Friday, 29 April 2016

29 April 2016

Over the weekend, three members of the 19th Bolton (Bolton School) Scout Troop were presented as Queen's Scouts in a Royal Parade at Windsor Castle! Current pupil Nicholas Thompson and recent leavers Paul Greenhalgh and Thomas Chia have all achieved the Queen's Scout Award, the highest award in Scouting, and were presented with their awards during the first Scout meeting of the summer term.

Teams from 37 local primary schools filled 16 pitches at Bolton School for the annual Football Festival for Years 3 and 4. There was a great atmosphere as parents and family lined the pitches to watch the children play friendly matches against other schools. The children really enjoyed taking part in this fun-filled afternoon.

The fourth annual Girls' Football Festival also took place this week, with four schools from across the North of England taking part. The non-elimination tournament filled the afternoon with lots of enjoyable games and all of the girls played with great enthusiasm throughout. The eventual winners were Royal Grammar School Newcastle's A Team.

The Year 5 Spelling Bee saw sixteen pupils from eight local primary schools amaze the audience with their ability to spell increasingly complex words while remaining calm under pressure. The overall winner was Caroline Whitehead.

Year 6 pupil Hashir Sapra has been selected to join the England U11 Chess Squad. Although he has only been playing chess for a couple of years, Hashir really enjoyed competing and was delighted to have won himself a spot on the team after performing well at trials.

The Battle of the Bands was as ever a tough competition and all of the acts performed to a very high standard. The judge this year was Old Boy Tom Besford, who judged the four acts on their musicianship and the quality of their original song. The overall winners for 2016 were acoustic duo Matthew Kay and Jay Harland.

Matthew and Jay's performance of  'Talk' is now available to view, and their cover of Tom Petty's 'Free Fallin'' can be heard via the School's Soundcloud.

The Junior Boys' Spring Concert saw no less than ten ensembles, group and choirs perform over the course of the evening! There was also a fine solo performance from the Music Festival winner, and the wonderful Disney Medley finale sung by the Massed Voices of the Junior Boys' School. The whole evening was a musical delight, greatly enjoyed by everyone who attended.

The two pieces sung by the Lower School Choir at the Spring Concert are available on the School's Soundcloud: 'I Am a Small Part of the World' and 'Creatures of the Night'.

The Boys' Division celebrated the inspiring sporting performances of 2015-16 with the awarding of Sports Colours and Half Colours. Boys' achievements were recognised in an array of sports, from rugby, hockey and football to water polo, chess and even water skiing.

The first cricket report of the season is now available to view on our Cricket Scoreboard. Keep up to date with all of the news from Bolton School's cricketers with regular reports on this page.

The Sixth Form boys raised a total of £750 through completing a fancy dress Fun Run. They were supporting two charities: the Cleft Lip and Palate Association and Bolton Children’s Opportunity Group. The boys ran around the Levels in a variety of hilarious costumes and made for a very colourful spectacle.

Old Boy Aaron Winstanley is lined up to captain the England U19 Water Polo team as they enter the European Championships in Turkey next month, and looks ahead to the competition. He will play alongside fellow Bolton School alumni Chris Ray and Ben Riding, who have also made the team.

This week's Inspiring Mind is Alan Mitchell, a former member of Boys' Division staff (1950-1985) who was Deputy Headmaster from 1969 and took on the role of Acting Headmaster for a year in 1982-1983. Alan passed away in the summer of 2015, weeks before the Grand Reunion which he had planned to attend. His obituary, republished as his Inspiring Mind profile, captures a hugely respected character who is still fondly remembered by many alumni today.

Friday, 22 April 2016

22 April 2016

The Choral Evensong held at Bolton Parish Church saw Bolton School return to the site of its earliest incarnation for a celebration of the School's centenary and the quincentenary of education in Bolton. The service gave thanks to the School's many Founders and benefactors, and saw the Joint Chamber Choir, the Junior Boys’ and Junior Girls’ Choirs, the Friends of Bolton School Choir and the congregation raise their voices in song and celebration.

The second annual Duke of Edinburgh Awards Evening celebrated pupils' amazing achievements this week. Pupils were presented with their Bronze, Silver and Gold Awards, and heard inspirational words from an Old Boy and Old Girl who have taken lessons from their Duke of Edinburgh and adventuring experiences into their everyday lives. Pupils also shared their experiences with the audience.

