Friday, 18 December 2015

18 December 2015

The end of term at Bolton School was packed with festive activities.

The week began with the Girls' Division Ceremony of Carols on Monday, which was as always a lovely occasion with beautiful performances from the Chamber, Senior and Middle School Choirs. This year there was a multicultural theme and ten languages were spoken and sung over the course of the service. The audience were delighted to be able to join in with a number of favourite carols, including a rendition of 'Adeste Fideles' to end the evening.

To watch a selection of videos from the Ceremony of Carols, click here.

The annual Boys' Division Christmas Festival was as rousing as ever, with the boys and the audience filling the Great Hall with music and song over the course of the evening. Rousing performances from the Junior, Senior and Chamber Choirs and the massed voices of Year 7, accompanied by the orchestra, made for a spectacular evening.

To watch some of the highlights from the Christmas Festival, click here.

Children at Bolton School's Nursery were put in the spotlight at their Nativity on Wednesday. The children from the Butterfly room were the stars of the show this year, and did a wonderful job of telling the story of Christmas. The boys and girls did well to remember all the words to several Christmas songs, both during the performance and at the end.

Reception children felt like they had been transported to Lapland when they got the chance to meet Santa's reindeer at Cheshire Reindeer Lodge! The boys and girls were able to feed the reindeer and learn more about them, and also met Father Christmas himself!

Father Christmas also made a special trip to see all of the Infants at Beech House on the last day of term. However, he had swapped his usual sleigh for a fantastic vintage bus! The children climbed aboard to have a chat with Father Christmas about their wish-lists, and each received a special early present. This was certainly one of the highlights of the end of term.

The Junior Girls' Christmas Celebration was held last week, with the girls performing the nativity play 'Witnesses'. Some videos of their performance are now available here.

The Girls' Division Theatre was filled with laughter for this year's Prefects' Panto. Always one of the highlights of the festive calendar, this year's performance was no disappointment and offered up a great parody of School life, including caricatures of many members of staff.

The Boys' Division brass band took their instruments down to Beech House to entertain the Infants' School with some Christmas favourites, combining old songs with new in their set. The boys and girls were mesmerised by the performance.

Year 2 pupils travelled to Christ Church in Heaton to show their Nativity to guests at the church's Luncheon Club last week. They delighted their audience with the after-lunch show.

The Library has also been getting into the spirit of the season, posting an Advent Calendar of book recommendations in both Senior Schools. Library staff also came up with a 'Borrow a Book for Christmas' campaign: pupils in Years 10-13 and members of staff could ask Santa's Library Elves to give them a wrapped up book from the shelves to take home and read over the holidays!

The Junior Girls' School Headmistress, Mrs Ruth Brierley, bid pupils and staff farewell at the end of term as she enters retirement. On her last day, the girls performed a wonderful 'Festive Flashmob Farewell' dance as a tribute. A video of the spectacle is now available to view here.

In just three weeks, pupils at Bolton School have worked incredibly hard to collect 9600 items for Urban Outreach's Christmas Hampers - and were successful in their endeavour! The Boys' and Girls' Division Senior Schools raised money and took donations of cans of pop and bags of crisps, while the Junior Girls collected bags of gold chocolate coins. All of the pupils did an amazing job to achieve the goal set by Urban Outreach this year.

Sixth Formers in the Boys' Division held a Christmas Jumper Day to raise money for the Salvation Army. They made a donation to come to School sporting their best festive knitwear and raised £300!

Monday lunchtime saw eleven Year 7 pupils, four Sixth Formers and members of staff at Toys R Us in Bolton, spending the money that Year 7s raised earlier in the term with a sponsored silence. The 'trolley dash' around the store allowed the girls to pick up a variety of toys for boys and girls, which they then donated to Key 103's Mission Christmas appeal for Cash for Kids!

Two Year 7 pupils also travelled to the Key 103 warehouse on Thursday to drop off the last of the donations: DVDs and Boots gift sets bought for older children. They also handed over a cash donation to help Cash for Kids to buy large items such as bikes. The girls were interviewed live on the radio by Alex James!

The Boys' Division this week added four new leaves to Bolton Hospice's Tree of Life, one for each of the Houses. The money to fund the leaves was raised through a non-uniform day, and will go towards helping the hospice to provide care to those with life limiting illnesses.

