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.