Friday, 26 February 2016

26 February 2016

This week, Bolton School headmaster Philip Britton chaired a panel discussion focusing on "Living a Life of Faith Within Society" as part of the Tillotson 500 Lecture Series running throughout 2016. The over-riding message of the multi-faith panel of nationally renowned speakers was that the government’s Prevent strategy was shutting down debate and is not the answer to the problem of radicalisation. During the day, the School also welcomed Year 10 pupils from local schools for a conference on the same subject.

The whole panel discussion is available to watch by clicking on the following links: Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4

The Girls' Division Year 10 Netball team had cause to celebrate this week after winning the Bolton School's Tournament on Tuesday evening! The girls played extremely well, with excellent defence in the qualifying round matches seeing them though to the quarter finals with no goals scored against them. They eventually defeated Canon Slade to bring home the title.

The Year 4 and Year 5 teams from the Junior Boys' School performed very well at the recent mini-biathlon competition at Rossall School. All of the boys who took part came in the top 20 in their year group, and there were also some great individual results!

Tickets are still available for this year's Joint Production of Doctor Faustus! The show will run from 16 to 19 March 2016 and tickets cost £5. There's plenty of availability on Wednesday and Thursday, and a few tickets remaining for the Friday and Saturday performances. For more information about the play and how to pick up tickets, click the link.

2016 marks the 500th anniversary of education at Bolton School. Building on the Centenary festivities during the 2015-16 academic year, a varied range of events have been planned. Click here for more information about the Tillotson 500 Lecture Series and the exciting programme of 500th anniversary events.

Rachel Flanders is this week's Inspiring Mind. An Old Girl who also holds the World Record for the youngest person to row an ocean, Rachel shares her incredible experience of taking a gap year following her GCSEs in order to row across the Atlantic with three other women. She also talks about how Bolton School has helped to give her the ability to tackle any challenge.

Friday, 19 February 2016

19 February 2016

Bolton School teacher and Old Boy Mr Teasdale is one of four teachers shortlisted for the Royal Society of Biology's School Biology Teacher of the Year Award. His inspirational lessons and his dedication to providing high-quality extra-curricular activities, such as the New Biology Society and the Exotic Animal Care Club, have helped him to reach the final stage of the judging.

The School was delighted to launch the sixth year of KPMG Summer Internships last week. Old Boy Matt Fray and his colleague Hannah Maughan came to talk to Year 12 pupils about this wonderful opportunity, which was set up by Old Girl Katie Clinton, now a partner in KPMG. Two successful applicants will complete a four-week paid internship with the firm's Manchester office in the summer holidays, experiencing the corporate environment in the Financial Services Audit and Corporate Finance teams.

Two delegations and ten individual pupils from the Boys' Division were commended at this year's Model UN event held at Manchester High School for Girls. For the first time, the School sent three delegations, representing Chad, Qatar and Venezuela, and also provided a Guest Chair to the Economic and Social Committee. The boys discussed a wide range of issues related to UN's Sustainable Development Goals on behalf of their allocated country and debated to a very high standard throughout the weekend.

Children from twelve local primary schools took part in this year's Maths Challenge at Bolton School! The teams of four Year 6 pupils competed in three timed rounds, and enjoyed tackling the crossnumber, logic puzzle and speed test together.

Pupils at Beech House, Bolton School's Infant School, have also been investigating maths: every week, the children in Year 2 have fun together by solving open-ended maths problems based on a theme. This helps them to use their maths and figure out rules rather than just working out sums.

Girls in Year 4 at Hesketh House were excited to have their classroom invaded by a Roman Centurion for a special lesson on Roman Britain. The girls were conscripted into the legion and found out about a Roman soldier's equipment. They also learned about the incredible invasion techniques that helped them conquer more than thirty countries. The girls were really fascinated by the whole workshop.

This week's Inspiring Mind is John Markland, an Old Boy who attended the School from 1956 to 1966. He went on to study Geography, which was followed by twenty-five years in local government. He was also appointed the Chairman of Scottish Natural Heritage for seven years. He is now a Trustee of the Gannochy Trust. He reflects fondly on his time at Bolton School and the inspirational teachers he had during his time here. He also offers some great advice to current pupils.

Friday, 12 February 2016

12 February 2016

Girls' Division Young Enterprise team 'Oh Crumbs' has won the Greater Manchester Dragon's Den competition! The team of ten girls presented their 'cake in a jar' business to three 'dragons' as part of the competition and were named the winners! The girls are now looking forward to the Young Enterprise finals in March, when they will have to set up a trade stall and once again present their business to a panel of judges.