Fourteen Bolton School girls have this year been selected for Lancashire's U15 Lacrosse squad! The pupils, who are in Years 8 to 10, will go on to compete in the Northern Counties Tournament.

The Year 7 boys showed grace under pressure this week as they took part in their Gymnastics Final. The result of weeks of hard work, the final was a great spectacle and showed off the boys' skills. At the end of the competition, Tyler Bailey won the Gymnastics Cup, which is over 100 years old.

Girls' Division pupil Emily Manock in Year 10 has won a silver medal at the National Para-Swimming Championships 2015! She achieved national qualifying times in 100m breaststroke, 100m backstroke, 100m freestyle and 50m freestyle to compete at this event.

Year 12 student Beth Hodkinson has won bronze at the Junior AETF Taekwon-do European Championships! This is a fantastic achievement for her.

The three Dr Edith Forsyth Scholars have now completed their first term studying Medicine at university. The girls will each receive a total of £15,000 during the five years of their medical studies as part of an award initiated by an Old Boy in memory of his late wife. The three girls reflect on their first term at university and the difference the award has made to them so far.

This week's Inspiring Mind is Philip William Bryce Lever, the 3rd Viscount Leverhulme. Following in the footsteps of his father and grandfather, he was extensively involved with School life and was Chairman of Governors for 40 years. The tribute to him was written by Eric Fairweather, School Archivist, and also appears in the ebook 'The Leverhulme Legacy'.

Friday, 11 December 2015

11 December 2015

The festive season is now well under way at Bolton School. On Friday of last week, the Junior Boys spent the morning making hand-made decorations and putting them up all around their school. They also wore their Christmas Jumpers for the occasion. As well as being a lot of fun, the morning left Park Road looking really ready for Christmas!

Last weekend, the Junior Boys' Choir put on a performance at Bolton Parish Church. They sang alongside the Blackburn and Darwen Band and made the evening of carols a really special occasion.

Children at the Nursery also got into the spirit of the season with their Christmas Party, which was held in the Arts Centre. The children and their families enjoyed entertainment, dancing, and even a special visit from Santa Claus!

This week, the Junior Girls held their annual Christmas Celebration. The title this year was 'Witnesses' and focused on the various characters who were present at the first Nativity. The girls gave a really beautiful and moving performance, which included a special song for Headmistress Mrs Brierley, who is retiring at the end of term.

To watch a selection of videos from 'Witnesses', click here.

The Junior Boys also held their Christmas Concert, which was filled with spectacular choral performances. The school's young musicians also played a number of pieces in the course of the evening, interspersed with readings. The boys put on a fantastic evening of entertainment for their parents to enjoy.

Children at Beech House have been putting on their Nativity performances throughout the week, to the delight of their parents and the staff. The children did a wonderful job of telling the Christmas story through narration, singing and dancing.

On Friday, the Girls' Division was full of festive cheer as the Year 10 girls put on their annual Christmas Post assembly! The Great Hall was filled with laughter at the start of the day as the girls acted out their sketches to the great amusement of their fellow pupils. This year, the Christmas Post will raise money for the Willink Biochemical Genetics Unit in Manchester.

Also on Friday, girls dressed in their best Christmas Jumpers to raise money for Save the Children. The festive jumpers, Santa hats and tinsel crowns really added to the Christmas atmosphere throughout the School.

GCSE and A Level students in both Divisions enjoyed a thought-provoking 'God and the Big Bang' conference this week. This event, which was held at School, showed how science and religion do not need to be in opposition and can in fact reaffirm each other. Guest speakers - all of them scientists of faith - helped pupils to understand more about the relationship between science and faith and encouraged them to ask questions throughout the day.

The Junior Boys hosted a special Cub Assembly this week to celebrate the successes of the 19th Bolton (Bolton School) Scout Troop. The achievement of Harry Mathieson, one of the Cubs, was particularly applauded as he received his 40th and 41st activity badges - meaning he has collected all of the 36 activity badges plus a few that he achieved before the new selection of 36 was introduced!

Bolton School Junior Boys welcomed a delegation of visitors from China this week, who had travelled to Bolton to celebrate the winners of a UK-China stamp design competition. Mayor Cllr Swarbrick presented the stamp awards to four pupils from Bolton School and four from Kearsley Academy who won the competition. The event was attended by all boys in Year 3 to Year 7.