The Girls' Division held its annual Open Mic Night, hosted once again by acclaimed poet Mike Garry. The evening was a celebration of creativity: a selection of twenty-four girls from Years 7 to 13 performed their own poetry pieces with confidence and expression. Mike performed his own work during the second half of the evening.

Five Junior Boys and six Senior Boys have had their stories selected for the second round of judging in Chris Evans and Radio 2's 500 Words story competition! There were over 123,400 initial entries and just 4,500 have been chosen to go through to the next stage, so this is a great achievement for all eleven pupils.

Bolton School's Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) provision has been judged "outstanding" in all categories by the Independent Schools' Inspectorate (ISI)! The report on the School's provision in its co-educational Nursery, the Reception year at Beech House Infant School and in Kidzone, the School's wraparound childcare club, found that "the overall effectiveness of the EYFS is outstanding."

The Nursery Class for Three- and Four-Year-Olds took a trip to Martin Mere this week to learn more about Spring and Growth. They found out lots of new information about birds and were excited to see the flamingos!

The Year 2 pianists took centre stage at Beech House this week for the Piano Recital. Twenty-six young performers played in front of an audience, many of them for the first time, with a great deal of confidence and talent. Their parents, grandparents and family members were delighted to be able to hear them perform.

The Senior Concert Band recently performed at the Music for Youth Festival, which was held in March at Wardle Academy. They performed three movements from 'Riverdance', and were praised by the adjudicators for their accurate rendition of this challenging work.

The Junior Girls' String Quartet won gold at the Ramsbottom Music Festival. The girls performed well enough to impress the judges and, as winners, were invited to perform a second time at the celebration concert at Greenmount United Reformed Church.

The Year 8 boys and some of the Junior Boys and Girls enjoyed a special touring production of 'The Macbeth Curse' held in the Arts Centre. This show, which was presented by the Octagon Theatre and Prime Theatre, gave an engaging and very funny introduction to Shakespeare's Scottish Play.

The Year 10 boys enjoyed an afternoon of leadership activities with the Army North West Outreach Team this week. Designed to improve their resilience, teamwork, and other soft skills, the tasks stretched the boys' abilities and challenged them to solve problems. As well as being a lot of fun, the pupils gained great experience from the event, which was organised as part of the School's careers programme.

Jameson Goloba and Luca Williams-Denton in Year 8 have been selected for the national Independent Schools' Football Association (ISFA) elite squad. Both were scouted after playing for the North West England team.

The Bolton School Junior Boys have enjoyed double success by winning both age groups in the Bolton Schools' Cross Country League. The Year 5/6 and Year 3/4 teams both did very well in the competition.

A group of Boys' Division pupils travelled to Elvington Aerodrome this week to take part in the regional competition of UKAYRoC, a national rocketry competition. They built their own model rockets, which had to be capable of reaching an altitude of 850 feet and remaining airborne for 45 seconds while safely carrying two raw eggs. The boys had lots of fun during the competition despite facing disaster when their second rocket exploded on launch!

Before the Easter holidays, the Junior Girls held their annual Spring Fair. A host of activities, stalls and entertainments filled Hesketh House, from Year 3 dancing around the Maypole to a Surf Simulator and even the opportunity to meet some reptiles. There were also some amazing cakes entered into the Junior Bake Off, both in the 'taste' and 'decoration' categories!

The Bolton School Jazz Band received a Gold Award at the regional heats of the National Concert Band Festival in November, and were invited to perform at the national finals! The adjudicators were full of praise for the band and gave some excellent and useful feedback following their performance.

This week's Inspiring Minds are Margaret Dickinson and Veronica Millington, two long-standing members of Girls' Division staff who both left the School in 2006. They share their reflections on their time as teachers at Bolton School, as well as the many projects they have worked on together during their time at School and since their retirement.

Friday, 15 April 2016

15 April 2016

This week, Bolton School welcomed pupils from Rumworth School's Sixth Form for a fun, interactive chemistry lesson. The Ladybridge school had its roof blown off over the Easter weekend, but Bolton School was able to step in and host a session run by Dr Yates and Bolton School Sixth Form students while the laboratory was being repaired.

The Under 13 Football team ended the season in triumph this week, winning the Town Cup in the final game, which was played on the Old Boltonians' pitch. The boys were heartily praised by Boys' Division Head of PE Mr Johnson following their success.

