Friday, 28 March 2014

28 March 2014

It's been a great week for sport - and not to mention very busy.

Year 13 student Natasha Lomas captained the Tyldesley Tennis Juniors' team to victory last weekend in the Lancashire County U18 Girls' Doubles' Winter League competition. They achieved a spectacular 100% win record!

The Boys' Division U14s team beat Rivington and Blackrod School 3-1 to win the Town Cup! It was a great game, with the boys playing hard to come out triumphant.

The U15s team was also successful, winning the Town Cup after a tough match versus Thornleigh Salesian College. It was a very close game, with Bolton School coming away with a score of 1-0.

On Thursday, Bolton School hosted its inaugural U15s’ Rugby 7s’ Tournament, with schools from all over the North West taking part. Kirkham Grammar School were the overall winners in the Cup compeition, while QEGS Blackburn took home the Plate, and Rivington and Blackrod School won the Bowl final.

Old Boys and Old Girls came together in London this week for the first ever Alumni Networking Event. Over forty former pupils came together at Cass Business School for a keynote speech from the evening's host, Old Boy Sir Malcolm Williamson, and had a great time mingling and networking with each other over drinks and canapes.

Boys' Division band The Parallel Oreos played at The Market Place in Bolton on Thursday, supporting Debbie Halls-Evans, recent winner of Channel 4's The Taste. She was giving a cooking demonstration while the boys provided excellent musical accompaniment.

The week was rounded off by the Joint Production of Romeo and Juliet. The play was a spectacular modern interpretation of Shakespeare's classic, including a wide variety of songs and modern choreography, and ran for four nights. It was a huge success, and definitely showcased the talents of all the students involved - not to mention the hard work they put in throughout the months of rehearsal!

Friday, 21 March 2014

21 March 2014

It has been a week full of events and trips across the whole Bolton School foundation!

Old Boy Mark Gregory, who is now a television documentary producer/director, came into school to talk to pupils in the Boys' and Girls' Divisions about his work. He gave two fascinating talks, both of which looked at the importance of making television about current affairs, in order to discover and communicate the truth about what is going on in the world. He was also able to give the students an insight into how best to approach a career in television.

Meanwhile, the Year 9 boys took advantage of this week's SPACE session to fundraise for Guide Dogs. They spent Tuesday afternoon completing a sponsored Fun Run around the Levels. The money will go towards sponsoring a Guide Dog puppy later in the year.

The U14s Football team were also out and about on Tuesday. They travelled to the Fylde Coast to take part in the AKS Football Tournament, and after a very close competition, made it through to the final. They played QEGS Blackburn, and emerged victorious with a score of 4-1!

As part of the Girls' Division PSE programme, the Year 9 girls were quizzed on their knowledge of Bolton School's heritage. This was a really fun way for them to learn about Lord Leverhulme's legacy.

Bolton School held its' first Spelling Bee for local primary school children this week. The Riley Centre was packed as the pupils came forward to take on the challenge of tough words like “onomatopoeia” and “encyclopaedia” - proving the event to be a smash hit with both the Year 5 pupils who took part and the parents who came to support them!

Senior school pupils have had their own linguistic challenges: pupils from both Divisions took part in the North West heats of the French Spelling Bee at Manchester Met on Wednesday. Two Bolton School boys even made it through to the final, to be held in Cambridge this July!

Thirteen boys and two girls also took part in Manchester Classics Reading Competition held at Stockport Grammar. Tasked with reading Latin or Greek texts with the correct pronunciation and emphasis in front of an audience, this was a great test of their skills. Josh Butterworth and James Chia came first and second respectively in the Sixth Form Latin Prose category, while Mark Turner came second for his GCSE Greek reading.

On Wednesday evening, the Girls' Division held a celebration of creativity in the form of an Open Mic Night. It was a fantastic evening, with performances from eighteen pupils, Old Girl Danielle Tomlinson, and Mancunian slam poet Mike Garry. The poems and prose read out by Bolton School's pupils really showed off their talent and creativity, with Mike commenting on the high standard at several points throughout the evening.

The school has also been celebrating the successes of Indie musician Jordan Allen, who left Bolton School in 2010. He has collected rave reviews ahead of the launch of his EP, 'I Wanna Be Remembered', which will be released on iTunes on the 29th of March. He plans to return to the Boys' Division soon to talk to boys about his experiences in the music industry.

The school hosted its' inaugural Lacrosse Festival on Thursday. Undeterred by the wet and windy weather, the Girls' Division's Year 9 and 10 lacrosse players offered local primary school pupils a number of fun skill-building activities. The afternoon ended with a series of heats for the Greater Manchester Schools' Games; the Bolton School Junior Girls and Saints Osmund and Andrew RC Primary School will go on to represent Bolton at the Games. The primary and senior school pupils alike had a great time in spite of the weather!

Another group of Year 9 girls had a very different afternoon: they travelled to Manchester University to take part in a Lego Robotics Workshop. Working with Bolton Muslim Girls’ School, they were tutored in the programming skills to enable them to create a working robot and complete the day's challenge! The girls were mentored by Robogals, a student-run organisation which aims to engage schoolgirls with engineering and other traditionally 'male' subjects.

The Junior Girls at Hesketh House have been celebrating Shakespeare Week - a great opportunity to learn more about the Bard through a number of fun activities. Each girl has been sent a 'Shakespeare Passport' by the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust, who organised the national event. They have used these passports to access Shakespeare's life and works in a mental journey back in time. There have also been opportunities to dress up and perform sections of Shakespeare's plays, from Julius Caesar to Macbeth, Much Ado About Nothing to A Midsummer Night's Dream.

Professor Emily Jackson, who is Head of the Department of Law at the London School of Economics, addressed the Sixth Form on Friday. She spoke to studying Philosophy and Ethics students about Assisted Dying and the Law. This was a great opportunity for the girls to engage with an ongoing debate.

Finally, girls and boys at Beech House Infants’ Department have raised over £1,000 for Sport Relief! Staff and pupils alike wore Sport Relief t-shirts, headbands and wristbands, and came to school in their trainers. They also completed a sponsored run and held a cake sale.

Friday, 14 March 2014

14 March 2014

The week began with excellent news from the Boys' Division U16s and U18s Water Polo teams. Over the weekend, they competed in the ESSA National Water Polo Finals. After a truly dramatic series of matches, the U16s team came second in their category, while the U18s team emerged victorious with first place!

There has been another great report from the Girls' Division's Lacrosse players this week. Four pupils have been selected to join the England U18s squad - a fantastic achievement!

All of the Sixth Formers have had reason to celebrate this week: their hard work and volunteering efforts have won the school a place at the vInspired awards ceremony at the IndigO2 in London! Eight pupils and two teachers will travel down to represent the school at an evening of good food, entertainment, and of course the individual awards themselves.

The Year 12 pupils were off timetable on Tuesday in order to take part in a World of Work day organised by the Careers department. Throughout the morning they enjoyed a series of talks from professionals in a variety of careers, including seven Bolton School alumni! They then spent the afternoon at the UCAS Higher Education Convention in Manchester. This is the first step on a long journey for the Lower Sixth, and will hopefully encourage them to make the right decisions for their future.

Old Boy Phillip Taylor returned to the school on Wednesday to give a talk about the realities of working in Engineering. The students who attended this talk were given a brief description of his career, and some very sound advice for the future if they choose to go into this field.

Siblings David and Nancy Hartshorn - both Alumni of Bolton School - also visited the school this week, in order to donate an amazing array of items to the school's archive. There are not only items from their 1960s school experience, but also documents and memories from their father and uncle, who attended the school in the 1930s!

Boys' Division band The Parallel Oreos were in the spotlight on Wednesday. They travelled to Ryan Giggs's George's restaurant to entertain the guests at a victory celebration for Bolton contestant Debbie Halls-Evans, who won Channel 4’s cookery show The Taste. The boys were a credit to the school, and their set was a definite hit.

The Year 7 girls have been treated this week to 'Discover Your Voice' workshop day. Run by the English Speaking Union, this day of workshops culminated in some really impressive short debates from the girls, who worked hard to make their arguments as persuasive as possible. The day was organised as part of an week off timetable which also saw them taking trips to Stratford and Chester Zoo.

Finally, the Junior Boys' Year 6 Football Team represented Bolton Wanderers at the Northern Final of the Football League Trust Kids’ Cup - and won! It was by no means an easy feat, with some very tough teams to beat along the way. However, the boys emerged as champions of the North, and will now go on to play in the National Final at Wembley in May!

Friday, 7 March 2014

7 March 2014

The Year 10 boys started this week with a bang: they were put through their paces in Monday's SPACE session by the Army North West Outreach Team. A series of various leadership tasks made for a gruelling but enjoyable test of their skills.

The U13s 7s Rugby Team was also kept busy on Monday, competing at AKS Lytham for the Plate. After a series of tough matches, the boys emerged victorious!

Also on the sporting front, Year 12 pupil Aaron Winstanley has been called up to train with the Senior GB Water Polo team! This may lead to him playing at the Commonwealth Games - a fantastic achievement for a young sportsperson.

Meanwhile, in the Girls' Division, Head Girl Annabel Ault has been given one of just three internship places in Deloitte's Manchester office as part of the company's prestigious Gap Year Scholar Scheme. Her friend Nadia Barabash also won a placement at the Manchester office.

Thursday was a busy day throughout the school! The Junior Girls at Hesketh House celebrated World Book Day. They came to school dressed in elaborate costumes representing their favourite literary characters. It was great to see so many different genres and books represented!

As part of the festivities, which had a Shakespearean theme, the cast of the Joint Production treated the girls to scenes from Romeo and Juliet during their morning assembly. The dramatic scenes from early in the play were a huge hit with the girls. Part of the Hesketh House preview can be watched on YouTube.

We also learned on Thursday that Old Girl Sarah Thompson, who left Bolton School in 1989 and is now Principal Lawyer with Slater & Gordon (UK) LLP, is publishing a book of her own! Family Law Made Simple has been written by the Family Law team at Slater & Gordon, and Sarah is the main contributor.

In the evening, the Boys' Division held the final of the Young Musician Awards. After a month of heats - and magnificent music - it all came down to one last evening of performances. There was a very high standard throughout, and a wide range of styles and genres to enjoy.

On Friday, the Year 10 girls took part in the UK Hour of Code. This event was set up to promote computer science, and particularly programming, to school pupils throughout the country - and it certainly piqued the girls' interest!

Beech House rounded off the week with a fun and engaging production of 'Who's Been Sitting in my Chair?' - a one-man production telling the story of 'Goldilocks and the Three Bears'. The boys and girls were captivated by the stories of the bears' dreams, as well as by the well-known tale itself.