Friday, 26 September 2014

26 September 2014

It's hard to believe it's been a whole week since the Girls Go Gold Conference 2014. One of our Year 11 pupils, Ellie Broome, attended the conference and kept a diary of the day, giving us an insight into 'A Girl's Perspective on Girls Go Gold'!

Ellie is also a keen golfer. Over the summer holidays, she was selected to be a part of the Cumbria Girls' Elite Golf team - despite only playing for two years! This is a fantastic achievement for her, and we wish her luck in the future.

Andy Paterson, film producer and Old Boy, returned to the Boys' Division earlier this week to deliver the annual Tillotson Lecture. He spoke about 'telling stories' and gave a masterclass in film production which had the audience completely captivated throughout. It was fascinating to hear from a producer who has worked with the likes of Colin Firth and Nicole Kidman!

Old Girl Olivia Brown also returned to school this week to talk to A Level Art students about her experiences doing an Art Foundation course followed by an Art degree. She brought in many vibrant examples of her work, which the girls really enjoyed looking at, and talked about her current work as a designer. Olivia was the perfect inspiration for the girls, as not only did she win the fifth annual Student Wallpaper Design Competition, she also loves her work!

Last week, girls in Year 9 were given a day off timetable to take part in a Business Enterprise Day. Old Girl Karen Diggle gave them an inspirational talk in the morning, and this was followed by a business challenge based on the FIFA World Cup 2014! The girls were really engaged with the task and took it very seriously - especially since there was a competitive element.

At the end of last week, as millions of Scots turned out to vote in the Independence Referendum, the Girls' Division also cast their ballots in a Mock Independence Referendum of their own! This was a great opportunity for them to engage with politics and to understand more about both sides of the argument. The votes were counted up and results announced on Friday: "No" won in the Girls' Division by a 70% majority!

Year 12 pupil Alex Hopkinson spent a week over the summer completing a work experience placement at the Houses of Parliament! This was a fantastic opportunity for Alex to get a glimpse of politics from the inside, and to develop her skills for the future.

The First XV Rugby Team have breezed through the opening round of the NatWest Schools' Cup with a 50-0 win! This capped off an excellent week for all of the School's rugby teams, with them victorious in 10 of 11 games played.

At Hesketh House, the girls spent Thursday celebrating the diversity in the school community on the European Day of Languages! The girls revealed that they collectively speak twenty-two different languages, and shared these with one another with great enthusiasm.

Finally, this morning, the Hesketh House Parents' Association put on a Coffee Morning before school in support of Macmillan Cancer Research. Parents flocked to the hall to sample the P.A.'s tasty treats and warm drinks after dropping off their daughters in the playground, and afterwards enjoyed sitting in on the girls' morning assembly. The event raised over £300 for the charity: a marvellous achievement for all involved!

Friday, 19 September 2014

19 September 2014

Yesterday, Bolton School Girls' Division hosted the northern Girls Go Gold Conference 2014! With keynote speakers Helen Glover and Jenny Meadows, sessions run by Tracey Neville, Victoria Cotton, Sonia Oxley and Dr Lindsay Hill, and Sports Rehabilitation activities taking place at Bolton University, this was a fantastic and inspirational day which really showed the attending girls 'Where Sport Can Take You'.

You can read some quotes from the day here.

Year 4 pupil Georgie Sykes is a young gymnast with a great deal of passion and dedication to her sport. Over the summer, she flew out to Malta to compete in an international competition, and was awarded rosettes for her 'good' and 'very good' performances!

This year, A Level PE is thriving more than ever before, with twenty-two students studying the subject! This includes several Girls' Division pupils joining the Boys' Division cohort.

Recent Leaver Tejal Shanbhag has been awarded a scholarship from the Institute of Mechanical Engineers! This is a fantastic achievement and will help her for the duration of her Engineering degree at Trinity College, Cambridge.

On Monday, the Year 12 girls took part in a Business Enterprise and Skills Training Day in order to practice their soft skills. A number of guests ran workshops focusing on various aspects of business, and the keynote speech was given by Deputy Chief Constable Janette McCormick of the Cheshire Constabulary, who is an Old Girl of the School.

The Boys' Division has recently been celebrating its new status as a 'FairAware' School. The Fairtrade Foundation has awarded the school with this status following the past year's many activities designed to raise both funds and awareness within the school community. However, this is not the end of the road - the boys are now working to win 'FairActive' status for the school, with the aim to eventually achieve the highest award: 'FairAchiever' status.

Old Boltonians and their friends gathered at Bolton Golf Club for the annual President's Golf Day on Thursday. The teams' entry fees and raffle raised money for the School Bursary Fund, and the day ended with a fantastic total of £5,491 - enough to fund a half bursary for one year!

Friday, 12 September 2014

12 September 2014

The first full week of term has been as busy as ever for Bolton School.

We are still learning of some of the exciting achievements of our students over the summer months. Year 12 pupil Dominic Walker has won two medals in national swimming competitions! He took part in the ASA National Youth Championships, where he won gold, and the 2014 School Games, where he came away with bronze - a fantastic achievement in both cases.

Year 13 pupils Lydia Hounat, Natasha Hall and Rachel Fines spent 30 hours over the summer assisting a research project with Liverpool University. They searched Google Books for digital copies of books in French on the subject of India. This was a fascinating opportunity for them to increase their language skills, and an interesting project to take part in.

Last weekend, the First football team travelled down to Chigwell to compete in the ISFA Sixes Tournament. After excellent play from the Bolton School boys throughout the day, they achieved third place in the tournament, and won the Plate competition! Read the full match report here.