Coco Jones took to the stage at Salford's Lowry Theatre in a production of The Herbal Bed, a play about Shakespeare's daughter, over the Easter holidays. She played Elizabeth Hall, the Bard's granddaughter, alongside a cast of professional actors.

The Junior Boys had a wonderful time on their ski trip to the Superdévoluy in the French Alps! Regardless of ability, the boys enjoyed tackling the slopes in various weather conditions and improving their own technique. They also had fun with a host of evening activities.

Hollie Asquith, who is in Year 6 at the Junior Girls' School, travelled to France over the Easter weekend to take part in an international artistic rollerskating competition. Hollie skated two dances against sixteen rival competitors from across Europe and as far afield as Paraguay! She eventually took fifth place overall: a great achievement.

Another Junior Girls' School pupil has also had some recent sporting success. Dinburgh Ai was crowned the North West's Under 9 Rhythmic Gymnastics Champion at a competition held during the Easter holidays!

Two Old Boys have been selected for the British team who are heading to Turkey for the Men's European U19 Water Polo Championships in May. Aaron Winstanley, who will be team captain, and Chris Ray both left the Boys' Division in 2015 following their A Levels.

This week's Inspiring Mind is Old Boy Sir Arthur Henry Rostron, who attended Bolton School in the early 1880s before going on to become a sailor and eventually a captain. His Inspiring Mind profile has been posted 104 years to the day after his ship the Carpathia received a distress call from the Titanic. Under Captain Rostron's leadership, the Carpathia travelled 58 miles and rescued 706 survivors of the Titanic disaster, who were then transported to New York; sadly one man died en route. His testimony, along with that of the survivors, resulted in the Board of Trade changing the regulations which remain in place to this day. Captain Rostron was given numerous commendations for his actions that day, including a Knighthood.

Friday, 8 April 2016

8 April 2016

This year's Joint Production of Doctor Faustus was a huge success! With spectacular costumes from the Royal Exchange Theatre and a talented cast who brought the atmosphere of the play to life from the moment the audience entered the performance space, the Joint Production was stunning on every evening of its four-night run. The audience also enjoyed a linked art exhibition and 'science as magic' tricks during the interval.

Click here to view a gallery of images from Doctor Faustus.

Pupils were thoroughly entertained and enthralled at a pair of comedic lectures from Classicist, author, comedian and broadcaster Natalie Haynes! Natalie visited School to give a lunchtime lecture in the Studio Theater, which was packed full of pupils of all ages, followed by a subject-specific talk about Greek comedy and tragedy to pupils studying  Classics and Drama. Her witty anecdotes took students on a whistle-stop tour of the Classical world that was full of fascinating facts.

The Under 13s water polo team enjoyed double success in March: they qualified for the ESSA National Finals, and also took first place at the Greater Manchester School Games Water Polo competition! They are the third age group to qualify for the ESSA national finals, and hope to complete the hat-trick and bring home the third and final ESSA national title for the School when they compete in May.

Girls' Division Year 10 pupil Thea Simpson joined some of her fellow water polo players from the Boys' Division in becoming a young leader at the Greater Manchester School Games Water Polo competition. This was a great experience for all of the pupils, who took on a number of roles to assist with the running of the competition.

Boys' Division pupils in Year 9 took part in a Careers Afternoon in the last week of term. With careers as diverse as accountancy, civil engineering, app and web design, the Royal Navy and the construction industry represented, there was something to interest everyone and some options boys may not have previously considered. Old Boys Chris Norman and Rob Nugent were two of the guests, and gave inspirational talks on the day.

The Junior Girls took part in Shakespeare Week by studying the work of the Bard, looking at some of the creative insults he came up with in his writing and then having a go at making up their own! The Year 4 girls then tried acting out scenes using their newly created insults, and also drew characters based on their work.

As the end of term approached, the Junior Boys enjoyed taking part in two Electro City Lego workshops, in which they built their own town from Lego and then used their knowledge of simple circuits to light up the windows! The boys worked together creatively to make each building and had lots of fun taking part.

The whole of the Port Sunlight Gala Concert is now available on the School's Soundcloud page. Click here to enjoy the music from this wonderful event again.

Old Boy Neil Eckersley is set to produce the UK and Europe tour of acclaimed musical Wonderland when it arrives in the UK in 2017. The magical musical, based on Lewis Caroll's Alice and Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass, has already enjoyed sold out international seasons in Tampa, Texas and Tokyo.