Bolton School Boys' Division has been awarded the Sainsbury’s School Games Gold Mark Award for the academic year 2014/2015. This national scheme rewards schools for their commitment to the development of competition across their school and into the community. The Schools Games Team were really impressed with the wealth of sporting opportunities available at Bolton School.

The Year 7 boys this week joined the Sale Sharks' Number Cruncherz programme and had a touch rugby training session with none other than former England rugby player Hendre Fourie! The boys were put through their paces by Hendre and two Sale Sharks Community Trust coaches before playing a number of touch rugby matches. They picked up some great hints and tips that they will be able to take forward into their future rugby matches, and now look forward to attending further Number Cruncherz sessions at the AJ Bell Stadium.

The Junior Girls recorded great success at the recent AJIS Biathlon running and swimming event at Rossall School. The Year 4 and Year 6 teams finished first overall, and the Year 5 team took second place: a wonderful achievement for all of the girls. There were also some excellent and impressive individual results on the day, which helped the teams to win these coveted podium positions.

The Year 8 boys have also shown their athleticism and nerve this week in the vaulting gymnastics final. The boys were whittled down to the final six, who then vaulted in front of the whole year group and their form teachers during morning assembly. The vaults increased in complexity as the competition went on, with some performing somersaults on through vaults, and the P.E. department had to consider carefully before announcing the overall winner.

The Junior Girls' Chess Teams have done well at the recent English Primary Schools' Chess Association (EPSCA) Tournament held at Park Road, the Junior Boys' School. The Under 9 team gained enough points to see them through to the Northern Finals, which will be held at Prestatyn in June - a fantastic achievement.

Sixth Form pupil Daniel Anderson won second place at the regional heat of ARTiculation 2016. He addressed a panel of judges on the Boundary Street social housing scheme in London as part of this national public speaking competition and was praised for his clear delivery and ability to answer challenging questions.

The Junior Girls' annual Modern Foreign Languages Day took place this week and this year had a French theme. Pupils celebrated Mardi Gras and La Chandeleur - the French equivalent of Pancake Day - and took part in a wide range of activities based on France and the French language. With artwork, crafts, pancake races, storytelling in French, and even a French-style lunch provided by the catering department, this was a fantastic way to get the girls inspired about language learning.

The Sixth Form French conference was once again a huge success, with boys and girls in Years 12 and 12 enjoying an immersive experience with native speaker Richard Peltier. They discussed a variety of topics relating to the A Level and were able to improve their vocabulary and understanding as well as their confidence.

Girls in Year 11 studying Spanish enjoyed a visit to HOME, a centre for contemporary international film, art and theatre in Manchester, to watch Gente de Bien. This award-winning Columbian film by director Franco Lolli focused on issues such as family, friendship and abandonment.

Six Girls' Division pupils ran for the Bolton Town team at the Greater Manchester Cross Country Championships last weekend. They were nominated to run by the School and took part despite difficult conditions on the day.

This year's Junior Girls' Music Festival saw more than 100 pupils perform as individuals and as part of ensembles! The invigilators were very impressed with the high standard of performance across the board, from Year 3 to Year 6. The girls really enjoyed performing and watching the Music Festival unfold, and it was a great opportunity for the girls to showcase their musical talents.

The Senior Girls' Music Festival also took place this week, culminating in the Celebration Concert for the winners on Wednesday evening. This concert showcased the best musicians from Year 7 to the Sixth Form and was a wonderful evening of music-making.

It's been a busy week at Beech House. The children thoroughly enjoyed Pancake Day on Tuesday and even had a go at flipping their own pancakes!

Children in Year 2 have been reading 'The Man on the Moon' and other stories by Simon Bartram. As part of their work on the book, the children designed their own 'moon buggies' that Bob, the man on the moon, might use to get around.

Following Reception and Year 1's visit to Blackpool Zoo, the children have been finding out more about their favourite animals that they saw on the trip. They have also combined their learning about cold and hot habitats with science work on freezing and melting! The trip to the zoo has inspired lots more learning back in the classroom and has really helped the children to engage with lots more topics.

Last week's Inspiring Mind was John Blakey, a member of the Boys' Division mathematics department from 1944 to 1976. He is remembered fondly to this day by Old Boys. The pair of tributes that form the Inspiring Minds piece were both written by Jim Dawson for The Boltonian, one on the occasion of his retirement and the second as his obituary in 1981.

This week the Inspiring Mind is Old Girl Judith Knott (née Kenyon). After leaving Bolton School, she went on to study at Trinity Hall, Cambridge, and completed a PhD in Historical Linguistics at SOAS, University of London. After five years as a research assistant, she joined the civil service. Reflecting on her career and time at School, she gives an interesting insight into her memories and how School has in some ways influenced her choices in life.

Friday, 5 February 2016

5 February 2016

Sisters Zoe and Isabella Grainger are both reaching new heights at an indoor Winter Bouldering League competition held at The Hangar. Year 9 pupil Zoe is in pole position in the U16 competition, while Year 6 pupil Isabella sits just outside the top three - an amazing achievement given her young age! There are just two rounds now remaining in the competition.

On Saturday, gifted and talented Year 11 pupils from the local area came to Bolton School for an Application of Mathematics Event with the Juggling and Rock Doctors, otherwise known as Dr Colin Wright and Dr Mark Lewney. Dr Wright described his juggling performance in terms of mathematical patterns, while Dr Lewney used his electric guitar and audience participation to present complex ideas in a fun and accessible way.

On Monday, Councillor Linda Thomas visited the Boys' Division to talk to pupils about her work in politics. She gave a thought-provoking talk about her job and some of the projects she has been involved with, and was also able to address the boys' interested and wide-ranging questions at the end of the session. Her visit gave the boys a valuable insight into the world of local politics.

Girls' Division pupils in Year 8 were pleased to be able to meet Toni and her guide dog Quilla this week. Toni gave a really interesting talk that gave the girls a greater insight into life as a blind person, and also gave them more information about the training of guide dogs and the difference these working animals make to the people they assist every day.

The Year 8 boys experienced a directing workshops with the Octagon Theatre's Creative Learning Director, Christina Lydon, as part of their Arts Award work. They worked with Shakespeare's Merchant of Venice, looking specifically at the character of Shylock: how they might want the audience to react to him, and how they could influence that by getting the actors to move or speak in a certain way. This was a really valuable session for the boys to feed into their work on the Award.

There has been lots of sporting news from the Girls' Division this week. Three pupils in the Sixth Form have received call-ups from the North of England Lacrosse Squad. Louisa Brophy, Molly Dick and Georgina Owen, who are all in Year 12, will join the North of England Squad for training before competing in a tournament in March.

Pupils in Year 8 have had reason to celebrate as well, with a group of four girls joining the Lancashire Lacrosse U13 Squad. Arabella Barker-Smith, Ellie Bridge, Abigail Duckworth and Mia Monsen all attended two trial days before finding out that they had been selected. They will now have the opportunity to compete in the upcoming Northern Counties tournament this weekend.

The Year 7 and 8 Swimming Team recently won the Bolton Town Swimming Championships! Competing against eight local schools, the girls worked hard in both the individual races and relays and managed to win the trophy.

Elly Fraser in Year 7 has won the Salford 100s Lifesaving Competition. She competed alongside the other Year 7 girls in this competition, which also involved pupils from other schools. Her speedy swimming and knowledge of lifesaving techniques helped her to come in first place overall: a wonderful achievement.

A number of Boys' Division musicians from Years 9 and 10 performed at Bolton’s St Andrew and St George United Reformed Church’s lunchtime concert series this week. The repertoire was varied, with boys playing piano, violin, trumpet, saxophone, flute and guitar, and one boy singing. They also performed many different styles of music, ensuring that there was something for everyone to enjoy.

Girls' Division pupils in Year 10 learned more about the Great War from 'Private Tommy Atkins', a one-man play about the First World War which is based on real events and anecdotes from soldiers who lived through the conflict. Peter Gill's solo performance captivated the girls and also gave them lots to think about as they continue their History studies.

Old Boy Roger Dobson returned to School on Wednesday to talk to pupils in the Sixth Form about the Clifford H Ingham Bursary Fund. This fund was set up in memory of a Boys' Division Latin teacher who died in the 1980s, and who used to take boys on 'Trek Camps' in the UK and Europe. The fund is now open to applications from Boys' and Girls' Division students, and offers financial assistance to those who wish to take part in an outdoors experience of some kind.

This week, boys in Year 11 found out more about NCS or National Citizen Service at Bolton Lads and Girls Club (BLGC). This national scheme was set up to help young people to develop themselves and their citizenship skills during the school holidays, and the trip to BLGC was designed to get the boys enthused about the idea of joining in and getting involved. The NCS experience involves working with a diverse range of people and includes a trip to an outdoor pursuits centre and two weeks planning and delivering a community project.

Children at Beech House this week enjoyed a visit from the Happy Puzzle Company! All of the children from Reception to Year 2 enjoyed taking part in the challenges they were set, and while they got a great sense of achievement from completing the puzzles, the day was also very focused on teamwork and perseverance.

This week, Bolton School hosted an English Speaking Board (ESB) Teacher Training Event. The event was a great success, and a good opportunity for local teachers to share best practices and receive resources and more information.