Last week, Boys' Division Headmaster Philip Britton wrote a blog for the Sunday Times in which he looks at the Prevent strategy. He wrote about the importance of healthy discussion in schools and how schools can help young people of faith to find their place within society.

Students in the Sixth Form were able to show their entrepreneurial spirit at the final of the KPMG Enterprise Trophy. The finalists presented their business plans before the Dragon's Den style judging panel as if they were seeking genuine funding for the project. After some difficult deliberation, the judges announced that this year's winners were Pinpoint.

Pupils in Year 1 met local artist David Shuttleworth, who helped them to make some fantastic sculptures using nothing more than rubbish that would otherwise be thrown away! This was a really creative exercise that allowed the children to use their imaginations to turn junk into robots.

Beech House's Children in Need activities were lots of fun and really helped to raise money for charity. The children took part in an Enterprise Week which asked them to create Valentine's Day cards, and they also ran a sale! Overall they raised over £850.

Recently the Infants have been learning more about the dark through different activities, including creating their own versions of Van Gogh's 'Starry Night' painting. They have also enjoyed an exciting Tennis coaching session with an expert from Bolton Arena.

In February 2015, Bolton School will host an English Speaking Board teacher training event for Speaking and Listening. For more information about the event, click here. To book a place, please email

This week's Inspiring Mind is Sylvia Walker, who taught Mathematics in the Girls' Division from 1972 to 1993. This wonderful reflection on her life and the difference she made in the lives of others paints a wonderful picture of a teacher who made a lasting impact on the School.

Friday, 4 December 2015

4 December 2015

This week, Bolton School launched its centenary book, The Best of Both Worlds: A Portrait of Bolton School. The book looks at the School’s past, particularly focusing on the last 100 years but with reference to the earlier history. It is full of archive and contemporary photos, pupil and teacher memories, and historical facts which have surprised and fascinated even those who thought they knew a lot about the School. Alumni, staff, governors and guests gathered for the launch event, which celebrated the many different people who have contributed to putting the finished product together.

Copies of the book are now available to purchase from the School's online merchandise shop.

Beech House this week made their annual donation of toys to Bolton Lions, supporting the club's Caring Christmas Appeal. This initiative provides Christmas presents to families who might otherwise not be able to buy gifts for their children. The families at Beech House provided a fantastic 'toy mountain' to the appeal, which is aiming to reach 2,000 children this year.

Over the course of November, teachers in the Boys' Division took part in the Movember campaign, growing moustaches during the month to raise money and awareness about men's health issues.

Nine-year-old Toby Yates recently won Bolton Golf Club's U14 Trophy! This was one of the highlights in a great golfing year for Toby, who has also won the U10s Regional trophy at the European Junior Golf Tour in Cheshire and several mini junior competitions at Bolton Golf Club.

Year 11 pupil Paul Foster has been selected for the national ISFA U16s football team. He was chosen following his performance as captain of the ISFA North team in a number of matches. He will now go on to a training camp and play a number of matches with the ISFA national team.

The Boys' Division's U13 footballers have made it through to the quarter-finals of the ISFA Cup! They overcame The Grange, Moorgate School and Priory School in the preliminary rounds to make it this far, and are now looking forward to their next match against local rivals Bury Grammar.

The Royal Society of Chemistry once again held its annual Christmas Lecture, The Flash Bang Show, at Bolton School. The Boys' Division Great Hall was filled with pupils from 18 schools across the North-West, who were captivated by the spectacular show.

Georgina Owen and Khadijah Ismail both received Arkwright Scholarships this year. This prestigious award is given to sixth form students who show the potential to be leaders in engineering in the future. Both girls recently attended an awards ceremony in London to be presented with their awards by their industry sponsors.

Last week's Inspiring Mind was Edith Falla, a member of the Girls' Division staff from 1945 to 1980. The fascinating summary of her life, originally published in the Girls’ Division Magazine in 2005 after her death, paints a wonderful picture of the huge difference she made in the lives of her students.

This week's Inspiring Mind is Old Boy and England Water Polo Captain Ed Scott. Ed is a medical student who has also played water polo for the UK at the 2012 Olympics and for England at the Commonwealth Games. His interview discusses how School helped him to discover his passion for the sport and how it has impacted on his life so far.

That's Manchester TV reported on Prince Edward's visit in November. The footage is now available to view here, or by clicking the play button below: