Monday, 22 December 2014

19 December 2014

The evening of Friday 12 December saw a large gathering of Old Boltonians witness the inauguration of Sir Philip Craven as President of the Old Boltonians’Association. During his acceptance speech, he spoke of his fond memories of attending the School from 1961 to 1969. He also briefly talked about his career, which has taken him all over the world both as a Paralympian and in his current role as President of the International Paralympic Committee.

Saturday evening was the final night of Rats’ Tales, the School’s first ever Lower and Middle School Joint Production, which ran over three nights and showed that the School’s younger pupils can give the senior students a run for their money when it comes to putting on a show. 

Another Old Boy, Professor Malcolm Stevens returned to the School to offer his wisdom and recollections to Year 9 boys ahead of them making their GCSE choices.

The final week of term was one for much joyous carolling with the Junior Boys’ Choir singing on the cobbles of Coronation Street as they entertained those on Christmas tours of the studios, Senior Girls holding a traditional Ceremony of Carols and Senior Boys celebrating the festive season with their uplifting Christmas Festival.  Beech House Infants were also busy and you can read about the Year 2 celebrations here, as well as a special guest to the Infant School and the help that children gave to CBeebies in recording their Bauble Bop links.

Senior School pupils remembered those less fortunate themselves contributing an outstanding 1,000 packets of after-dinner mints and crackers.

Away from Christmas, there were several other news stories over the course of the week.  Year 10 and 11 boys marked the centenary year of the First World War by performing an extract from R C Sheriff’s Journey’s End and a student-devised piece on the theme of conflict.  After a term of rehearsal, they put on the performances in front of an audience of parents and friends.

Senior Girls enjoyed victories in their “friendly” indoor netball and lacrosse games against returning Old Girls and former school team players.

Amir Khan, fresh from retaining his WBC boxing title in Las Vegas at the weekend, returned to Bolton and paid a visit to Park Road where the Junior Boys were advised to work hard and chase their dreams.

The School was also delighted to announce the launch of a number of new academic Scholarships for girls and boys entering Year 7 of Bolton School in September 2015.

Friday, 12 December 2014

12 December 2014

Last Friday, the Year 7 charity representatives used their lunch break to take part in a trolley dash around Bolton's Toys R Us store! Earlier in the term, they raised over £2,300 through a day's Sponsored Silence, and were spending the money to buy gifts to donate to Key 103's Mission Christmas Appeal, in support of the charity Cash for Kids.

Over the weekend, Year 11 pupils from the Boys' and Girls' Divisions were joined by students from local schools for a special Maths and Physics Morning. There were opportunities to try out workshops and taster sessions in the two subjects, but the highlight of the day was the presentation by 'Rock Doctor' Mark Lewney!

The Junior Girls' School chess players recently took part in the latest AJIS Chess Tournament where they all performed well. Several girls came away with medals, and Year 6 pupil Amerleen won a trophy for winning all her games!

It was an exciting week for the School's elite athletes this week, with a visit from former football internationals Mark Lawrenson and Trevor Sinclair. A-Level P.E. students, the 1st XI footballers and other elite athletes from the Senior Boys' and Senior Girls' Schools gathered together for an interesting and informative talk from the pair, who gave a recap of their schooldays, careers in professional sport, and everything they have done since retiring from playing football.

The Year 6 girls took part in a Pantomime Workshop in the Senior Girls' School theatre this week. Led by Mrs Smith, they learned all about what elements go into a pantomime before rehearsing and performing their own, shortened versions of the classic tales Cinderella, Aladdin, Jack and the Beanstalk and Little Red Riding Hood.

There was exciting news from the Junior Boys' School this week: Mrs Susan Faulkner has been appointed the new Head and will take over from Mr Stephen Whittaker from Easter 2015. Mrs Faulkner has been the Deputy Head since arriving at Bolton School in 2011, and will be the first female Head of the Junior Boys' School!

A group of four Sixth Form girls have been taking part in Debating Matters, a national competition aiming to offer a fresh and engaging format for debating contemporary issues. The girls took part in the local competition, with the team split into pairs to debate different topics, and managed to argue their way into the North West Final next year!