Old Girl Heather Henry has been nominated for two national awards! She studied to become a nurse after leaving Bolton School, but after a career in the NHS decided to set up her own business with the aim of helping the most disadvantages to help themselves through partnership with local communities. This has been a huge success, and has led to her being nominated for the Open University Business School's Alumni of the Year Achievement Award, which is voted for by fellow alumni, and the RCNi Child Health Award, open to nurses involved in improving the health of young people.

Heather is also this week's Inspiring Mind. Her profile, in which she talks further about all of the work she does to help communities and make a difference, as well as discussing some of her favourite memories of the Girls' Division, is available here. She also offers current pupils advice and gives her thoughts on the 100 Bursary Campaign.

Friday, 1 April 2016

1 April 2016

Children at the Infant School and in the Nursery Class for Three- and Four-Year-Olds showed off their Eco-Friendly Easter Bonnets as the end of term approached! The children used nothing more than newspaper to create fantastic and elaborate headgear with an Easter theme. Two winners were awarded Easter Eggs.

Five of this year's Young Musician of the Year award-winners entertained at Park Road, Bolton School's Junior Boys' School, with a selection of music. They performed piano, guitar, vocal, recorder, saxophone and violin, giving a wide range of styles and providing a wonderful concert or the younger pupils.

The Junior Girls' School's Cross Country runners have been celebrating after a successful afternoon meant that both teams won their age groups at the Bolton Primary Schools' Cross Country Championships at Moss Bank Park! This tough and hilly challenge did not deter the girls, who gave a fantastic team performance in both the Year 3-4 and Year 5-6 races. Three girls came in the top ten and were invited to represent Bolton at Heaton Park at the Greater Manchester Championships!

The Senior Girls had their sporting prowess celebrated at an end of season cups and colours presentation ceremony. Twenty-seven girls in total were awarded half or full colours in a variety of sports, and cups were also awarded for excellence in netball and lacrosse. Fifty girls were awarded sports badges for their commitment to School sport, and this year the Upper School Victrix Ludorum prize was given to Year 11 pupil Priya Guhathakurta.

Throughout April and into May, Bolton School will be hosting a series of free Lunchtime Concerts, open to pupils, staff and the general public. Click the link for dates and further details of the music at each event.

This year, Bolton School will bring its 100 and 500 Anniversary Celebrations to a close with a Centenary Ball, held at the Macron Stadium Premier Suite on Saturday 25 June. These celebrations, which have been going on since March 2015, have marked 100 years of the School's existence and 500 years of education in Bolton. The Ball will bring together up to 500 members of the School community, and also presents an opportunity for Bolton-based businesses to affiliate with the School as it recruits "100 Club" members at a cost of £100 or £500 each. For more information about this celebratory event and about the 100 Club, click here.

Bolton School Taster Lessons and Open Doors Mornings for Year 5 (and Year 4) Boys and Year 5 (and Year 4) Girls offer children the chance to take part in challenging taster lessons in the Boys' and Girls' Divisions, and their parents the opportunity to meet with staff and take guided tours of the School. This is a great way for prospective pupils and their families to get a feel for Bolton School. Click the links for more details and dates.

Last week's Inspiring Mind was Ursula Newton, who attended the Girls' Division from 1976 to 1983 and is now a partner at PricewaterhouseCoopers. She remembers fondly her inspirational teachers, the Carol Service, and various other memories of her time at Bolton School as well as offering advice to current pupils.

This week's Inspiring Mind is Simon Dixon, "an historian of tsarist times", who attended the Boys' Division from 1968 to 1978. He studied Russian at Bolton School, something which has influenced a long career specialising in the country's rich history. He recalls his time at School, including the first ever trip to Moscow and his involvement in The Pirates of Penzance, and also the dedication of the staff which helped to inspire his career.

The date for the 2016 Bursary Golf Day has now been set for 22 September, and teams can now enter this annual competition in aid of the School's Bursary Fund. This fun day of golf and good company followed by a carvery dinner in the evening is an excellent opportunity to support the School.

new advertising opportunity is now available at Bolton School. Businesses can now promote their offers around the perimeter of some of the sports fields. With regular mid-week and weekend fixtures against the North West's top schools and popular events for the local community, advertisers are guaranteed a captive audience of independent and state school parents. For more information and details, click the link.