Friday, 28 October 2016

28 October 2016

Last Sunday, Boys' Division Chemistry teacher and University of Manchester lecturer Dr Kristy Turner appeared on BBC's Countryfile to explain a fascinating piece of chemistry relating to conkers. As part of the Countryfile Autumn Special, presenter Naomi Wilkinson looked at how the humble conker was used during the First World War to produce an ingredient vital to the manufacture of shells, and Dr Turner demonstrated the process in a woodland laboratory on camera.

As the half term drew to a close, the Junior Girls enjoyed a House Day filled with lots of fun activities. There was something for everyone to enjoy, from blindfold obstacle courses to writing poetry and even the chance to develop circus skills. All of the pupils enjoyed taking part and getting to know the other girls in their House.

The final matches of the 2016 cricket season have now been played with the Bolton School teams acquitting themselves well in the face of tough opposition and often challenging conditions. The U15s made it all the way to the National Finals at Arundel, while the U13s and U14s both played Lancashire Cup Finals.

There were lots of success stories from the Girls' Division sports teams at the end of the half term. The U16 netball team made it to the final of the Bolton Schools' Netball Tournament, where they came second.

The U18 netball team took part in the National Schools' Netball Tournament, achieving a series of excellent wins in the opening rounds and making it through to the semi-finals. However, the opposition proved too strong in the semi-final and they came in third place.

The Year 7 and Year 8 girls competed in the Bolton Schools' Cross Country Championships, which were held at Smithills School, where both teams did well. Pupils in both age groups ranked highly enough to be offered a spot on the Bolton town team for the Manchester championships in February!

In addition, Georgina Owen and Cate Lord have been re-selected for County-level netball squads this year. This is a great achievement for both girls, who are playing up into higher age brackets.

In the Boys' Division, pupils studying Business and Economics were offered insight into the workings of the Bank of England and the recession by Old Boy Paul Alexander, who now works at the Bank. He also spoke with boys competing in the Target 2.0 competition run by the Bank of England to offer them advice on analysing economic conditions.

Year 8 pupil Matthew Mair recently competed in the National Road Relay Championships as part of a team of three. He ran the last leg of the 3.4km hilly route and his team achieved fourth place overall out of 66 teams from across the UK!

The Junior Boys joined forces with the Brixi Singers for an evening of entertainment in the Boys' Division Great Hall. The two choirs raised their voices to perform a number of pieces, both together and separately, which made for a spectacular evening.

This week's Inspiring Mind is Old Girl Valerie Stevens, whose life-long career as an environmental campaigner saw her on the Board of Management of Friends of the Earth and chair of Optimum Population Trust (now Population Matters). Her profile includes reflections on a career spent addressing the problems the world faces, her fond memories of School, and advice to current pupils to "Be part of the solution!"

Friday, 21 October 2016

21 October 2016

Pupils at Bolton School and visitors from the wider community learned some 'Leadership Lessons from the Tudors' in a special lecture from TV historian Dr Susannah Lipscombe. She encapsulated the lessons into twenty bite-sized messages, each one with a Tudor example. Her talk was warmly received and there was a lively question and answer session afterwards.

The much-anticipated shortlist for the Bolton Children's Fiction Award 2017 has been announced. Extracts from the six books were read out by Sixth Form pupils before an audience of Year 7 boys and girls, and the shortlist was simultaneously live-tweeted from the Bolton School Library account. There was excitement in the Great Hall as each book was announced and pupils started to plan their reading for the months head leading up to the voting in May, and the Award Ceremony in June.

Pupils from the Girls' and Boys' Divisions were joined by St Joseph's pupils for a Media and Digital Media Day where they were inspired by talks from BBC Breakfast's Mike Bushell, former journalist and TV presenter Sarah Jones, Old Boy Mike Lodmore, and a host of other speakers from this fascinating field. With talks on virtual reality, radio and TV broadcasting, behind the scenes and post-production work, and much more, this was a fascinating day for everyone.

Year 6 pupil Toby enjoyed fantastic golfing success over the summer, and completed the season with yet another win in an Under 18s competition. He came away from the final junior competition of the summer as the winner of Bolton Golf Club's J. Maxwell Trophy.

The children at Beech House enjoyed a session with Travelling by Tuba, a musical duo who took them on a whistle-stop tour around the world and back in time through the wonders of music. They learned about a variety of different instruments, from the tiny ocarina to the huge alpine horn, and even got to try to play some themselves!

The Year 3 pupils at Hesketh House learned all about healthy eating at The H Factor. This special session run by the catering staff introduced them to new fruits and vegetables and got them to start thinking about what makes a healthy meal.

Jamie Death in Year 7 has become the Great British Minors Champion at Judo while at the British Minors Judo Championship, which was held in Edinburgh. His family is very proud of his success.

At the start of October, the Sixth Form girls' popular intergenerational tea party, Tea at the Riley, returned with a Harvest theme. As well as their delicious hand-made afternoon tea the guests were treated to musical entertainment from Beech House Choir.

The Boys' Division PA invited a personal trainer to speak to parents at their 'Teenage Journey' series of talks focusing on different aspect of boys' growing up. The subject was Heath and Fitness, and he was able to give some great tips and useful information about staying healthy through correct diet and exercise during these key years.