Monday saw the return of the boys' SPACE sessions. The Sixth Form enjoyed a talk from Old Boy Barry Nightingale, who imparted his 'Life Lessons' to them in the Great Hall. Meanwhile, Year 7 learned more about Lord Leverhulme and the many traditions of the Boys' Division in the Arts Centre.

The Year 9 boys enjoyed a rather more hands-on experience in their first SPACE session of the year. They travelled down to the Bolton School scout hut, Brookside, where they took part in a tree survey led by representatives from the RSPB. This was a great opportunity for the boys to learn more about the natural world around them.

Tuesday saw pupils gather for Whole School Photographs. The Junior Boys' School (Park Road), Boys' Division Senior School, and both Junior and Senior pupils in the Girls' Division congregated to take part in a tradition dating back to the late Victorian period. It was quite a spectacle to see the whole School brought together!

On Thursday evening, students, teachers, parents and friends gathered in the Girls' Division Great Hall for Presentation Evening. The Guest Speaker was Lesley Ainsworth, who gave a incisive address about change, choice, and the importance of developing skills beyond the academic.

Left to right: Head Girl Jessica Melling, Mrs Griffiths, Chairman of Governors
Mr Griffiths, Guest Speaker Lesley Ainsworth, Headmistress Sue Hincks,
and Deputy Head Girls Ananya Baksi and Khamillah Mohammed
The Girls' Division is looking forward to hosting the annual Girls Go Gold Conference next week! Girls from schools around the country will travel to Bolton School to take part, while still more will visit St Catherine’s Bramley for the Southern Conference. With keynote speakers Jenny Meadows and Helen Glover, and a host of expert speakers and workshop leaders including former England netball captain Tracey Neville, the event has been a sell-out for months, and promises to be a very special day for everyone involved!

You can preview an online version of the Girls Go Gold Programme by clicking here.

Friday, 5 September 2014

5 September 2014

It's the start of a new term at Bolton School, but things have not been quiet over the holidays and there has been cause for much celebration:

GCSE pupils and their parents joined teachers in the Boys' and Girls' Division Great Halls to receive their exam results.

In the Boys' Division, 28.1% of grades were at A* with eight boys achieving a set of perfect grades! The boys bucked the national trend, achieving their best results in English in three years, particularly in English Literature. Results in STEM subjects were also strong. Almost 91.4% of boys achieved a minimum of 10 A*- B grades, and 93% of grades overall were graded A*- C.

In the Girls' Division, 29% of GCSE papers were given an A* grade. Five girls achieved the impressive haul of 11 A* grades, with a further five receiving 10 A* grades. 59.4% of papers were graded A*- A, which is a great achievement or the girls, and 23% of girls secured a minimum of 11 A*- A grades!

Four pupils had an extra reason for celebration: one girl and three boys were awarded prestigious Arkwright Scholarships. This year there was a 100% success rate for Bolton School candidates! The process involved a detailed application form, two-hour aptitude test, and an in-depth interview where candidates had to talk about a project they had undertaken. Chris Battarbee, Bethany O’Donnell, Alex Seed and Niall Woodward will be awarded £600 over the course of their A Level studies through the Scholarship, as well as many opportunities to enhance their knowledge of engineering.

Bolton School's Sixth Form students have also been enjoying personal successes over the summer.

Jennifer Heyes has gained a prestigious Blue Tree Scholarship at Imperial College London! The award is given to dynamic students with an aptitude for engineering, and is worth £7,000 per annum for the full duration of her four year programme.

Paloma Shakouri has also been successful in obtaining a prestigious academic scholarship on the BSc Hons Business and Enterprise degree programme at Pearson College. Her excellent performance on the interview and assessment day led to the university choosing to award her the scholarship.

Cricketer Haseeb Hameed has proved himself in fine form for Lancashire's 2nd XI team, even impressing the first team coach, Glen Chapple!

Natasha Lomas has had a very musical summer: not only has she obtained a scholarship at the Royal Northern College of Music for her clarinet performance, she has also passed her diploma in saxophone performance and toured Europe with the Joint Jazz Band!

Sam Critchlow received a GEOSET award for his video about the lives of Marie and Pierre Curie. The award, for Streaming Media - Education, is is one of several annual awards granted by the GEOSET initiative to recognise the hard word of those who contribute to the project. GEOSET was founded by Bolton School Old Boy Sir Harry Kroto.

Although pupils only returned to School this week, the campus was buzzing with activity even before the start of term: the School was delighted to welcome back the cast and crew of Last Tango in Halifax returned to the School during August. The School was used as a filming location for certain scenes from series 3 of the television programme.

Later on this term, and continuing until March 2015, the School will also play host to the Historical Association's monthly lecture series, which will use the Girls' Division Theatre for this year's social meetings. There will be talks about every period in British history, from the middle ages to the Cold War, which will be delivered by a variety of highly qualified experts. The History Departments are particularly excited by November's lecture, which will be delivered by renowned historian Professor Sir Peter Hennessy.

The Old Girls' Association has been as busy as ever during the holidays, organising a Cooking Masterclass with local chef Mike Harrison. This will take place in the Arts Centre on Friday the 17th of October, with the proceeds split between the Phelan-McDermid Syndrome Foundation (PMSF) and the Bolton School Old Girls’ Association.

There has been further good news from Bolton School Alumni this week: KPMG announced that Old Girl Katie Clinton and Old Boy Tim Cutler have been appointed two of the four new partners at KPMG’s Manchester office! This is a fantastic achievement for both of them, and we wish them well in their future endeavours.