either A* or A; 33.6% of all grades were at A* and one in every three boys has achieved a set of A* or A grades in each of their ten subjects. Twelve 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 KCEM Education Centre. This is the second time Bolton School girls have been to visit Tanzania, thanks to the School’s connection with LivLife, a charity which has been set up by two old boys of the School to provide free education centres in villages of Tanzania. The trip allowed the girls to fully immerse themselves in African life and provided a real cultural exchange. While nineteen Bolton School boys enjoyed three days of hockey lessons from the first team coach of German side, ETB Essen, who is also a top player in the German national league. The privilege was afforded to them during their Hockey Exchange Tour with the Essen club. During their one week stay in Germany, the boys were welcomed by the Mayor in the Town Hall and their visit even made Essen Council's newsletter. Hesketh House officially has the best U10 and U11 girls’ chess players in Britain! Chess prodigies Sharon Daniel and Mahima Raghavendra took part in the British Chess Championships in Torquay in August. Sharon became British Under 11 Girls Champion and Mahima became British Under 10 Girls Champion in the same event. It is an amazing achievement for two girls from the same School to be British Champions! Well done girls! And Year 10 pupil, Arron Davies, travelled to Nemours in France to compete in the 2013 IWWF Water Ski and Wakeboard Europe and Africa Youth Championships, and came away with a team bronze medal! Arron was one of a four strong GB Youth U14 team to compete in the competition which was held on the 21st to 25th August. Arron and his team competed in preliminary rounds in Slalom, Tricks and Jumps events to qualify for the finals, and finished in third place. Not only did Bolton School Boys’ Division pupil Haseeb Hameed achieve 3A*s, 4As, 2Bs and a C in his GCSE’s, he also had a busy and successful summer playing cricket for Lancashire and in the Under 19 England development squad. Most recently Haseeb was drafted into the England Under 19 squad for a series of games. And talented writer, Luke Cavanaugh, has penned an award-winning story! Luke’s imaginative tale about an orphan impressed judges so much he was chosen as the winner of the Words for Life Pen a Story Competition, run by the National Literacy Trust. Hundreds of young people entered the competition and Luke’s story was chosen from a shortlist of 40.