Year 13 pupil Jessica Broome was this week awarded a certificate to celebrate that she is a 'Society Selected Artist' after submitting a piece of her artwork to be considered for inclusion at the Royal Society of British Artists Exhibition 2015. She was shortlisted by the Bolton branch of NADFAS.

In the Boys' Division, Biology teacher Mr Teasdale has been working hard since the start of the year to bring animals back into his subject through Animal Care Club, where Year 7s and Sixth Formers work together to look after a wide variety of creatures from cockroaches to a bearded dragon! The popularity and success of the club has led to an invitation for him to present the Club at the Science on Stage Festival in London next summer!

Over the past few weeks, the rehearsals have continued for the Friends of Bolton School Choir. There is still plenty of room for news members and the Choir is looking for tenors and basses. Anyone interested in joining should come along to the first rehearsal of the New Year on the 7th of January, at the new start time of 7pm.

Sixth Formers from both the Boys' and Girls' Divisions recently teamed up for the annual KPMG Enterprise Trophy competition. The gripping final took place on Wednesday, with six mixed teams presenting their business propositions before a panel of external judges. The overall winners were iControl, with their app to control home lighting from anywhere in the world.

The School has certainly begun the countdown to Christmas this week, with carol services and nativity performances taking place.

Last weekend, the Senior Concert Band performed at the NSPCC's Carols by Candlelight concert in Manchester Cathedral. They played two pieces, and also provided accompaniment for 'Hark! The Herald Angels Sing' which was sung by the audience.

The Reception classes at Beech House Infants' School performed their Nativity, 'Whoops-A-Daisy Angel', which interweaves the tale of a clumsy angel with the traditional Christmas story. The girls and boys sang traditional carols and more modern songs, as well as learning lots of lines so that they could tell the whole story themselves!

Also at Beech House, the Year 2 classes put on 'Midwife Crisis' - a humourous retelling of the Bible story with the insertion of a midwife who thinks that the King whose birth she is sent to preside over must take place in a Palace! She is of course mistaken, but eventually finds her way to the stable to meet the Baby Jesus. The children really enjoyed putting on the nativity play and the parents were delighted with their performance!

The Junior Girls put on their own Nativity Celebration which once again mixed the modern and the traditional. They congregated with parents and grandparents in the Girls' Division Great Hall, which was filled with music as the girls put on a variety of songs for the audience. The musical accompaniment from the Junior Girls' flautists and percussionists made the performance even more special.

The Junior Boys' annual Carol Service was another beautiful occasion. Their voices filled the Boys' Division Great Hall with traditional carols and readings from the Bible, as well as more modern pieces of poetry and prose, to tell the Nativity story.

Finally, the week ended with National Christmas Jumper Day - and the Girls' Division and Sixth Form Boys were more than happy to take part! The girls and boys were joined by Girls' Division staff in wearing either a festive jumper, Christmas hat or tinsel decoration, and everyone paid £1 to support Save the Children. This was a fantastic way to end a week full of Christmas cheer.

Friday, 5 December 2014

5 December 2014

Over the weekend, the Old Girls' Christmas Market kicked off the School's seasonal festivities in the Arts Centre and Riley Sixth Form Centre. There were plenty of gift ideas and treats to look at with stalls selling a wide variety of wares, from lovely clothes to fine foods and drink!

On Saturday, the Junior Boys shone at the latest AJIS Chess Tournament. Four boys won individual prizes, and two teams were placed first and second! This was a great achievement for all of the boys on the chess team, and the latest in a long string of successes for them.

There was lots of excitement for Beech House's Year 1 pupils as they took a trip to Blackpool Zoo! They enjoyed a workshop on different habitats and got to meet lots of different animals.

Local year 6 pupils visited Bolton School recently to take part in the annual Maths Challenge. Teams from fourteen schools were pitted against one another in the competition, which aims to get children involved in maths in a fun way. Well done to the overall winners: Wood Fold Primary School.

Twelve girls have been selected for the Lancashire Lacrosse U15 squads, and two to the reserves. This is a fantastic achievement for all of the girls - especially as two of the girls are in Year 7!

