Friday, 29 July 2016

29 July 2016

As the summer term ended, the School caught up with two inspirational young alumni who have gone on to shine in swimming and water polo following impressive sporting careers during their school years.

Olympian Ed Scott played water polo for Team GB in the 2012 Olympics and has since competed for England at the Glasgow Commonwealth Games in 2014. He left Bolton School in 2006 to read Medicine at Leeds University and continued to play water polo throughout his studies before being granted a year out to concentrate on his sport to prepare for the Olympics. Here he reflects on his water polo career and university life.

Old Girl Emma Saunders left Bolton School in 2012 having won silver and bronze swimming medals at the 2010 Commonwealth Games in Delhi and medals at the World Junior Championships in Lima. She had won a full-time swimming scholarship at the University of Alabama in the US, and has recently completed her degree.

This week, Bolton School has played host to two of Activate Sport's summer camps.

The girls attending Netball Fever were delighted to meet England Netball and Manchester Thunder star Helen Housby, who spent a whole day sharing her expertise and coaching them through a variety of fun activities. The girls have had a good time increasing their netball skills over the course of the camp.

Lancashire CCC bowler Glen Chapple visited the Andrew Flintoff Cricket Academy and gave the boys a bowling masterclass. He also talked about his career, played some fun games, and allowed time for an enthusiastic question and answer session. The children made the most of his visit, making sure to quiz him about different types of bowling techniques as well as about his experiences playing first-class cricket. Over the course of the week they have enjoyed a variety of activities designed to hone their skills.

This week's Inspiring Mind is Stuart Cumming, an Old Boy who attended the School from 1944 to 1951, after which he went on to study Medicine at Manchester University. He worked at Bolton General Hospital after he qualified, but eventually decided in the 1960s to join the Royal Australian Navy. In the US he trained to specialise in Ophthalmology and, since then, has gone on to pioneer a revolutionary type of artificial lens.

Friday, 15 July 2016

15 July 2016

There have been plenty of exciting events as the end of the summer term brought the 2015-16 academic year to a close. This bumper News Blog will catch up on all the news from the end of term.

The Centenary Ball was a spectacular finale to the School's official 100 and 500 Year Anniversary Celebrations. With pupils playing music to open the event, stilt-walkers dancing, aerial silks and fire performances, School-themed 'Heads and Tails', an exciting silent auction, and dancing long into the night, this was certainly an evening to remember! The 100/500 Celebrations have seen the School commemorate in 2014-15 the Centenary of the Bolton School Foundation and in 2015-16 the 500th anniversary of the first reference to the boys' school in Bolton, which went on to become the Boys' Division.

A short film rounding up the centenary year, which was shown at the Ball, can be viewed here.

The School hosted the Bolton Children's Fiction Award Ceremony for 2016 towards the end of term. All six nominated authors arrived for the occasion, along with 250 children from local schools and Boys' and Girls' Division pupils. After a morning of interesting workshops, author and illustrator Curtis Jobling took to the stage for the announcement of this year's winner: Narinder Dhami with Thirteen Hours.

On the last Friday before the summer holidays, the whole of the Boys' Division set out from the School on a sponsored walk to the top of Rivington. 650 pupils took part and the aim is to raised £10,000, allowing the School to donate £500 each to 20 charities, nominated by pupils and parents. The boys have collectively walked 6,000 miles: a distance that would easily see them to one of the chosen charities in Nepal!

Pupils at the Junior Boys' School raised a staggering £10,000 for the Motor Neurone Disease Association (MNDA) with their sponsored Fun Run. The charity was chosen following a kind donation from the family of Old Boy Simon Binner, who died from MND last year, and was made all the more poignant following the recent death of another Bolton School alumnus, Sir Harry Kroto, from the same disease.

In the Girls' Division on the morning of 1 July, pupils gathered for a commemorative assembly to mark the 100th anniversary of the Battle of the Somme. This was all the more poignant as the story of Quintin Livingstone Smith, an Old Boy who was killed on the day the battle began, was shared during the assembly, alongside the names of all the Old Boys who died over the course of the battle.

