Friday, 18 March 2016

18 March 2016

Bolton School Girls’ Division has been judged "excellent" in all categories by the Independent Schools’ Inspectorate (ISI), while EYFS provision received the top judgement of "outstanding" in every category in the recent inspection. The Inspection covered children and young women in Years 1 to 13, encompassing Beech House Infant School, the Junior Girls' School, the Senior Girls' School and Girls' Sixth Form, and also a section on Early Years provision in the co-educational Nursery and the Reception year at Beech House.

Last weekend, the School held a Gala Concert at Hulme Hall in Port Sunlight. This was a wonderful afternoon of music-making in marvellous surroundings, and featured a wide variety of musical styles. From The Beatles and The Black Eyed Peas to Highlights from Riverdance to the 1812 Overture, the accomplished playing and singing of all of the Bolton School musicians was impressive throughout.

Some videos from the concert are now available to watch on Bolton School TV. Click the title of the piece to view the video: 'Fanfare for Port Sunlight' (Brass Fanfare), 'Ain’t No Mountain High Enough' (Middle School Choir), 'Let It Go' (Drum Corps), 'Highlights from Riverdance' (Senior Concert Band and The Accidentals).

To listen to the Gala Concert on Soundcloud, click here.

On Friday, children at the Nursery, Beech House and the Junior Girls' School got involved with Sport Relief, and made donations to the charity as part of the festivities.

The Nursery held an obstacle course and danceathon for the Butterflies and Caterpillars, as well as dressing up in sporty clothes. The children really enjoyed taking part in these fun activities and more.

Pupils at Beech House Infant School 'Stepped It Up' for Sport Relief by joining in with the Sport Relief song! They were joined by children from the Nursery Class for Three- and Four Year Olds for the occasion, all wearing their sporty great - from ballet outfits and gymnastics leotards to cricket whites and football kits! Their enthusiasm for dancing and getting involved, and the wide variety of outfits, really showed how keen the children were to get involved.

All of the Junior Girls in Years 3 to 6 joined in with running or walking the Sport Relief Mile in School on Friday - while wearing their pyjamas inside out! The girls were not put off by the grey skies and had lots of fun running laps of the field in order to complete the full run.

Fifty children from primary schools in the local area have been taking part in SHINE: Serious Fun on Saturday Mornings. This is the seventh year that Bolton School has hosted this programme, which allows gifted and talented Year 5 pupils to challenge and stretch themselves, and experience subjects they may not have encountered before.

This week, Bolton School hosted the first Royal Society of Chemistry TeachMeet. This was an opportunity for Chemistry teachers from the North West to get together and discuss the challenges of the new A Level curriculum in an informal setting. There was also opportunity for them to share their expertise and offer training to one another. This event was a great success and there are already plans to run more TeachMeets in future.

The Year 2 children at Beech House, Bolton School's Infant School, took a trip to Manchester Airport as part of their learning about geography and different places. They found out more about the different jobs at the airport, and were able to pretend to fly one of the planes! They were also really excited to see Concorde.

Pupils in Years 8 and 9 in the Girls' Division have been working towards their British Science Association Bronze and Silver CREST Awards. The girls undertook a variety of science projects of their own choosing, which they then presented to the local CREST Coordinator in order to achieve the award.

Girls' Division pupil Zoe Grainger has completed an indoor climbing double: she won the Liverpool Hangar U16 Indoor Bouldering competition, following her convincing victory in the U16 Manchester Climbing Centre’s Indoor Winter Bouldering League a week earlier! Her younger sister Bella came in fourth place overall at the Liverpool competition.

The Reception children have this term been exploring traditional tales! They built their own versions of the Three Little Pigs' houses, role-played the characters, and had a go at retelling the well-known stories in their own words.

The Year 7 girls discovered their voice with the English Speaking Union (ESU), taking part in a training day designed to improve their confidence and enhance their debating skills. The sessions were delivered by three experienced ESU mentors, who gave the girls challenging topics to debate and discuss throughout the day.

This week's Inspiring Mind is Old Boy Ross Warburton, MBE. Ross attended Bolton School from 1969 to 1974, and in his interview discusses some of the highlights of his time in the Boys' Division - including winning at rugby! He also remembers some of the inspiring teaching staff and offers excellent advice to current pupils.

The Easter agenda is now available for Kidzone, Bolton School's holiday club! There are lots of fun activities on offer.

Friday, 11 March 2016

11 March 2016

Last weekend, the Under 18 and Under 15 Water Polo teams once again proved their dominance at a national level by retaining their English Schools’ Swimming Association (ESSA) titles! Both teams enjoyed resounding victories at Bolton One as the local venue hosted its first national water polo finals. This was the second year in a row that the U15s have won the title, and the third year for the U18s.

