Friday, 31 July 2015

31 July 2015

Children from Bolton School Nursery's Butterfly Room and the Nursery Class for Three and Four Year Olds put on a concert entirely in French to show off all they have learned over the past year! The children introduced themselves and sang a variety of songs with different vocabulary, including colours, sizes, and numbers.

Girls' Division pupils in year 7 to 11 also impressed audiences with their performance of Arabian Nights at the end of term. This fantastic production brought the stories of 'One Thousand and One Nights' to life in the Girls' Division Theatre, and transported the audience into fantastical lands with magic birds, hidden caverns, and shouting stones!

The Junior Girls also put on a show with their Summer Concert, Tales of Hesketh House. This was a fantastic celebration of the School's centenary and even included a new piece composed by two pupils titled 'Thank You Lord Leverhulme'. There was plenty of comedy as the girls reminded their parents and families of their own schooldays with musical performances, drama, poetry recitals, and dance.

To hear all of the the fantastic music from the Junior Girls' Summer Concert on the School's Soundcloud, click here or press the play button below:

A compilation of videos showcasing some of the Junior Girls' ESB presentations and poetry recitations is also now available. To view this, click here or press the play button below:

This week's Inspiring Mind is Old Girl Kathryn Knight. A former Head Girl during her time in the Girls' Division, Kathryn is now a successful freelance journalist. She shares her connection with Bolton School and some of her memories, as well as her thoughts on the importance of the 100 Campaign for Bursaries.

Friday, 24 July 2015

24 July 2015

Four Bolton School boys this week joined the ESSA team on their road to victory in an international water polo tournament in Malta! The School is the only school in the country to have contributed more than one player to the squad of sixteen.

The final was really dramatic, with both the ESSA and Malta teams entering on equal points with three previous wins each - but the ESSA Team could not be beaten on the day, thanks in part to seven goals contributed by Bolton School players! They won with an impressive score of 19-8.

As the summer holidays have now begun, so has Kidzone's Holiday Club. Kidzone is Bolton School's wraparound childcare facility, and offers an exciting programme of varied events throughout the summer. These have included an adventure day, a bug hunt, and lots of arts and crafts activities - with many more exciting opportunities still to come!

At the end of term, the Junior Girls held their annual Charity Afternoon. The Year 6 girls worked in groups to put up stalls with everything from raffles to a 'Beauty Bar' to raise money for the charities of their choice, and the younger children couldn't wait to work their way around to playground to sample what was on offer! The girls also took part in Spelling, Maths or Workout Challenges to raise extra money for NSPCC. They raised over £4,500 for NSPCC and over £600 for ten other charities on the day!

Throughout the year, the Junior Girls' School hosts a variety of events to promote Literacy. From World Book Day to learning about Shakespeare's plays to working on ESB presentations and much more, there is something for all of the girls to enjoy.

As the term ended, parents of Beech House's Year 2 class reflected on their children's experience of the Infants before they head off to Junior School.

Before the Sixth Form left for the summer, they were able to meet up with a group of alumni who returned to School to offer their advice and expertise one year on from leaving to go on to university, a gap year, or the world of work. Current pupils were able to ask questions and find out more about the options that lie ahead, and afterwards the recent leavers were able to catch up over drinks and canapés in the Riley Centre's Leverhulme Suite.

This week's Inspiring Mind is Old Boy and now BBC Parliament Controller, Peter Knowles. Peter attended the Boys' Division from 1972 to 1979; he talks about the inspirational members of staff and his memories of School, and offers great advice to current pupils.

Friday, 17 July 2015

17 July 2015

As the summer term drew to a close last week, a group of four Year 7 boys travelled down to Cambridge to take part in the National French Spelling Bee. This was the third consecutive year that the Boys' Division has made it to this national event. The boys performed extremely well, with Amir Chuahan coming in ninth place - an amazing achievement when 75,000 took part in the competition overall.

The School also hosted a Learning with iPads Conference towards the end of term. This was in conjunction with Kelway and Apple, and was a great way for local primary and secondary school teachers to learn more about how iPads can be used to aid learning. The attendees were welcomed by Girls' Divition Headmistress Sue Hincks, and Boys' Division Headmaster Philip Britton gave a talk about Bolton School's e-learning journey. There was also a presentation from the Junior Boys' and Junior Girls' School iPad Ambassadors: Year 5 pupils who assist other pupils who are having issues with the technology.

Friends of the School recently came together for the annual Friends of Bolton School Dinner. The Headmaster and Headmistress helped to bring everyone up to date with everything that has happened over the past year, and this informal evening also offered the opportunity for the Friends to reminisce together.