On the evening of 1 July, Year 7 pupils James Hopkinson and Olivia Sample became members of a national children's choir to sing at the national commemoration of the Centenary of the Battle of the Somme, which took place in Heaton Park, Manchester. The members of the choir were drawn from the Halle Children's choir and choirs from Ireland, Scotland and Wales.

The Boys' Division came together for the annual Prizegiving celebration. This year's guest speaker was Robin Partington, an Old Boy who has since gone on to become an architect and who oversaw the building of the iconic London landmark the 'Gherkin'. e gave an insightful address, advising boys to stay in touch with their friends, respect their colleagues, and learn to communicate. The Headmaster also gave his review of the past year.

At lunchtime, Robin spoke to Senior School pupils about his work in London and in particular the 'Gherkin' project. His fascinating talk charted his career from its beginnings, refusing to leave Liverpool University until they gave him a place on the Architecture course, to the present day and discussed some of the important things he has learned in the process. He also reflected on his time at Bolton School.

Robin also talked to pupils at Park Road, the Junior Boys' School, where he was once a pupil. Again focusing on his work as an architect, the lessons he has learned, and some of the important life skills he has needed in his career, his talk gave a fascinating insight into the world of architecture.

As the end of term drew near, there were several productions to enjoy. The first of these was the Girls' Division Middle School Production of Grimm Tales. Based on the fairytales told by the Brothers Grimm, this play told some familiar stories like those of Little Red Cap and Snow White, and some less well-known tales as well. Fantastic costumes and great acting skill helped to bring the human and animal characters alike to life.

The Junior Girls' annual Summer Concert this year had the theme of Once Upon A Time and transported the audience back to childhood with a series of familiar song and poems. With classic musical numbers and poems from Dr Seuss and Roald Dahl, this charming concert was hugely entertaining and uplifting.

In contrast, the Year 6 Junior Boys' performance of Bugsy Malone was an evening of hilarious gangster fun. The gangs' copious use of splurge guns and custard pies had the audience roaring with laughter from the start. Their musical numbers and choreography were impressive, and they managed to keep the drama going from the moment the curtain went up!

The Year 2 Concert showed off the Beech House leavers' broad range of talent. From gymnastics and ju-jitsu displays to singing, playing musical instruments, dancing, and even comedy routines, there was a little bit of everything over the course of the concert! The pupils really enjoyed getting up on stage and showing off what they could do.

A retiring collection was made at the Year 2 concert in support of the RNLI. When the Year 2 pupils visited the Fylde Coast as part of their work learning about the beach, they took the opportunity to personally had over the cheque for £330 - and also saw a lifeboat launch!

The Junior Girls' Charity Afternoon raised over £680 for a variety of organisations . The Year 6 pupils organised fun activities, offered to do younger pupils' hair, nails and make-up, and sold lots of sweet treats and drinks to raise this impressive amount.

The Year 7 and Year 8 Girls' Celebration Evening this year had an American twist as they came together to celebrate academic and extra-curricular success. Readings, choir performances and orchestra pieces punctuated the evening, leading the audience on a musical journey through the history of the USA which was highly appropriate for the date of the event: 4 July, Independence Day.

Click here to watch the girls perform 'New York, New York'.

Junior and Senior musical ensembles have also been out and about this term to perform at local schools. The Joint Orchestra, the Boys' Division Brass Ensemble, and the Junior Concert Band have all given performances in recent weeks.

The Bolton School Jazz Band has performed at Kneller Hall, the Royal Military School of Music in Twickenham. They were invited to perform as part of Kneller Hall’s Summer Concerts in the Park season as a result of winning a Gold Award at the NCBF Finals earlier this year.

