Friday, 30 October 2015

30 October 2015

Two Bolton School pupils have spent part of their half term holiday in Lithuania playing water polo with the England U17 Team! Ben Ray captained the England side, while Bill Moores appeared in goal as the team competed for the Baltic Amadeus Trophy. Both acquitted themselves well in some fiercely fought matches, and helped the team to achieve fourth place.

As part of the Rugby World Cup celebrations, a group of Year 9 boys performed a Haka in front of their year group as part of a Rugby-themed assembly. The boys also enjoyed a visit from Old Boy Andy Hughes and Tim Jeffers, who both play professionally for Sale Sharks. They answered a number of questions from the boys about the game, professional sport, and the World Cup.

To watch the Haka, click here or press the play button below:

This half term, Girls' Division pupils have been enjoying a third series of cross-curricular seminars. This year's theme is politics, with talks from the History, Art and Classics departments showing links while also broadening the girls' interest and knowledge in the subject. In previous years, these seminars have run on the themes of war and classical influence on art and literature.

Over the summer, recent leaver Haseeb Hameed made a strong entry to first class cricket, enjoying his debut with the Lancashire First team. As the season drew to a close, representatives of Bolton School were able to watch from the Kukri Box at the Emirates Old Trafford ground as he took part in an all-important face-off against Surrey. They were joined by twin Old Boys Callum and Matthew Parkinson, who studied for their GCSEs in the Boys' Division and have also gone on to sign professional contracts with Derbyshire and Lancashire.

This week's Inspiring Mind is Pam Johnson, lacrosse legend and Girls' Division teacher from 1963 to 1998, whose influence continues to this day. Following her death in 2013, a service celebrating her life was held in School and a written tribute was paid in the Old Girls' Newsletter, which has been shared as part of the 100 Inspiring Minds Project.

Friday, 23 October 2015

23 October 2015

Almost 1,000 students from Bolton and the surrounding region benefitted from the recent Careers and Higher Education Convention held at Bolton School. This event, which takes place every two years, is one of the largest of its kind in the North-West. Pupils in Years 9 to 13 were able to meet representatives from 60 organisations and 30 HE institutions, enjoy seminars related to a variety of career paths, and learn more about the options available for their future.

Students at Bolton School recently explored the language of William Shakespeare with Professor David Crystal. This interesting evening lecture traced some of the misconceptions about Shakespeare and the language he used in his plays, as well as commenting on the creation of new language. Professor Crystal is a renowned academic and author who has published around 100 books over the course of his career.

The Year 6 girls were treated to a special visit towards the end of term from RAF veteran Mr George Drinkwater, who came into School to talk to pupils about the Second World War. Despite being 92 years old, George was really enthusiastic to share his first-hand memories with the girls. They were fascinated to hear about his time in the RAF, and listened attentively throughout.

Also in the Junior Girls' School, the Year 3s this week enjoyed The H Factor - an afternoon of activities designed to encourage healthy eating. With help from the catering staff, the girls were able to try out new fruits and vegetables, learn more about healthy eating, and even make their own smoothies using pedal power!

As the half-term grew to a close, the Junior Girls were taken on a musical tour of British history by Travelling By Tuba, a musical duo specialising in wind and brass instruments! They showed the girls a wide variety of musical instruments from the past, many of which are no longer in use today, and even let them have a go at making some sounds themselves! The girl really enjoyed the music and humour of Travelling By Tuba, and learned a lot about social and musical history as well as having a great time.

A group of Year 6 pupils from the Junior Girls' School have had their work published in the English Speaking Board's international journal, Speaking English. The poems were based on the girls' experiences of Aira Force in the Lake District, and formed part of their work towards the John Muir Award. Girls who took part in ESB Examinations last year also had their reflections included in the journal.

The Year 8 girls enjoyed a week off their normal timetable this half-term. They experienced an exciting array of extra-curricular activities, including a visit to Jodrell Bank, Music and ICT workshops, and a stay at Patterdale Hall!

