Friday, 27 March 2015

27 March 2015

Whilst the School closed on Wednesday for the Easter break, it was still a very busy few days!

Last weekend saw a number of events happening across the campus. The 19th Bolton (Bolton School) Scout Group celebrated its 100th birthday on Saturday 21 March with a Family Fun Day at its Brookside Scout HQ and an evening buffet celebration. Earlier in the day, children and adults had enjoyed a range of fun activities including pioneering, crafts, a chance to cook twists and sausages on an outdoor camp fire, face-painting, a climbing wall, a bouncy assault course and slide. On display throughout the day was memorabilia, photos and lists of former scouts from the past 100 years. 

Also on Saturday evening, a celebratory dinner saw the latest crop of 41 SHINE pupils graduate through this year’s Serious Fun on Saturday Mornings programme at Bolton School.

On the sports field, Bolton School U16s' team produced one of the best defensive rugby displays ever seen by a Bolton School side to win the Lancashire U16 Rugby Plate Final.

Three Bolton School boys made it through to the national final of the Independent Schools’ Golf Association (ISGA) Singles Matchplay Tournament, which will be held at Royal St George’s Golf Club in Kent on 26 and 27 April.  A first for Bolton School!

A group of Year 7 boys recently travelled to Manchester University to take part in the regional final of Cambridge University’s French Spelling Bee. Amir Chauhan made it through to the final four contestants, winning himself a place in the National Final! This is the third year in which the Boys’ Division has been represented at the national level of this competition.

During the last twelve months Bolton School Boys’ Division has worked hard to raise £5000 so they can name two puppies for the charity Guide Dogs.

Year 10 students in the Girls’ Division have been trying their hand at traditional metal casting methods using pewter. The girls were given the brief to design and make a pendant to reflect the School’s 100/500 Anniversary celebrations, which are taking place throughout 2015 and 2016.

In the arts, budding thespians from the Girls’ and Boys’ Division Senior Schools collaborated to produce a wonderful Joint Production of The Sound of Music. There were stunning performances throughout the production, which ran from 18-21 March in the Girls’ Division Studio Theatre.

To watch a compilation of clips from the Joint Production of The Sound of Music, click here.

After another two exciting rounds of the Bolton School Bake Off Finalists have now been selected! The final four will create their ‘signature bake’ under timed conditions on Friday 17 April.

Old Girl Dr Julia Sarginson returned to Bolton School to deliver a fascinating lecture entitled ‘From School to Scalpel’ as part of the Girls’ Division’s Enrichment Programme.

Infant and Junior School children benefitted from the wisdom of former pupils who talked to them about a range of possible careers.  Pupils in Year 2 learned about life as a vet from Old Girl Victoria Edmondson. She visited Beech House with her husband and fellow vet Peter Edmondson and three of their dogs to introduce the children to the realities of working with animals in veterinary practice.

In the Junior Schools, six Bolton School alumni returned to give talks at this year’s Junior Careers Carousel. This joint event brings together Year 6 pupils from the Junior Girls’ and Junior Boys’ Schools to learn more about the wide variety of career paths that they might take in the future.

Getting ahead of themselves, the Junior Girls had their Wear a Hat Day for Brain Tumour Research on Wednesday 25 March, two days before the rest of the country.  It made for some flamboyant headwear – from pupils and teachers alike – and girls raised several hundred pounds for the worthy cause.

Friday, 20 March 2015

20 March 2015

Last Friday, pupils in the Boys' and Girls' Divisions commemorated the 100th anniversary of the death of Second Lieutenant Albert Knowles Wilson, who was the first Old Boy to fall during the First World War. He died on the 12th of March 1915. In a moving ceremony at the Headmaster's Lawn, Albert's name was read out by the Headmaster Mr Britton, along with the names of eighty other Old Boys who made the ultimate sacrifice in the First World War, while Sixth Form boys and girls planted ceramic poppies originally from the Tower of London's Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red remembrance installation.

To watch a video documenting the planting of the poppies, click here.

The Boys' Division also held a special remembrance assembly in honour of the fallen on this poignant date. Mr Britton read passages from Remembered with Honour, Dr Eric McPherson's book about the Old Boys who gave their lives during the two World Wars, and made special reference to Albert Knowles Wilson. There were moving readings and, to end the occasion, a rendition of The Last Post.

Later on Friday evening, alumni and staff involved with the armed services attended the Uniformed Services Dinner, which also included a further commemoration of the fallen Old Boys. The speaker for the evening was Major General Stuart R Skeates CBE, Commandant of the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst. This made a very fitting end to the day.

Also last Friday, pupils at the Junior Girls' School celebrated Ultimate Pi Day: a day that comes just once a century, on which the first ten digits of Pi are represented by the date and time. The girls learned more about the uses of Pi and took part in a number of mathematically related activities.

Bolton School Nursery invited Mums to join in the fun for Mothers' Day. Mothers of the youngest children at the Nursery - aged three and under - were welcomed into the 'First Steps' and 'Tweenies' rooms to enjoy some extra time with their little ones in honour of the occasion.

Café Scientifique recently welcomed Dr Laura Waters to School to give a talk about whether scientists should speak up or stay quiet. In this fascinating lecture, Dr Waters talked about whether the general public should believe everything they read, and also touched on the topic of animal testing and its alternatives.

There was also great news from the U13s Netball Team, who won the Bolton Schools' Netball Tournament last week! They did extremely well throughout the tournament, winning all of their matches with impressive scores, and defeating Westhoughton in the final with 9 goals to 2.

Last weekend, the Junior Boys' String Quartet took part in Ramsbottom Music Festival. The four boys did really well and won their section - a very impressive achievement!

The Junior Boys also recently enjoyed the Confucius Institute New Year Gala Concert at the Royal Northern College of Music. This was an amazing opportunity for the boys to see some amazing Chinese dances and costumes - and even try their hand at activities such as Kung Fu training and rug spinning!

In SPACE this week, the Year 9 boys were inspired by a Careers Carousel featuring three Boys' Division alumni, Girls' Division teacher Mr Challinor, and Lieutenant Amy Orley from the Royal Navy! The event gave the boys a flavour of a wide variety of different careers, and hearing from the Old Boys really helped to show them just how much is possible for their own futures.

Meanwhile the Year 8 boys learned more about the legacy of Lord Leverhulme, the School's benefactor who was instrumental in creating the Bolton School Foundation that this year celebrates its 100th anniversary. This fascinating talk gave them an insight into Lord Leverhulme's life as well as explaining his close links with the School.

A recording of the whole school Gala Concert at the Bridgewater Hall is now available to view online! Click on the following links to view: Part One, Part Two, Part Three, Part Four.

The Bolton School P.E. Programme in partnership with Total Gymnastics arranged for Olympic medallist Beth Tweddle to visit Prestolee Primary School this week! The visit was the final event in an eight-week programme of gymnastics at Prestolee, and was part of the School’s work to help schools across the region to provide high quality P.E. activities.

The U12 Football Team have enjoyed double success this week, winning both the Bolton Town Cup and the MGS 9s Plate! The boys played very well in both competitions, beating tough competition and making it through the final to emerge victorious. This is a significant achievement for a team that has come a long way over the course of the year.

The Boys' Division also hosted the annual Rugby Sevens Tournament on Thursday. Despite Bolton School teams making it to the quarter-final stages of both the Cup and the Plate competitions, the opposition proved too strong this year. AKS took home the Cup, while Merchant Taylors won the Plate.

Local Year 5 pupils were buzzing to take part in Bolton School's Spelling Bee on Friday. Twenty children from ten local primary schools took part, and children had just one minute to correctly spell as many words as they could from a list of 150, with the winner taking home a certificate and a book token worth £20!

Pupils really enjoyed the partial solar eclipse! In the Girls' and Boys' Division Senior and Junior schools, pupils took part in viewing the eclipse in a variety of different ways. Many pupils watched a live stream on their iPads or on interactive whiteboards in their classrooms, while some were allowed outside to use their eclipse viewer glasses, pinhole cameras and iPads to view the eclipse themselves. Bolton Astronomical Society were invited to set up their equipment at School and allowed pupils to look through their telescopes, which had been fitted with special solar filters for the occasion. In partnership with the Ogden Trust, the School was able to set up the Ogden Trust's Hydrogen Alpha Solar Telescope on the roof of the Turret Library to get the best possible view to record this special event!

Friday, 13 March 2015

13 March 2015

Bolton School kicked off the 100/500 anniversary celebrations this week with a fantastic evening of music at Manchester's Bridgewater Hall! The whole school Gala Concert was certainly an occasion to remember, with pupils of all ages - from Beech House Infants School to the Sixth Form - taking to the stage to sing, play music and even dance in front of the audience.

In further good news this week, the School has shown its dominance in Water Polo, with both the U16 and U18 teams returning as National Champions after excellent performances last weekend! Coaches Mr McGinty and Dr Yates were both extremely proud of all the boys, and particularly the U18 team who also won the same tournament last year with an identical roster.

The Bolton School Bake Off is now under way! Boys' and Girls' Division pupils have been invited to pit their baking talents against one another in this year's competition, for the change to win a prize donated by Unilever. The standards are already high even at this early stage of the competition, which will make it very difficult to choose the final four and the overall winner.

The Year 10 girls' efforts in the Christmas Post raised over £1000, and representatives from the year group were able to present the cheque for the full total to Contact the Elderly during morning assembly. Gwen Lightfoot, the charity's Development Officer for the area, was delighted with their efforts and thanked the girls for their generosity.

The Girls' Division musicians have recently been busy with preparations for the Gala Concert, but nonetheless made time to take part in the annual Music Festival. This wrapped up with a great Celebration Concert at which the winner from each age group and instrument section played in front of an audience.

The annual careers event for Year 12 pupils was a huge success, with the School welcoming back ten alumni to give presentations on the World of Work. After a great keynote speech given by Charlie Ball from Graduate Prospects, the students divided into smaller groups to attend four of the twenty talks on offer throughout the morning.

There has been a great deal of sporting news in the past week. Two Sixth Form boys have been selected for the Lancashire U17s Rugby squad. Matthew Woodward and Harry Stocks both hope that this will be the first step towards a future career in the sport.

A group of ten girls were recently selected to play for the Lancashire U13s squad - an exciting prospect for the Year 7 and 8 girls! They took part in the Northern Counties tournament and acquitted themselves very well.

Recently Year 8 pupil Zoe Grainger took part in ROCfest, a national climbing competition held in Manchester. She made it all the way to the final for her age group, and came a very respectable sixth place. She took part in the event alongside climbers from across UK, including several who have competed for the UK in international competitions.

In the Boys' Division, the First XI Footballers took second place in the ISFA Northern Eights competition last weekend. They were narrowly defeated on penalties in the hotly contested final.

The girls on the U14 Netball team recently came second in the Bolton Schools' Netball Tournament. The standard of play was very high throughout the competition, and despite losing by a narrow margin it was great to see the girls do so well in the final.

Last week, the Junior Boys' football team took part in the Regional Final of the Football League Trust Kids' Cup, representing Bolton Wanderers. Although they did not make it through to the next stage, the boys should be very proud of their excellent performance on the day. They were very evenly matched throughout the competition and were beaten on penalties by a very narrow margin.

Members of the Senior Football team are now looking forward to their Madrid Tour over the Easter holidays! They will have the opportunity to train at the Real Madrid CF Academy as well as playing matches against local teams.