The Senior Girls once again collected food at Harvest, with their sterling efforts being donated to local charity Urban Outreach. In the Girls' Division Harvest assembly, Year 7 pupils talked about homelessness in Bolton and the work Urban Outreach does, and Amy Scoble in Year 8 spoke about her volunteering with the charity.

The Junior Girls were visited by Travelling by Tuba to learn more about musical instruments. They were delighted by the wide variety of music that was played by the pair of musicians and found out huge amounts of historical and musical information in the fun and interactive session.

Bolton School Girls' Division will host another free lecture titled Aurora: In Search of the Northern Lights on Wednesday 9 November. Plasma physicist and author Dr Melanie Windridge will discuss this fascinating phenomenon, interweaving the science with a background of their history, folklore and changing landscape.

This week's Inspiring Mind is Lord Robert Haslam. He attended the Boys' Division from 1934 to 1941, and was Chairman of Governors from 1990 to 1997, succeeding the Third Viscount Leverhulme and following his own stint as Chairman of British Coal! His varied school life, career and time as a Governor is summarised in extracts from The Boltonian.

Friday, 7 October 2016

7 October 2016

The Junior Girls celebrated National Poetry Day this week. Members of Book Club handed out gifts of poetry to the rest of the School, and the girls were encouraged to read their poems aloud to one another. They really enjoyed becoming performance poets for the day!

The Year 9 Netball team made it all the way to the final of the GSA's Netball Tournament, competing against opponents from across the country! They did extremely well to come in second place in the competition, and also had the opportunity to meet England netballers over the course of the weekend event.

Well-Good - the charitable project set up by Girls' Division maths teachers Mr Heppleston and Mr Hitchin which allows pupils to provide clean water to the developing world by solving maths problems - has now funded its first well! Girls' Division pupils completed enough maths problems last year to fund the building of a well in a small rural community in Pakistan, which is a wonderful achievement.

The Junior Girls held their annual Harvest celebration assembly this week with the donations of food once again going to Urban Outreach. The girls were thanked by Laura Bagley, a representative from the charity who also told them more about the important work that Urban Outreach does in Bolton and the surrounding area.

The new manager of Bolton School's Nursery, Miss Joanne Hewitt, has enjoyed her first few weeks in the role. Reflecting on her career to date and her new position, Miss Hewitt was delighted to join Bolton School and is looking forward to her future as the head of the Nursery.

Last week, the Junior Boys' Parents' Association held a Macmillan Coffee Morning to raise money for cancer research. The library at Park Road was packed with guests for this event and everyone was made to feel welcome over warm drinks and delicious cakes.

The Year 9 girls enjoyed an Army Leadership Day last week where they were asked to put their skills to the test in a series of challenges designed to improve their teamwork, communication and problem-solving skills. The morning was also organised to help the girls gain confidence and develop their leadership qualities. They really enjoyed taking part in the tasks and finding out more about life in the army.

The Year 8 girls were also off their usual timetable last week for five days of enrichment activities: a trip to Patterdale Hall, visiting Jodrell Bank, and ICT and Music workshops in school. The pupils thoroughly enjoyed the activities throughout the week and threw themselves into each new challenge with a great deal of enthusiasm.

This week's Inspiring Mind is Old Girl Vicky Connelly. She attended Bolton School from 1993 to 2000 and remembers the visit of Princess Diana to School when she was in Year 7! She is now Global Procurement Manager for a pharmaceutical company and also a dedicated triathlete, running Ironman events throughout Europe, and has also taken part in the Marathon des Sables 250Km foot race through the Sahara earlier this year!

Tuesday, 4 October 2016

30 September 2016

The Year 12 girls once again rose to the challenge on the annual Business Enterprise and Skills Training Day. They enjoyed a keynote speech from Fiona Gibson and sessions which set them tasks related to business and helped to hone skills that will be important to them in the world of work.

Bolton School alumni and current pupils recently took part in the annual Golf Day, which was in aid of the School's Bursary Fund. With a host of raffle prizes up for grabs to entice everyone to buy tickets, and the competition entry fee going to the Bursary Fund as well, the participants raised over £2400 through this enjoyable event.

Boys in Years 7 to 9 enjoyed a wonderful virtual reality experience with Google Expeditions. By wearing Google Cardboard virtual reality glasses, the boys ventured into a Roman ruin, travelled to the Amazon rainforest, and even found themselves inside the circulatory system as part of their lessons!

Year 8 pupil Matthew Mair recently competed in the Northern Road Relay championships for his club, running the final 3Km leg of the course. He and his two teammates achieved third place overall, coming in just six seconds behind the winners.

The Junior Girls raised money for the charity Retrak with a non-uniform day at the start of term. The girls' efforts raised £661.53 for the Stockport-based charity, which helps to transform the lives of street children in Africa and South America.

Toby Yates in Year 6 has beaten rivals up to the age of 17 to win the Judge Kershaw Junior Knockout Competition at Bolton Golf Club! He also recently did well in the Under 14 Lancashire Junior Championships and the Old Links Bolton Junior Open, taking podium positions in each competition.

The Junior Girls' Parents' Association hosted a Macmillan Coffee Morning at the School to raise money for this very worthy cause. The event has now become an annual occurrence and was very well attended once again this year, with parents and grandparents really enjoying the home-made cakes on order.