Friday, 22 May 2015

22 May 2015

This week the School's Senior Saxophone Quartet discovered that they have made it through to the final eight in an international competition! This is no mean feat, as musicians had to be under the age of 35 and entrants could apply from around the world - meaning that some of their rivals would have much more experience. Nonetheless, the four made it through with their excellent performance of the set pieces, and will compete this summer at the World Saxophone Congress in Strasbourg, France.

A video of the Senior Saxophone Quartet performing at the recent "Saxophone Adventure" concert held at Bolton Parish Church is available here.

The Junior Boys' football team has also enjoyed recent success, winning the AJIS Cup for the second time in four years! They boys overcame Rossall School in a closely contested final to bring back the trophy.

The Year 8 girls have now finished their examination period, and have a series of extra-curricular activities lined up for the coming weeks. One of the first of these was the annual MFL Day. The girls were treated to a day of interesting workshops, each focusing on a different language or culture. They enjoyed taster lessons in Russian and Italian, a Spanish Salsa workshop, and tried their hand at baking traditional German treats!

Old Girl Baroness Trish Morris has taken over the presidency of Bolton Lads and Girls Club from Old Boy Ross Warburton. Baroness Morris has been involved with the club for two decades, and has watched the club go from strength to strength during Mr Warburton's 15 years in the role. The change was announced at the club's annual celebration evening.

Pupils in Year 3 at the Junior Boys' School have been testing their articstic talents recently as part of a photographic competition. The boys submitted their best photographs to be judged by a professional photographer, with Alex's image 'White Daffodils' winning first place for its interesting composition and the stark contrast of light and shade.

Year 8 pupil Sharon Daniel recently became an ambassador for the English Speaking Board (ESB) after completing ESB awards in the Girls' Division Junior School. She was interviewed about her ESB experience, and the video is now available to view here.

At the end of last week, the second '100 Inspiring Minds' profile was added, celebrating the contribution of Headmaster Mr F R Poskitt. He was the head of the Boys' Division for 33 years and was hugely influential in creating the modern school as we know it today, both literally and figuratively.

This week's profile is dedicated to Girls' Division Headmistress Miss M Higginson, who led the school from 1954 to 1979. She helped to establish better links between the two Divisions - so that they no longer regarded each other as "alien species" - and her visionary approach was a great inspiration both to her pupils and to fellow members of staff.

Friday, 15 May 2015

15 May 2015

Last weekend, the U14 Water Polo players completed the School’s hat-trick by winning the third and final English Schools’ National Championships title! The U18, U16 and U14 Boys' Division teams are now all National Champions - a feat which has only ever been achieved twice before, both times by Bolton School.

The School found out this week that the Sixth Formers' amazing volunteering efforts have won the School a £1,000 award from vInspired! The School was given this development grant for having the most students who have logged enough hours to be awarded a vInspired certificate, and the money will be used to help pupils develop new or existing skills and support their onward progression.

A team of Year 12 boys has placed second in the North-West Regional heat of the Royal Society of Chemistry’s Schools' Analyst Competition. This challenging competition asks pupils to undertake various practical analytical determinations based on problems relating to social or industrial needs, and required the boys to complete both familiar and unfamiliar tasks.

The Junior Girls' School has now announced the winners of the annual Photography Competition, which is run by the PA and was judged by professional photographer and Old Boy Mark Power. he theme was 'Unusual Angles' and the girls came up with some really interesting entires! Rosie Crowther’s untitled photo of a paper light-shade won overall, and she and the other year group winners will receive copies of their photo printed onto canvas.

Former Headmaster Mr Mervyn Brooker returned to the Boys' Division this week to deliver a talk about Nepal, with partiular focus on the effects of the recent earthquakes. He was trekking in Nepal just one week before the first earthquake hit and knows some of those who have lost their homes and are now struggling, so was able to give the boys a very personal view on the impact of this natural disaster.

The Senior Saxophone Quartet has made it through to the last eight in an international competition which will be held this summer at the World Saxophone Congress in Strasbourg! This is an amazing achievement as the competition is open to any group under the age of 35, and to make it to the semi-final the group had to perform two pieces from a repetoir list of complex options.

Two Year 12 boys are planning to scale Mont Blanc over the summer holidays. Aston Haslam and Ethan Watson have secured a grant and a guide to take them to the top of Europe's highest peak - without parents or teachers to accompany them!

On Monday, the Year 13 boys took advantage of technology to enjoy a careers talk with three Old Boys - live from London! They heard about the alumni's experiences of working in business and were able to ask questions thanks to the live audio link. This was a really interesting and valuable experience for the pupils.

In the Girls' Division, Year 8 pupil Sharon Daniel, who recently found fame winning Channel 4's Child Genius television programme, has been awarded the role of ESB Ambassador! The ESB is a national organisation providing awards for excellent communication skills.

A group of four boys have won a place at the UK Team Maths Challenge in London! This is a fantastic achievement for the boys, who beat tough competition at the Regional Final and are already looking forward to the next challenge.

This week, the School bid farewell to the Year 13 students, who have now gone on Leave of Absence in preparation for their A Level examinations.

The Year 13 girls maintained the tradition of wearing fancy dress for their final day in School, and the theme of 'animals' made for a very colourful send-off!

To celebrate Bolton School's 100/500 anniversaries, the five Parents' Associations have come together to organise a Foundation Family Festival on the School grounds on the 28th of June! All current and past parents, pupils and friends of the Bolton School Foundation are invited to come along, and the day promises to be memorable with Bake Offs, a bird of prey display, Infant and Junior School fairs, and even pupils abseiling down the clock tower!

Friday, 8 May 2015

8 May 2015

Last Friday, Boys' Division alumnus Barney Pilling - who recently edited the film The Grand Budapest Hotel - returned to School to join the boys for a series of workshops themed around film. During the sessions he talked about what being a film editor entails and discussed his work on Never Let Me Go and The Grand Budapest Hotel, which has received BAFTA and Oscar nominations for its editing. He also found time to answer the boys' many interested questions.

Yesterday, pupils in the Girls' Division were joined by children from Bolton Muslim Girls' School, Turton School and Smithills School for a special visit from Frances Hardinge, whose book Cuckoo Song has been nominated for this year's Carnegie Medal! Her fascinating talk focused on Cuckoo Song and also on new release The Lie Tree, but she also discussed her other works and her writing process in the hour-long session. The pupils really enjoyed hearing from Frances in her own words and were completely enthralled - particularly by her reading from The Lie Tree!

In the Girls' Division, the May Serenade celebrated the arrival of the month in style, with excellent performances throughout. The varied styles and the mixture of soloists, ensembles and choirs ensured that there was something for everyone to enjoy on the evening.

Click here to watch a short playlist of videos from the May Serenade, or click here to listen to an audio recording of the event on the School's Soundcloud.

The annual Junior Boys' Spring Concert also took place last week in the Boys' Division Great Hall. The young musicians played to a very high standard throughout the evening and provided an interesting programme for the audience. The concert ended with a spectacular Michael Jackson Medley performend by the massed voices of the whole of the Junior Boys' School, accompanied by Year 10 band The Parallel Oreos.

The Old Boltonians' AFC have recently celebrated their first win of the Lancashire Amateur League Premier Division title in almost thirty years! Some of the Old Boys who last won the title were there for the game to cheer on the Old Bolts to victory. The Club is now focusing on potentially breaking the record for the number of points in a season, and hope to win Lancashire Amateur League First XI’s Cup Final tomorrow.

Pupils in the Boys' Division took part in the HMC Northern Athletics Championships for the first time in over twenty years this week. Despite taking only six athletes, the School won 7th place out of 14 in the Years 10-11 age group. This was a fantastic achievement, and the success of this small group has inspired the School to enter a full team of athletes next year!

Pupils at Beech House, Bolton School's Infant School, have recently been learning some new Circus Skills! Plate spinning, scarf juggling and feather balancing were just some of the exciting activities on offer, and the children really enjoyed getting involved.

Old Boy Mark Jagasia's debut play Clarion is currently showing at the Arcola Theatre in London, and has been received with a wash of four- and five-star reviews! Starring Clare Higgins and Greg Hicks, Mark's play is a scathing satire of the British newspaper industry which manages to be both topical and comedic. Clarion has been nominated for three Off West End Theatre Awards!

Today sees the launch of the 100 Inspiring Minds project. Throughout 2015-16, some of the most inspiring and influential people from Bolton School’s history will be interviewed to celebrate their contribution. The first of these profiles is now available, and is about Lord Leverhulme.

Friday, 1 May 2015

1 May 2015

Bolton School has once again hosted a week of ISFA Football Festivals for local children. The U13 Girls' Football Festival kicked off the events on Monday, with teams from eight schools taking part. The Bolton School girls played very well on the day, coming third in their league, but it was Turton who took home the trophy for the second year running.

Tuesday's Football Festival for pupils in Years 3 and 4 involved over fifty local primary school teams and hundreds of boys and girls. The emphasis was on fun and taking part, and introduced children and parents to the English Schools' Football Association code of conduct.

The final football event was the Year 5 and 6 Football Festival on Thursday evening. This rounded off the week of football, which involved over 1,500 pupils over the three days. The event for children in the last two years of primary school has been running for almost a decade, and now involves A Team, B Team, and Girls' competitions. The two primary school festivals were refereed by Bolton School pupils in Years 11 to 13.

In other sporting news, Year 5 pupil Hollie Asquith joined the British team for her first international roller-skating competition over Easter! She skated really well and surpassed expectations, receiving consistent marks and placing 10th in her age group.

Four girls in Year 8 have been selected to join the England Lacrosse Talent Pathway. This follows their successful trials at the Lacrosse Regional Academy over Easter. They will have the opportunity to develop their skills to a high level, and potentially could go on to play for their country.

There was also great news from young sportswoman Ellie Broome in Year 11. She has been invited to join the England Lacrosse U19s Academy thanks to her excellent performance over the last season.

In the Boys' Division, the cricket season continued with matches against Queen Elizabeth's Grammar School Wakefield on Saturday and Manchester Grammar School on Wednesday. Match reports are available on the Asons' Cricket Scoreboard.

Last week, the School held a Networking Event in London for alumni. The Rt Hon Dame Janet Smith, DBE, was the keynote speaker at the event and gave an interesting address about her time in the Girls' Division, her career, and the future of the legal profession. The event also allowed plenty of time for alumni to network before and after the talk.

The 19th Bolton (Bolton School) Scout Group hosted a St George's Day Service in the Boys' Division Great Hall on Sunday. This also involved a Parade of Beavers, Cubs, Scouts and Explorer Scouts along Chorley New Road.

Monday's SPACE Programme session saw the Sixth Form Boys donning fancy dress for a Charity Fun Run. The wide variety of costumes made for a real spectacle as the boys completed a minimum of three laps of the Levels to raise money and awareness for two charities: Rape Crisis in England and Wales and the Parish Hall Restoration Appeal for Holy Trinity Church in Horwich.

Meanwhile the Year 10 boys were put through their paces in an Army Leadership Afternoon. The Army’s North West Outreach Team brought with them a variety of challenging activities for the boys to complete in small groups; these tasks helped to develop their 'soft skills' - such as leadership and problem solving - in a fun and interesting way.

Girls' Division Year 7 pupil Samantha Schofield has been offered a place at the Junior RNCM from September. She plays the flute and piano, and is particularly looking forward to joining some of the Junior RNCM bands.