Young sports players from the Boys' and Girls' Divisions were given an interesting and informative talk on Tuesday from an RFU Anti-Doping representative. He spoke to pupils about drugs in sports and the dangers involved - not just from illicit drugs, but also the potential hazards of over-the-counter medication or supplements that may contain substances that are banned in certain sports.

On Thursday, over 1,000 pupils from schools across the north west were wowed by The Flash Bang Show, the Royal Society of Chemistry's annual Christmas lecture. Held in the Boys' Division Great Hall, the show involved a wide variety of chemical experiments, presented in an exciting and accessibly way - and of course with plenty of flashes and bangs!

Last week Alicia, Haleemah, and Madeleine were interviewed on Key 103 about their sponsored silence for Cash for Kids. You can now listen to their interview on the School's Soundcloud!

Friday, 28 November 2014

28 November 2014

Excellent news from the Junior Boys' School this week: the Year 6 football team have won the town championships for the second year in a row! After making it through the final group stage, they did a brilliant job in the semi-final and went on to the final: a re-creation of last year's thrilling match, once again played against Eagley Juniors. The Bolton School team will now go on to represent Bolton Wanderers in the Football League Trust Kids' Cup - and may even follow in the footsteps of last year's team and make it all the way to Wembley!

We caught up with the Sixth Form girls who travelled out to India over the October half term. They shared their memories of visiting SKCV in Vijayawada, where they met former street children at the charity's two villages and were able to treat them to individual presents and a special trip to the cinema thanks to the £3,400 of funds raised by the school before the trip! This once in a lifetime experience was obviously one that will remain with the girls forever.

Girls studying Food Technology received a visit of their own on Monday: Debbie Halls-Evans, winner of Channel 4's The Taste, came into school to give a lesson on infusions. She talked to the girls about how to create their own sugar, salt and oil infusions, as well as demonstrating a basil syrup for them to try. With salted caramel macaroons and Chantilly cream made with vanilla sugar to try as well, this was a huge hit with the girls, and gave GCSE and A-Level students a lot of inspiration for their project work!

We found out this week what new starters at the Junior Girls' School really think about Hesketh House! Click here to watch the video and find out ...

The Young Shakespeare Company took over Hesketh House's hall for a performance of the Scottish Play. Year 5 and 6 girls were delighted by the thrilling and innovative production of Shakespeare's Macbeth. The girls were involved at every stage through audience participation, from a Storyteller asking questions to some girls even taking on roles within the play itself.

In the Boys' Division, Year 13 pupil Peter Mackin revealed that he has been presented with a Royal Yachting Association Youth Award. He received the award from Princess Anne at an awards ceremony in London.

With the Christmas season fast approaching, Girls' Division pupils were keen to spread some festive cheer - even in fictional locations, such as Coronation Street! The Year 7 girls and members of the Middle School Choir and Senior School Choir were invited to do some carolling at the old Granada Studios set on Quay Street as part of the Coronation Street Tour's 'Christmas on the Cobbles' event. They added an extra seasonal sparkle to the day for visitors to the attraction, and were even able to take a tour of the set themselves!

The Junior Girls have also been out singing carols and other seasonal hits, including highlights from their upcoming Christmas show 'Following The Star', at Bolton's Market Place. Shoppers were delighted with the girls' singing, which gave a lovely atmosphere throughout the evening.

Further getting into the Christmas spirit, they and their families have also donated almost 130 shoeboxes filled with presents to Operation Christmas Child! These thoughtfully selected and beautifully wrapped gifts will be delivered world-wide to children who might otherwise not receive a Christmas gift.

On Friday, three Year 7 girls were invited to Key 103 to talk about some of their recent charity work. The whole of Year 7 took part in a sponsored silence, raising £2,000 in total! This money will go to buy toys for Key 103's 'Mission Christmas' appeal, supporting the charity Cash for Kids. The girls did an excellent job chatting to Adam Catterall about their fundraising.

Not to be outdone, Boys' Division teachers have been taking part in Movember to raise money and awareness for Prostate Cancer UK! Four teachers locked away their razors for the whole of November, and between them have raised several hundred pounds - and their altered appearance has done plenty to raise awareness!