Finally, younger members of the School's community took part in a variety of Red Nose Day activities to support Comic Relief on Friday. Children at Beech House Infants' School attended the school day dressed in pyjamas and onesies - with a few red noses and head boppers on display as well - in exchange for a small donation.

Meanwhile, at the Junior Boys' School, pupils made their faces funny for money, providing much amusement for teachers and classmates!

The School's Nursery also got involved with the action: children come along in red clothing for the day and had their faces painted. Many members of staff also joined in, wearing funky costumes or Red Nose Day t-shirts, as well as donning red noses! The Nursery Class dressed up in animal-themed onesies and held a charity market to raise even more for the charity.

Friday, 6 March 2015

6 March 2015

At the end of February, staff in the Boys' Division shared their e-learning expertise with teaching colleagues from across the North at an E-Learning Conference for the North East and North West Standing Committee for Science. The conference was organised and hosted by the Boys' Division and gave an overview of how e-learning can be used in science teaching.

The joint Saxophone Choir recently received an invitation to perform at the World Saxophone Congress in Strasbourg over the summer! This is a fantastic achievement, as the calibre of players was very high and there was fierce competition for places.

On Monday evening, the Girls' Division Theatre hosted another lecture organised by the Bolton Branch of the Historical Association. Professor Richard Hoyle spoke about Robin Hood and how the tale has been changed and recreated by each generation.

Wednesday saw the Boys' Division welcome seventeen schools from the north of England for the annual Ogden Trust Physics Olympics! This fantastic event challenged teams of four Year 9 pupils to complete five fun physics tasks and a quiz to compete for the trophy. This year, the results were extremely close, but the overall winners were Kirkham Grammar School.

Pupils in the Girls' Division have raised enough money to name their third Guide Dog puppy! The girls have chosen the name Peanut, and the puppy they have named was introduced to the whole school with a photograph during morning assembly. Over the past seven years of supporting the charity, girls have raised an incredible £9,000 to sponsor the dogs!

Recently our Junior Girls took part in Bolton's Town Swimming Gala. The Year 4/5 competition was held at the School's pool, and our Junior Girls took first place. The Year 5/6 competition was held at Total Fitness in Bolton, and was attended by none other than Rebecca Adlington!

Four Year 12 students in the Boys' Division were recently commended in the UK Linguistics Olympiad. To compete, the boys had to solve a variety of linguistic data problems, including some based on the Finnish, Georgian and Japanese language systems. Their efforts won them a commendable set of bronze certificates!

It was World Book Day on Thursday, and the School certainly got into the spirit! In the Junior Girls' School, pupils brought their favourite characters to life with vivid and creative costumes. They also participated in a number of themed activities, including creating 'literary bricks' about their favourite books and drawing in the style of famous illustrator Quentin Blake.

In the Boys' Division, writers from Manchester Writing School came in to give a series of writing workshops to each year group. The day began with an inspirational address from Dr Livi Michael, who was accompanied by the school's writer in residence, Iris Feindt. Pupils also took part in literary-themed sessions over lunchtime in the Junior and Senior Literary and Debating Societies, as well as enjoying workshops during lesson time. This was a fantastic opportunity for the boys, and the whole day was a huge success.

The final of the Young Musician of the Year competition also took place on Thursday. It was an evening of outstanding performances from all of the boys involved, which made it very difficult to choose overall winners! All of the boys who took part in the final received trophies for winning their instrumental category, and additional awards were given for the Junior and Senior Young Musician of the Year, Junior and Senior Composer of the Year, and Most Promising Performer.

The Bolt - the magazine by boys, for boys - is now available to read online. The latest edition offers a variety of articles, from a phone comparison to an insight into the life of Mr Tillotson, and much more!

Finally, good luck to the Boys' Division U16 and U18 Water Polo teams, who will be playing in the English Schools' competition on Saturday at Walsall! This is a particularly exciting prospect for the U18 team, who are defending their title.