The Rt Hon Lord Justice Ryder (Sir Ernest Nigel Ryder), who is an Old Boy of the School, has been appointed the Senior President of Tribunals by the Her Majesty the Queen. He will assume this post from 18 September 2015. He is also Deputy Lieutenant of Greater Manchester, a trustee of the Nuffield Foundation and Chancellor of the University of Bolton.

Now that the School has broken up for the summer holidays, a variety of trips are taking place, including the Girls' Division trip to Tanzania. Follow their exploits on Twitter @TanzaniaBSGD.

This week's Inspiring Mind is bestselling author and former scholarship girl Kate Long. The author of seven novels, with an eighth due out next month, Kate discusses her fond memories of Bolton School and what the experience meant to her.

Friday, 10 July 2015

10 July 2015

There were plenty of events going on in School right up until the end of term. The Year 8 girls - and staff in the English department - have been hard at work preparing for English Speaking Board (ESB) examinations. This helped the girls to develop their public speaking skills and confidence.

In recent weeks, as part of the SPACE Programme, boys in Year 10 have been completing bi-weekly volunteering at Rivington Terraced Gardens to help Rivington Heritage Trust and Groundwork Cheshire, Lancashire and Merseyside to conserve the area for future generations. Although the work is hard, the boys find it very rewarding, and they have already begun to make a difference.

Girls in Year 6 have also been working on their conservation skills this term in order to accomplish the first level of the John Muir Award. The girls used their week-long trip to Patterdale to achieve the necessary requirements: discovering and exploring a wild place, sharing their experience through poetry and art, and completing a conservation project. They also learned more about John Muir himself and the importance of conservation.

Boys' and Girls' Division pupils have had their GCSE and A Level artwork on display at the University of Bolton as part of the Best of Bolton Schools' Art and Design Exhibition. This is a fantastic opportunity for pupils' work to go on display and to show the breadth and variety of artwork in the School. Year 13 student Robyn Lomas won the Fine Art Prize for her piece.

Recently Year 12 pupil Dominic Walker took part in the ESSA Swimming Championships. He swam in the Backstroke and Medley races, earning a silver medal in both events.

There has also been great news from the Boys' Division Model UN society: they attended the WiMUN Conference last week, and not only did individuals win their debates, one of the School's two delegations won the Outstanding Delegation award! This is a fantastic achievement for a relatively new society.

Last Friday, a group of Year 10 girls visited the University of Salford to take part in 'Dragonfly' - a day of science and engineering tasks designed to give them a taste of the courses and careers available in these fields. The girls had an excellent time completing the tasks throughout the day.

There were also several events taking place last weekend: the School held a special Sports Reunion on Saturday as part of the 100/500 Celebrations. Old Boys who used to be part of the School cricket team began the festivities with a match on Friday. They teamed up with the current First Eleven cricketers to play in two mixed sides, which made for a very interesting and evenly matched game.

On the day of the Reunion itself, Old Boys and Old Girls returned to face current pupils in football, lacrosse, netball and rugby fixtures on the School grounds and a water polo match at Bolton One swimming pool. The event was attended by several Olympic athletes, including Sir Philip Craven, President of the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) and current head of the Old Boys' Association. There was a fantastic atmosphere throughout the day, which culminated in a Reunion Dinner in the evening.

Also over the weekend, the School played host to the Bolton Youth Orchestra, Salford Youth Orchestra and Bolton School Orchestra as they collaborated to put together an informal concert. Despite having only Saturday and Sunday morning to prepare, the children put on a fantastic and varied concert on the Sunday afternoon.

At the start of the week, the Boys' Division welcomed Paul Burrell, former butler to Princess Diana, to give a talk to pupils on modern history. He spoke to boys in both the Senior and Junior Schools and gave a fascinating glimpse into life in the Royal household. He also imparted some excellent advice for the future.

In the Girls' Division, Years 7 and 8 put on their annual Celebration Concert. This event focuses on the achievements of the younger pupils in the school, accompanied by performances from the girls themselves. The standard of the music was very high and made for a very enjoyable evening of entertainment.

Children in Year 2 at Beech House also put on a show before the end of term. This annual concert is a way for the children to say farewell to their Infants' School before they move on to Junior School in September. The 2015 Year 2 Concert was themed around 'travel' and pupils were able to showcase their many and various talents throughout the evening!

As the term drew to a close, it was time for the Boys' Division to award the Lyde Cup to the winning House. At the presentation assembly, Mr Wadsworth announced that Wigan House had won the Cup this year! The Headmaster also paid special tribute to Mr Wadsworth, who is retiring from his post.