Friday, 21 November 2014

21 November 2014

There have recently been plenty of musical events both in School and off campus! On Sunday, the Jazz Band travelled to Altrincham Grammar School for Boys for the annual NCBF North Regional Festival. They played four pieces which were highly praised by the adjudicator, and their hard work in rehearsal was rewarded with a Platinum Award! They have now been invited to participate at the two-day Thirtieth Anniversary National Concert Band Festival in April next year.

To listen to the Jazz Band's Platinum Award winning performance at the NCBF North Regional Festival on the School's Soundcloud page, click here.

On Saturday, the Chamber Choir took part in a concert held in the Boys' Division Great Hall to raise funds for the Muscular Dystrophy charity. Several hundred pounds were raised at this annual event thanks to all of the musicians who took part.

There was rich musical variety on offer at the Joint Autumn Concert last Wednesday. Both Boys' and Girls' Division pupils from Years 7 to 13 were involved in making this a spectacular evening, full of thoroughly enjoyable music. From Classical to pop music, and movie soundtracks to traditional pieces, there really was something for everyone.

The Saxophone Ensemble were busy on Saturday: they travelled to the Trafford Centre to jazz up the launch of the John Lewis Christmas Range! Providing a selection of festive tunes, they delighted shoppers and helped set the right mood, and each saxophonist received a small gift from the store as a token of thanks.

To listen to the Saxophone Ensemble's rendition of 'I Wish It Could Be Christmas Everday' (Wizzard) on the School's Soundcloud page, click here.

Also last week, Sixth Form pupils enjoyed an afternoon lecture from Simon Dixon, the Sir Bernard Pares Professor of Russian History at University College London. Professor Dixon gave a fascinating talk on the rulers of Russia from 1855 to 1964, and also investigated the Theory of Modernisation with pupils.

In sporting news, Ellie Broome in Year 11 has recently been crowned Junior Champion at her local golf club! This follows her recent invitation to join the Cumbria Girls' Elite Golf squad.

The Boys' Division U13 Water Polo team have also enjoyed success this week: they have won the coveted President's Trophy! The boys played against three rival teams in a round-robin tournament, hosted by Bolton School. The team worked very hard to secure comfortable wins in all of their matches throughout the day.

Friday, 14 November 2014

14 November 2014

On the 11th of November, each part of the School performed its own version of the Armistice Day Service of Remembrance.

The Boys' Division held a moving tribute to former pupils who lost their lives in the First and Second World Wars. Dr Holland and six pupils provided brief vignettes on six Old Boys who made the ultimate sacrifice.

Pupils in the Girls' Division were joined by currently serving members of the Armed Forced and by a group of Old Girls for their Service of Remembrance. A selection of poetry readings and hymns made for a moving and poignant ceremony.

The Junior Girls also remembered the local heroes of the two World Wars. In a special assembly with Mrs Hone, Head of Classics in the Senior Girls' School, they learned more about four Old Boys in particular who gave their lives. There was also a reading of 'In Flanders Fields' before the two minutes of silence . The Year 6 girls were also given the opportunity to meet four currently serving members of the army later in the morning.

After the Service of Remembrance, the Old Girls attended a lunch in the Arts Centre, where they were entertained by the Year 7 girls. The girls performed a medley of pieces from Frozen, and the Old Girls were then invited to join in with the School Song.

Last weekend, the School hosted a Modern Foreign Languages Day for Year 11 pupils. Attendees took part in a variety of workshops and talks, all aimed at encouraging pupils to consider studying languages beyond GCSE. This was also a fantastic opportunity to learn more about languages in the world of work, and to try out something new with taster sessions.

There has been some excellent sporting news in the Girls' Division this week. A grand total of thirteen girls from Year 10 to Year 13 have been selected for the Lancashire U18 Lacrosse Squad! The girls have joined the A and B squads: a fantastic achievement for all of the players.

The U15 swimming team have also enjoyed success recently. The four girls and their coach, Mrs Hall, were thrilled with a double victory at the recent John Parry Relays competition.

In the Boys' Division, the Senior Water Polo team dominated the first round of the ESSA U18 Championships. They won all three of their matches, putting them in a very comfortable first place and pushing them on to the next round, where they will continue to defend their title!

