Friday, 16 December 2016

16 December 2016

As the term drew to a close, the whole of the Foundation prepared for Christmas.

The festivities began with the inaugural Christmas Celebration Concert, held in the Arts Centre and featuring the Friends of Bolton School Choir and a number of school ensembles. This lovely occasion showcased a variety of musical styles and gave plenty of opportunities for the audience to join in with Christmas favourites!

Click here to watch the Friends of Bolton School Choir perform 'Angelicus' at the Christmas Concert, or click here to listen to the whole of the Christmas Concert via the School's SoundCloud.

The Junior Girls held a Winter Warmer Christmas Concert, which brought together all of the elements of the festive season. The girls spoke and sang about decorations, festive foods, Christmas traditions and the story of the Nativity over the course of the concert, to the delight of their parents and families.

The whole of the Junior Girls' Winter Warmer is available to watch online: Part One, Part Two.

The Junior Boys' Carol Service offered a host of musical delights. Well-known carols such as 'Once in Royal David's City' and 'O Come, All Ye Faithful' bookended the evening, with performances from the Lower School, Upper School and Chamber Choirs and the massed voices of all the Junior Boys providing highlights throughout the evening.

Click here to listen to the Junior Boys sing 'Silent Night' in Chinese, French, German and English via the School's SoundCloud.

This year's Ceremony of Carols in the Girls' Division had a literary theme. The festive readings included extracts from from Cider with Rosie and Hamlet, and the Middle School Choir performed a song adapted from a poem by Anne Brontë. The musical pieces were performed beautifully by all of the Choirs, and made for an enchanting evening.

Click here to watch all of the performances recorded at the Ceremony of Carols.

The Boys' Division Christmas Festival was an evening of musical delights from the Choirs and orchestra. The soloists gave great performances and all of the Choirs were in fine voice. Christmas carols played by the orchestra and accompanied by the massed voices of the audience were a wonderful way to celebrate the time of year. Readings and reflections, including a meditation from Rev. Tranter, also recalled the true meaning of Christmas.

Click here to watch all of the performances recorded at the Christmas Festival.

Children in the Butterfly and Caterpillar Rooms at the Nursery put on a wonderful Nativity show for their parents and family members. The children had worked really hard with Nursery staff to learn several songs, which made this a lovely occasion.

The Senior Girls held a Christmas Jumper Day prior to the end of term. They came into School sporting their best festive dress, some even wearing reindeer antlers or tinsel headdresses, to raise money for Save the Children.

The Sixth Form Boys also held a Christmas Jumper Day, filling the Riley Centre and Boys' Division with festive cheer! The boys' efforts supported the Zac Vali Foundation.

As the end of term drew near, the Girls' Division rang with laughter as the Year 10 pupils put on their annual Christmas Post assembly. They then spent the last few days before the end of term selling sweets and cakes, and of course delivering Christmas cards, to raise money for Christies.

Children in the First Steps and Tweenies rooms at the Nursery enjoyed a magical Christmas-themed sing-along with Rhythm Time. They played lots of different percussion instruments and sang along to songs like 'Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer' and 'When Santa Got Stuck Up The Chimney'. Parents and family members were also invited along to this event, making it all the more enjoyable for everyone.

Year 12 girls met the ambitious target of collecting 1,300 mince pies and 1,300 cartons of brandy or rum sauce for the 'Saucy Mince Pies Challenge' in support of Urban Outreach's Christmas Hampers. The girls had just three and a half weeks to raise funds and collect donations, but were not deterred by the short deadline and managed to pull together enough pies and sauce to fill all of Urban Outreach's hampers this year.

Beech House has once again collected toys for the Bolton Lions Big Christmas Toy Appeal. Parents, pupils and staff at the Infant School donated a mountain of toys to the cause, which will be given to over 1,000 young people in the Bolton community.

The Junior Girls' Winter Warmer concert held a retiring collection for the charity Retrak, which they had also supported earlier in the term. Gill Lee came into School to tell pupils about her recent trip to Ethiopia with the charity, during which the girls' previous fundraising money was spent, and to accept the Christmas donation.

Pupils in Blackburn House in the Boys' Division chose to support The Blackburn Food Bank this term, and in particular around Christmas time. The boys brought in donations of food items, which they handed over to volunteers from the food bank on the last day of term.

Two Junior Boys recently took part in a fencing competition where they defeated stiff competition from seven rival schools to triumph.

The first Boys' Division vs Girls' Division archery competition took place in the final week of term. Archers from both Divisions lined up in the Boys' Division Gym to compete, with both teams making a good effort. The Girls' Division emerged victorious on this occasion. There are plans to make the competition a half-termly event in the School calendar.

Boys' Division pupils in Year 8 were really pleased to meet Tilly, the trainee Guide Dog they sponsored through fundraising efforts last year. The Golden Retriever/German Shepherd cross visited the Riley Centre with her puppy walker, where she met with Year 8 representatives. At the age of 13 months she will go to the Atherton Training Centre to begin her Guide Dog training.

A team of four Boys' Division Sixth Form pupils have made it through to the Area Final of the Bank of England's Target 2.0 challenge! This competition asks students aged 16 to 18 to analyse economic conditions and then set the interest rate to meet the Government's target. They were the clear winners at the Northern Heat and are now looking forward to the next stage of the competition.

Sixth Form pupil Maria Kettle joined the Boys' Division Hockey Team for the first time.