Click here to watch the Boys' Division U18 water polo team celebrating their victory, and check out Bolton School TV for lots more Water Polo videos from the ESSA U18 and U15 National Finals day.

Sixty Year 10 pupils from the local area came together at Bolton School for 'Science of the Mind' - a special event designed to give pupils an insight into neuroscience! With a host of speakers from UCL giving a variety of fascinating workshops throughout the day, and a question and answer session that allowed pupils to pose their own questions to the visiting neuroscientists, this was an exciting and informative event.

This month's Tea at the Riley was an enormous success and one of the largest ever, with seventy-five guests attending! With so many visitors to entertain and lots of afternoon teas to serve, the Sixth Form volunteers who run the event turned to Year 5 pupils from the Junior Girls' School for assistance. The Year 5s did a great job, acting as waitresses and providing wonderful performances.

For more information about Tea at the Riley, including future tea party dates and how to book, click here.

The U14 Netball Team had cause to celebrate after winning the Bolton Schools' Tournament last Tuesday. The girls were undefeated in their opening round of matches and were convincing winners in the final as well.

They were followed to victory by the U13 Netball Team, who also won their age group final in the Bolton School's Competition, meaning that Bolton School has now won four out of five of the age categories! The U13 team played strongly on the night. Despite fierce competition in the final, which had to go into extra time, the girls emerged with a score of 7-5 and received the trophy.

Year 9 pupil Zoe Grainger has set her sights on an indoor climbing double! She has already won the U16 Manchester Climbing Centre’s Indoor Winter Bouldering League, and is now looking forward to the conclusion of the Liverpool Hangar U16 competition, where she is currently in the lead.

The Bolton School Jazz Band entertained audiences at the Great North Big Band Jazz Festival last weekend with three piece of music. The adjudicators were very impressed with the band's performance, and awarded the best solo performance in the schools' section to the Jazz Band guitarist, James Stevens.

Year 12 boys taking Business Studies at A Level were given an insight into the Warburtons Giant Crumpet campaign by the company's Marketnig Director, Mark Simester. He talked about the process of planning and execution the campaign from start to finish as well as his own own career. This was a wonderful chance for the boys to ask questions and find out more about the business side of a campaign they already knew about and experienced recently as consumers.

The Year 10 girls made a donation of £957.34 to the Willink Biochemical Genetics Unit in Manchester. The money was raised by Year 10 through their Christmas Post. The cheque was collected by Old Girl Gill Moss, now a Specialist Nurse at the Royal Manchester Children's Hospital.

The Year 11 girls this week were given an introduction to NCS at Bolton Lads and Girls Club. NCS - or National Citizen Service - encourages young people to develop themselves and their citizenship skills outside of term time, and has been offered to the whole of Bolton School's Year 11 cohort for the past five years, starting with a smaller pilot scheme six years ago. The girls went to Bolton Lads and Girls Club to find out more and get a feel for the facilities there before making the decision to take part in the NCS scheme.

Last week, pupils from eleven Ogden Trust partnership schools came together for the annual Physics Olympics, hosted by Bolton School. This day of physics challenges pitted teams of Year 9 pupils against one another in a series of tasks that tested their knowledge of physics and their ability to apply theory to practical situations.

Children at Bolton School's Nursery invited their mums and family members to join them for a series of drop-in sessions in honour of Mothers' Day. As well as talking to staff and getting a feel for what their children get up to while at Nursery, there were fun activities that the mums could join in with, including making biscuits, decorating biscuits with icing, and creating artwork.

Two Junior Boys' School pupils won second place in Downhill Ski Races over the half term break! Stephen Lomax and Henry Ainscough have both been skiing for several years, and performed impressively in their respective competitions, which also included much older skiers.

This week's Inspiring Mind is former Girls' Division member of staff Val Hanrahan, who taught Mathematics from 1968 to 2014! She was also the Head of Mathematics and Head of Sixth Form from 1996 to her retirement 2002, although despite this she continued to teach for the next twelve years. A much-loved teacher who was involved in outdoor pursuits trips and the joint ski trips for many years, Mrs Hanrahan's memories of her time at Bolton School make for a very entertaining read.

Friday, 4 March 2016

4 March 2016

This week saw World Book Day celebrated across Bolton School!

There was an air of magic around the Junior Girls' School for their fantasy-themed celebrations, which ran throughout the day and included singing 'Pick Up A Book' in assembly, reading 'Room on the Broom' in Spanish and French in MFL lessons, and creating a character passport for the character they had dressed up as in honour of the day.

Click here to watch the Junior Girls perform their World Book Day song.

Illustrations seemed to come to life as the Infant pupils at Beech House came to School as their favourite children's book characters. They talked about their teachers' favourite books during morning assembly before enjoying a day of book-themed activities. Year 1 also had the added treat of a visit from children's book illustrator Lesley Danson, who brought with her lots of examples of her work and ran a special workshop about illustrating a story.

In the Boys' Division Senior School, pupils were thrilled to discover that the book elves had deposited a variety of novels around the campus for the boys to take home, read and keep. They were also able to enjoy talking about literature with members of staff, who wore 'Ask Me What I'm Reading' badges for the day to encourage discussion. There was also an exciting Literary Treasure Hunt in the library for Year 7-9 boys over lunchtime.

Meanwhile, children at the Nursery enjoyed a Gruffalo-themed World Book Day. The children also dressed as their favourite storybook characters - with many of them choosing the Gruffalo - and shared their favourite books with one another, as well as taking part in a host of themed activities.

Over half term, eighteen Girls' Division pupils enjoyed a Creative Writing Retreat at Patterdale Hall in the Lake District. The girls worked on short stories, flash fiction, modern sonnets and landscape poetry in fabulous surroundings and were tutored by Dr Peter Sansom, a highly respected and well-known poet, and Chris Walking, a qualified lawyer and published author. They also found time for a trip on an Ullswater Steamer, which no doubt helped to inspire more creative thoughts.

Top British space scientist Professor Monica Grady came into School to talk to Girls' Division pupils studying maths and the sciences about "when space comes down to Earth". Her talk, which focused on meteorites, gave a fascinating insight into her field of study and also revealed that it is not just sitting in a lab: Professor Grady discussed her fieldwork hunting meteorites in Australia and Antarctica! This was a really exciting and inspirational talk for the girls.

The Young Musician of the Year Final showcased some of the best musical talent in the Boys' Division on Thursday. The fourteen finalists had already won their individual categories, and once again performed a piece in their category in front of the audience as part of the Final. The overall winners were selected by Mr Stuart Hazelton, who had the difficult task of whittling it down to just one winner from seven in the Junior and Senior categories. There were also Junior and Senior composition prizes and a Most Promising Performer award.

Click here to watch Senior Young Musician of the Year winner Niall Woodward's perfomance of 'Ray's Blues' by Grusin, and here to view Junior Young Musician of the Year winner Adam Whitmore singing Adele's 'Turning Tables'.

Pupils in the Boys' Division met with success at the annual Classics Reading Competition, which this year was held at Bolton School. Five boys in total achieved first or second place in the competition. Bolton School Classics students also enjoyed engaging and thought-provoking presentations from renowned Classics author and tutor Dr John Taylor and Dr Danielle Frisby, Lecturer in Greek and Latin at the University of Manchester.

The winners of the 1947 and 2015 Salford 100s Lifesaving Competition met up at Bolton School to compare their experiences! Mrs Joan Sheridan read about Year 7 pupil Elly Fraser's achievement in the Bolton News, and was amazed to discover that the medal she had won 68 years ago was from the same competition. They were both delighted to talk about their enthusiasm for swimming.

No less than three Bolton School rugby teams have made it through to the Lancashire Schools' Finals. The Under 18s, Under 14s and Under 13s teams have all played extremely well to successfully make it to this stage of the competition. 

Mrs Carol Laverick, the new Head of the Junior Girls' School talks about her first half-term in the post and the feeling of "coming home and completing the loop" and what it has been like returning to the school where she taught towards the start of her teaching career. She also looks towards the future in this reflective piece.

At the end of last week, fifteen inspirational alumni returned to Bolton School to talk to pupils in Years 11 to 13 about their careers. From an entrepreneur to a fashion designer to a consultant surgeon to an RAF trainee helicopter pilot to a solicitor to a speech and language therapist and more, there was a really wide variety of speakers for the pupils to meet and hear from, and all of them could give a great insight into their careers and how to succeed in this area.

Old Boy Teddy Pender recently excelled at the New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) Swimming and Diving Championships held in Williamstown, Massachusetts. Teddy is now studying at Bates College, Maine, and took top honours at this prestigious swimming competition.

This week's Inspiring Mind is Clifford 'Butch' Ingham, a member of Boys' Division Staff from 1942 to 1970 and a legend in the eyes of many Old Boys. The wonderful memories of his 'Trek Camps' endure to this day, and he is remembered fondly in two extracts from Boltonian, his obituary and a tribute to his time at School which was printed following his retirement.