Girls in Year 12 hosted the first of this year's Tea at the Riley, a monthly tea party for older people in the local area. Following huge success last year, the event has been continued for a second year. For future tea party dates and how to reserve a free place, click here.

Former Bolton School nurse, Shirley Parkinson, was delighted to return to the School to enjoy the first of this year's Tea at the Riley sessions. Upon her retirement 27 years ago, she was gifted a beautiful watercolour painting of the old Beech House, which Shirley has now decided to donate back to the School. The Sixth Form girls were delighted to accept on behalf of the School.

In sporting news, the U16 netball team has won the Bolton Schools' Netball Competition! They played very strongly throughout the preliminary matches and earned a worthy first place.

This week's Inspiring Mind is Sir Alan Cockshaw, Chairman of the Bolton School Governing Body 1997-2007. As well as including an interesting career biography, Sir Alan's interview discusses his decision to become a member of the Governing Body and then later its Chairman, the challenges the School has faced during his time as Chairman and some of the highlights. He also emphasises the importance of maintaining a socially diverse mix of pupils and a balanced pupil community.

Friday, 16 October 2015

16 October 2015

It has been a busy couple of weeks at Bolton School as the half-term draws to a close. Today, pupils welcomed Old Boy Sir Ian McKellen back into School for a special talk about Stonewall and the importance of equality. He also talked to a Sixth Form group and the School Council.

Last Wednesday, the School hosted the launch of the Bolton Children's Fiction Award 2016. Author, illustrator and animator Curtis Jobling announced this year's shortlist to an excited audience of pupils from several local schools in the Boys' Division Great Hall. He also gave Boys' and Girls' Division pupils a talk about his work in animation and particularly his writing career.

Also on Wednesday, boys and girls in Years 8 and 9 took part in a Motorsport Engineering STEM Day. This inspirational day saw pupils working in mixed teams to put together and race their own miniature electric cars. Thanks to the University of Bolton, they had the opportunity not only to see real Ginetta race cars, but also to climb in, start them up and rev the engines!

The School has also recently been celebrating Harvest. The Senior Girls this year donated 29 large boxes of food to Urban Outreach as part of their Harvest campaign.

Meanwhile, the Junior Boys held a Harvest Assembly with Reverend Roger Petch. The boys were also able to make a generous donation of food to Urban Outreach's Winter Watch campaign.

Earlier in the term, boys in Year 7 enjoyed excellent workshops with the Octagon Theatre, beginning their work on nonsense language in preparation for their Arts Awards. The boys enjoyed making up their own words and later in the session created tongue-twisters with gestures to match each nonsense phrase.

Bolton School girls Anna and Amelia have been chosen to join the Lancashire U13 cricket team. This is a really exciting opportunity for both girls. It is a particularly notable achievement for Anna, who only started playing the sport a year ago.

Two Bolton School girls have also been selected to play netball at county and regional level. Cate Lord will join a Regional Academy, while Georgina Owen will join the Cheshire County Netball team.

Over the summer holidays, two Sixth Form pupils were able to join KPMG's offices in Manchester for a summer internship. The girls recently reflected on their experience during assembly, and spoke to younger pupils about what it was like working in the world of business and finance for a month.

Old Girl Yusra Razzaq returned to School to speak to current pupils last week about how her Design and Technology studies at School helped her on her way to a career in Dentistry. This inspiring talk gave a really interesting insight into the ways unconventional subjects can be helpful in many different, possibly unlikely, areas.

We learned recently that Sir Harry Kroto, one of Sir Ian McKellen's contemporaries in the Boys' Division, has had one of his theories proved right almost thirty years after he made the prediction! He predicted that the 'buckyballs' he and his team discovered were responsible for diffuse interstellar bands, and a team of scientists at the University of Basel in Switzerland have now proved this to be the case.

In recent weeks, Bolton School has hosted part of the Bolton Primary Schools' Cross Country competition, and in spite of wet conditions, pupils' enthusiasm was not dampened.

The 2015-16 A Level PE group is the largest cohort to date since the subject was introduced several years ago.