Pupils in Year 12 in both Divisions took part in the Business Challenge Final as the term drew to a close. Four teams went head-to-head, pitching their business plans before a panel of judges in the style of Dragons' Den. The three judges were very impressed with all of the pupils' ideas, but particularly with the overall winners on the night: Tranquillow.

The annual Gymnastics Floor Exercises Final took place on the last day of term. This competition, which sees Year 7 boys compete for a trophy which is over 100 years old, saw the eight finalists perform their gymnastics routines in front of the whole of Year 7, with the P.E. staff as judges.

Three Boys' Division Sixth Form pupils have been selected for the U19 National Water Polo Squad. Also joining them in the squad along is an Old Boy, who plays alongside them at the City of Manchester Water Polo Club.

This week's Inspiring Mind is Old Boy Stuart Brooks, CMG OBE, who attended the Boys' Division from 1956 to 1966. He read English at Cambridge, representing his college on University Challenge during his time there. He embarked upon a distinguished career in the Diplomatic Service which saw him travel around the world. His fascinating profile recalls his career highlights, memories of drama at Bolton School, inspirational teaching staff, and some good advice.

Monday, 12 December 2016

9 December 2016

Years 1 and 2 at Beech House, Bolton School's Infant School, began the Christmas celebrations with their traditional Carol Concert. They told the story of the Nativity through a series of beautiful songs, with special treats such as a French carol and soloists singing 'Away in a Manger'.

Not to be out-done, the Reception children also put on their Nativity with great confidence. The children told the Christmas story themselves, interspersed with beautiful singing, acting and dances.

Children at the Nursery enjoyed a wonderful Christmas Party with their families last weekend. This fun-filled event saw them enjoy entertainment and featured a very special visit from Father Christmas!

Boys' Division pupils in Years 8 and 9 were taken on a journey to the summit of Mount Everest by author, documentary filmmaker and adventurer Matt Dickinson. He talked extensively about his experiences on the highest mountain in the world and how climbing Everest has inspired his writing of fiction and non-fiction books.

Almost 900 pupils witnessed the wonders of chemistry in the Boys' Division Great Hall as Bolton School once again hosted the Royal Society of Chemistry's Christmas lecture. Boys' and Girls' Division pupils were joined by children from twenty-one other schools for this special event.

Priya Guhathakurta and Luke Cavanaugh in Year 12 have been selected to join Cowgill Holloway's Future Stars programme. This special work placement scheme which will allow them to experience a variety of departments at the Bolton based accountants and business advisors over the course of this year.

Year 7 pupil Lucy Dixon has won the annual Salford 100s lifesaving competition. She took part in the challenge against sixty-two girls from the Bolton area and came out with the best time following two lifesaving challenges.

Coco Jones in Year 5 has appeared on stage at Manchester Opera House in an adaptation of George's Marvellous Medicine! This is Coco's second theatre role, and she really enjoyed the whole experience.

Girls' Division pupils took advantage of the wonderful deals on offer at the Scholastic Book Fair which was held in the Library this week. They really enjoyed perusing the books and finding something to read.

On 26 January 2017, Bolton School will host 'In Conversation With Evelyn Glennie', a free evening event with this famous solo percussionist which is open to the public. This will be the next in a series of Arts and Sciences lectures organised by the Girls' Division.

This week's Inspiring Mind is Old Boy David Mohyuddin, who is now Vice Chairman of the Governing Body. After leaving Bolton School he read Law and was called to the Bar by Lincoln’s Inn in 1999. His profile recalls his fond memories and inspirational teachers.

Friday, 2 December 2016

2 December 2016

This week, the Girls' Division welcomed poet Lemn Sissay for an emotional evening of readings and recollections. He offered a series of mesmerising poems from his new collection Gold from the Stone, as well as giving a moving and personal account of his life. This was a very special event for all who attended.

The Boys' Division has achieved its goal of raising £10,000 for charity through the sponsored walk to Rivington Pike which took place at the end of the summer term. Twenty charities will now receive donations of £500 in recognition of the school's 500th anniversary.

Year 12 pupils in both Divisions recently took part in the annual Business Challenge Day. In mixed teams, they took on the task of coming up with a new business proposition which they then had to pitch to a panel of judges after just one day to come up with a complete, working business plan. The judges were very impressed with the pupils' efforts. The four winning teams will take part in the final in early December.

Five Bolton School boys have been selected for ISFA teams this year. Two pupils made it through to the National U16 and U18 sides, while three boys in Year 8 have been selected for the North West team.

Girls from nineteen  local primary schools took part in an exciting STEAM Day in the Girls' Division as part of the School's Primary Liaison Programme. The Year 6 pupils took part in Science, Technology and ICT, Engineering, Art and Maths workshops on the day, all of which were themed around the Olympics and Team GB. From finding out how much energy is in food to creating their own desk tidy to take home, there were lots of new activities for the girls to try, and they enjoyed taking part in this inspiring event.

A group of Sixth Form linguists recently competed in the Northern Schools' Modern Foreign Languages Debating Competition. Five pairs took part, debating a variety of complex topics in French, German, Spanish and Russian, with the German team progressing all the way to the semi-finals.

Guitar teacher Jon Gyjlaci will be featured on BBC Radio 3's 'In Tune' drive-time programme. He is going to play live and give a short interview at shortly before or after the 6 o'clock news on Monday 5 December.

Boys' Division pupils have enjoyed browsing and buying from the Book Fair this week. Following the success and popularity of the Book Fair last year, the library staff decided to host it once again, and the boys have been really enthusiastic in taking advantage of the wonderful deals on offer.