Four boys on the Senior Water Polo Team have also been selected for national sporting development programmes! They have been identified as elite players and will be supported in their future sporting endeavours by the programmes.

All of the pupils who applied for Arkwright Scholarship this year were successful in their applications, and over the half term break they attended the awards ceremony. Boys' Division pupils Chris Battarbee, Alex Seed and Niall Woodward and Girls' Division pupil Bethany O'Donnell travelled to London to receive their certificates and meet with representatives from the organisations which will be sponsoring them throughout their Scholarships.

The School's Digital Archive has now been expanded! The existing catalogue of School Magazines has now been joined by editions of alumni magazines and annual School Newsletters from both Divisions.

Year 11 pupil Johanna Mercer has published her second novel on the Amazon Kindle Store. Death by Your Beloved: Be Afraid of the Dark continues the story from her first book, Demon Rose, and promises to be another gripping read.

Finally, pupils in the Junior Schools and at Beech House Infants' School have been raising money for Children in Need today!

The pupils at Beech House took part in a 'Mad Hair Day' for the charity event, with each child coming into school with his or her hair in a funky style or hidden beneath a wig or lots of decorations!

Finally, the Junior Girls joined the 'Be A Hero' campaign and dressed up as superheroes both real and fictional - with some even coming to school as their teachers!

Friday, 7 November 2014

7 November 2014

The week began with a bang on Sunday with the annual Family Fireworks Display, organised by the Parents' Association. There were lots of stalls, plenty of sweet treats, and great music from the Joint Jazz Band prior to the main event, and the firework display itself was spectacular!

Eminent historian Professor Lord Peter Hennessy, who is one of the most acclaimed academics and journalists of our time, visited Bolton School on Tuesday to address the Bolton branch of the Historical Association. He gave an insightful and interesting talk on 'Cold War Whitehall: Writing About The Secret State' which was very well attended.

During their SPACE session, the Year 8 boys were took a trip back in time at Bolton Steam Museum, where the hard-working volunteers had all of the machinery running on full steam. They were able to look at a wide variety of steam-powered machines, and learned about how they work and about the Industrial Revolution in the process.

On Wednesday, a group of Sixth Form girls welcomed Bolton's older generation to the School for Tea at the Riley: the first in a series of tea parties for the 'young at heart'! The girls and their guests all had a lovely afternoon chatting, enjoying live musical performance, and eating the delicious hand-made cakes and scones.

Meanwhile in the Boys' Division, the school's elite cricketers received a masterclass from professional coach Ottis Gibson! He gave the boys lots of tips, finding the time to work one-on-one with some of the boys, and even showed them his prized World Cup winning ring from 2012. This was a fantastic experience for the boys.

The Boys' Division also had the pleasure of welcoming five other schools to the Great Hall for the regional English Chess Federation Team Chess Challenge tournament. The Boys' Division A and B teams played very well, coming in second and third place overall.

Bolton School was delighted to sponsor the Young Business of the Year category at this year’s Manchester Evening News Business Awards. There were over one hundred entries to this category, and Headmaster Mr Philip Britton was delighted to announce the overall winner - Prymo Surface Solutions - at the awards ceremony.

We also caught up on some final pieces of news from before Half Term this week:

The Junior Boys' School took part in the first set of Bolton Primary Schools' Chess League matches last month. They did extremely well in all of their matches, and emerged the winners of the competition after conceding just half a point!

The Junior Girls' School also played in the Bolton Primary Schools' Chess League tournament. All of the girls did well in their matches, securing at least one victory each. One of the girls received a medal for winning both of her games.

Primary school pupils tacked the Bolton School Big Quiz just before the holidays. Twelve local schools put forward six pupils to take part, and they were tested on a wide variety of subjects to determine who would win the prize at the end of the evening.

Earlier in October, Sixth Form pupil Lydia Hounat performed at the Manchester Literature Festival! She read out two poems alongside fellow performance poets from her Writing Squad, from literature organisation Bad Language, and professional novellist Matt Haig!

The Year 10 netball team were victorious in the Bolton Schools Tournament! After playing well in the first round and the semi-final, they found themselves taking on Rivington and Blackrod High School for the second time. Determined not to draw, they dominated the match and came away with the trophy.