The latest edition of student magazine The Bolt is now available online. Click here to view the magazine.

Last week, the Inspiring Mind was Michael Berry, who attended the School until 1954, when his family emigrated to Canada. A former Canadian diplomat, he is proud of his Lancashire roots and of his connection with Bolton School. In this fascinating interview, he discusses his career and his time at School.

This week's Inspiring Mind is Dr Joyce Tyldesley, Egyptologist and lecturer at Manchester University. She discusses her family connection to Bolton School and her experience of the Girls' Division, as well as offering advice to today's pupils.

Friday, 2 October 2015

2 October 2015

More than 1000 alumni from the Boys' and Girls' Divisions came together for a fantastic Grand Reunion last weekend. There were alumni in attendance from as far back as 1939, and there was wonderful atmosphere throughout. The day began with assemblies in the Great Hall, followed by lunch - including alumni favourite 'tarmac and fairy liquid' pudding! There was plenty of time for Old Girls and Old Boys to catch up over afternoon tea and cocktails later on, and the day ended with a spectacular fireworks display.

On Thursday, the Tillotson Lecture took place to open the Grand Reunion Weekend. This year's event gathered representatives from four key "Bolton institutions" for an interesting panel discussion of the town's past, present and future. The overriding message from the speakers was that Bolton must maximise the benefits offered by the devolution of powers to Greater Manchester. The Bishop of Bolton, the Mayor of Bolton, Karen Edwards OBE and Phil Gartside spoke on the panel, which was chaired by Headmaster Philip Britton.

At the end of last week, a group of elite young sportswomen from the Girls' Division attended the Girls Go Gold conference at Headington School, Oxford. This event, which Bolton School hosted last year, allowed the girls to meet other able and talented pupils from around the country, as well as gold medal winning international sportswomen over the course of the day.

On Friday, Girls' Division physics teacher Mrs Holt discovered that her textbook - 'Advanced Physics For You, 2nd edition' - will be used by Year 12 students in their studies! After the surprise reveal of the textbooks, she was delighted to sign the new textbooks for her pupils.

The Junior Girls' Parents' Association joined in with fundraising for Macmillan Cancer Support by taking part in the World's Biggest Coffee Morning! The event was held in the Junior Girls' Hall. Parents came along after dropping off their daughters, and enjoyed a hot drink and a piece of cake while also making a donation to the charity.

In October, the School will host the Careers and Higher Education Convention, which is one of the largest of its kind held in the North West. This event brings together representatives from Higher Education providers, apprenticeship providers and various careers and young people in Years 9 to 13 can come along to discover more about their options for the future.

Further information about the Convention can be found here.

Over the summer holidays, a number of pupils travelled to Peru and the Amazonian Rainforest as part of Operation Wallacea. Year 12 student Niall Woodward created a fascinating film documenting this once-in-a-lifetime experience, which can be viewed on the School website.

The Boys' Division has been celebrating its cultural diversity this week. He latest survey of pupils showed that 32 different languages are spoken by the cohort, with 35.91% of the student body stating that a language other than English is spoken at home. The lunchtime Culture Club meets once every fortnight to encourage pupils to learn more about different languages, cultures and places.

Keen golfer Ellie Broome has been named the Cumbria County Junior Captain! Last year, she became a member of the Cumbria Girls' Elite Golf team, and has also performed as the Junior Captain at her local club in Kirby Lonsdale.

Old Boy Sir Harry Kroto's thirty-years-old prediction has now been proved right by his friend John Maier and a team of scientists at the University of Basel! He theorised that 'buckyballs' - the C60 molecule he discovered in 1985 - are found in interstellar space and are responsible for 'diffuse interstellar bands' absorbing certain frequencies of light from distant stars.

This week's Inspiring Mind is Arthur Wyatt, who attended the School in the 1940s and sadly died earlier this year. An Old Boy with a long and illustrious career in the Diplomatic service, this reflection on his time at School and his interesting career was written by his daughter.

The activities for Kidzone's October Half Term Holiday Activity Programme have now been announced - click the link for full details!