Year 10 pupil Caroline Blair attended the Salters' Chemistry Camp at the University of Bath this week. She was one of 60 pupils selected for a place, and was able to use the university laboratories to carry out new and exciting experiments as part of the experience. She also stayed in the university's Halls of Residence for the duration of the camp.

This week, the Senior Girls were able to meet Peanut, the third Guide Dog the Girls' Division have sponsored so far! The Girls' Division has raised over £9,000 to sponsor Guide Dog puppies over the past seven years: an amazing achievement. It was great for the girls to be able to meet Peanut in person and receive an update on his training so far.

Sixth Formers in the Boys' Division have been hard at work fundraising throughout the year, and were able to announce in the last week of term that they have raised £2,022 for Barnardo's.

Boys' Division teacher Dr Kristy Turner has been selected to join the editorial team of the magazine 'Education in Chemistry'. Dr Turner has been a contributor to the magazine and blog for several years, and is delighted to take up this new post with the publication.

This week's Inspiring Mind is Sir Philip Craven: Bolton School pupil from 1961 to 1969 and now President of the International Paralympic Committee. In this interview, Sir Philip talks about his time at School and his sports career, and offers advice to current pupils.

Over the holidays, Sixth Formers Kate Ball and Abigail Harrison will be embarking on summer internships with KPMG! This is a really exciting opportunity for the girls to experience working for one of the 'Big Four' professional services firms in the UK, and to get an idea of what it would be like to have a career in this sector.

Next year, the School will once again host the monthly (Bolton) Historical Association lectures. More information and details about the talks can be found on the School website here.

Friday, 3 July 2015

3 July 2015

Though the end of term draws near, there are still plenty of exciting events going on throughout the School. Last Friday, Bolton School hosted the Bolton Children's Fiction Award Ceremony. Over 600 pupils from local schools attended the event, where they enjoyed sessions with the attending authors and became the first to learn that Tom Hoyle's book Thirteen was the winner for 2015!

On Saturday, all areas of the School came together for the Foundation Family Festival - one of the events arranged as part of the 100/500 Year Celebrations. This was a fantastic occasion which was very much enjoyed by all those in attendance. There was something for all age groups, and plenty to see and do - from watching pupils abseil down the clock tower to a bird of prey exhibition, human table football, a tin can sculpture and much more!

The School also hosted the launch of the Bolton Sports Alliance this week. This initiative aims to deliver high quality Physical Education, School Sport and recreational activities for Bolton. The inaugural meeting was attended by World, Commonwealth and European Champion Beth Tweddle MBE, who gave a short presentation at the meeting to highlight the broader opportunities available via the Alliance's associate providers.

Summer sports fixtures are well under way, and perhaps the most prestigious of these is the annual match between the 1st XI Cricketers and a team from the MCC Club. This was a great opportunity for the boys, and they learned much from the experience despite an unfortuante loss on this occasion.

Meanwhile, the U14s cricket team progressed to the Lancashire County final against Manchester Grammar School. The Bolton School boys put in an excellent effort and came away champions! They will now progress to play nationally in the U15s tournament next year.

The annual Year 5 Science Festival brought together pupils from schools in the local area for a fun day of scientific descovery themed around sport. The children worked in teams of four and enjoyed a carousel of activities, including chemistry, biology and physics tasks. The children all agreed that they had a fantastic time and learned something new over the course of the day.

Pupils from both Divisions recently attended the Greater Manchester Chemquiz: a competitive and fun day of chemistry for secondary school pupils in the area. The Girls' Division team worked really well together and particularly enjoyed the quiz. The Boys' Division team came in second place after they were narrowly beaten by just 0.07%!

The Junior Boys raised an amazing £5,653.10 through this year's Fun Run! They decided to split the money between two charities this year, and recently presented the cheques to representatives from Cancer Research UK and Derian House in a special assembly.

Old Girl Anna Stuttard has been given the Distinguished Friend of Oxford Award! This prize fomally acknowledges individuals who have acted as exceptional volunteers for the wider benefit of the University. She was praised for her wisdom and commitment in ensuring that Oxford's research meets the highest ethical standards.

Find out more about this week's 'Inspiring Mind', Old Girl and Bolton School Governor Dr Sheila Fisher. After leaving the Girls' Division, Sheila consultant surgeon specialising in cancers of the Head and Neck; she has recently been asked by the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Authority to Chair the Committee on Safety of Devices through a period of transition, and is also Chair of one of the Health Research Agency National Research Ethics Committees. She gives a fascinating insight into her Bolton School experience as part of the School's commemorative '100 Inspiring Minds' project.