Two Old Boys - Sir Philip Craven and Dr Steve Town - met up at the 50th Anniversary European air Play Movement Congress in Latvia last month! Both presented to the congress and were very well received.

Friday, 31 October 2014

31 October 2014

Children at Bolton School Nursery have been wishing one another 'Happy Halloween' today! Dressing up in their favourite costumes, they enjoyed a fantastically spooky day.

Over half term, a group of girls and teachers travelled out to India to visit the charity SKCV Children's Trust. As well as helping out with the everyday activities of the charity and getting to know the former street kids who are now being looked after by SKCV, they also made front-page news in the local paper!

On World Food Day in October, representatives of Unilever Food Solutions visited Bolton School to talk to the Senior Boys and Senior Girls in their morning assemblies. They talked about the fantastic work the World Food Programme does to end hunger, and commended the School for the work already done to help! The representatives met with School staff after the assemblies to discuss what more can be done in future.

Finally, the Friends of Bolton School Choir will be launching next week! Come along on Wednesday if you are interested in joining or supporting this latest musical venture.

Friday, 24 October 2014

24 October 2014

At the end of last week, pupils from Years 10 to 13 took part in an inspirational Engineering Careers Day. The day's keynote speaker was engineer and TV personality Kate Bellingham, who reassured her audience that there was no need to "fit a box" to be an engineer - a theme repeated by several of the speakers throughout the day! This was a great opportunity for those interested in a career in engineering to learn more about the wide variety of options available from industry professionals and higher education providers, including four Bolton School alumni.

Thursday of last week was busy across the Foundation. All of the pupils from Hesketh House Junior Girls' School, enjoyed a day off their normal timetable to take a trip to Port Sunlight! There they learned more about Edwardian and Victorian life, as well as finding out about the village's founder, none other than Bolton School's benefactor William Hesketh Lever.

On Thursday evening, the Junior Girls' Chess Team took part in their first matches of this year's Bolton Primary Schools' Chess League. The girls did well, each winning at least one game each!

Pupils and parents from the Boys' Division were delighted to attend a talk on twenty-first century dinosaur hunting from palaeobiologist Professor Phil Manning on Thursday evening. Professor Manning spoke about his work at the University of Manchester as well as regaling the audience with tales of digging up fossils in America.

In the Girls' Division, the Under 16s Netball team were recently successful in the Bolton Town Championships. They played to an extremely high standard and came away from the final victorious!

Year 13 pupil Haseeb Hameed has also had some sporting success in recent weeks: following a season of spectacular scores, he has signed a deal with Lancashire County Cricket Club! He will join the professionals next season, after taking part in the England Development Programme this winter.

On Friday evening, guests flocked to the Arts Centre for a Cooking Masterclass arranged by the Old Girls' Association. Local chef Mike Harrison demonstrated three delicious courses; and with wine provided by T. Wright Wines and a chocolate tasting session courtesy of Choc Amor, a wonderful time was had by all who attended. The evening was organised in support of the UK branch of the Phelan-McDermid Syndrome Foundation, and by the end of the evening a spectacular total of £1772.00 had been raised for the charity!

Friday, 17 October 2014

17 October 2014

After a hugely successful Open Morning last Saturday, the last week before the half term break began with a primary liaison event for Year 2 pupils from the local area. Gifted and talented Year 2 boys and girls were invited to Hesketh House Junior Girls' School to take part in Puzzle Challenges which stretched their abilities while the children also had lots of fun!

Over the summer holidays, three Sixth Form boys were selected as UCLan Young Researchers. The boys worked alongside the university staff to further three very different research projects, which were matched to their personal interests and aspirations.

At the end of September, the Boys' Division Golf Team took part in the XL Club Schools' Golf Day, and emerged victorious! They brought home the trophy, and team member Nathan Clark also won an individual prize.

Finally, to round off the week, the School hosted an Engineering Careers Day on Friday. This was a great opportunity for pupils in Years 10 to 13 to hear from industry professionals about the wide variety within the field of engineering, and what to do if they decide to follow a path into this interesting, creative and innovative career. The day was opened by keynote speaker Kate Bellingham.