Pupils at Beech House, the Infant School, also enjoyed a three-person performance of Wind in the Willows as the term drew to a close. This enchanting version of the classic tale featured Toad's obsession with the motor-car and Mole's introduction to 'messing about on the water', but also included modern references such as Minecraft, the soap opera Neighbours and pub quizzes!

A team of four Boys' Division pupils have won the Greater Manchester Chemquiz and won a place in the Royal Society of Chemistry's Top of the Bench competition next year! The team worked really well together on the day in completing the set challenges, which included a difficult quiz and practical activities.

Biology teacher and Old Boy Mr Teasdale has been awarded the runner-up spot in the Royal Society of Biology's Teacher of the Year Award. His passion for his subject, innovative use of e-learning and engagement via additional clubs won him praise from the judges and he was delighted to receive this recognition.

Girls' Division physics teacher Mrs Holt is delighted to see Physics for You, the GCSE textbook that she has helped update to meet the new specifications, published in its fifth iteration. Earlier in the year, she was delighted to learn that the School's Physics Department had decided to use another of her books as the A Level textbook.

Pupils have had their GCSE and A Level artwork displayed at the University of Bolton once again. Girls' Division and Boys' Division pupils have had their work featured in the Best of Bolton Schools' Art and Design Exhibition, which is a collaboration between the University and schools in Bolton.

Meanwhile in the Junior Girls' School the annual Photography Competition was judged once again by professional photographer Mark Power. The theme this year was 'Nature' and the girls in every year group submitted a host of wonderful images that fit this broad category. The overall winner and year group winners were announced in a final celebratory assembly at the end of term.

The Saxophone Choir travelled to Birmingham for the Music for Youth National Festival. The group played several sessions and impressed the judges with their performances.

Over the course of the past year, the Girls' Division has raised over £12,000 for various local, national and international charities. This wonderful feat has been achieved through non-uniform days, collections, bake sales, and a variety of other initiatives.

An amazing 86% of Year 6 boys at the Junior Boys' School have passed the Mandarin Youth Chinese Test (YCT)! This is the first year the School has done the test, and the results show the boys' aptitude with the language.

The Girls' Division recently hosted a Modern Foreign Languages (MFL) poetry competition, with Bolton School pupils excelling at the challenge! Pupils had to recite a poem in French, German or Spanish from memory to take part.

The Year 8 girls enjoyed a fast-paced play entirely in French to help to consolidate all that they had learned over the course of the year. The play, called Les Garçons (Boys), told the story of a French girl who encounters lots of problems with a former boyfriend while trying to babysit! The pupils were really engaged with the story and delighted to help out when members of the audience were enlisted to pass messages between the characters.

Young entrepreneurs at the Junior Boys' School put their skills to the test during Entrepreneurs Week, putting on stalls for other boys to enjoy to raise money for charity. The team with the most profit at the end of the week were declared winners and chose to support Cancer Research UK. They were able to donate over £250!

A group of eight Sixth Form girls have completed their Gold Duke of Edinburgh Expedition sailing around the coast of Scotland on the ketch, Tenacity of Bolton. Following this amazing and unforgettable experience, the girls will now complete 12 months of volunteering and 6 months of physical activity to achieve the Award.

In sporting news, the School has won the North of England Under 15 Cricket Cup! This excellent achievement means that the team will now go on to play in the national final at Arundel in September.

The cricket teams this summer have enjoyed particular success, with all year group teams reaching the semi-finals or finals of the Lancashire Schools Cricket Association (LSCA) competitions and the 1st XI also reaching the semi-final of the HMC T20 Competition. Old Boys Haseeb Hameed and Matthew Parkinson have also showed their prowess on the Lancashire CCC 1st team.

Playing against the MCC Team in a friendly match, the First XI managed to draw. The match was a dramatic one, with the School's top order trio not performing as well as might be hoped, but the Bolton School boys managed to pull their performance back to a respectable draw in the end.

This year, the Wallwork Trophy for outstanding skill and commitment in a range of sports in the Girls' Division was awarded jointly to three passionate Year 9 pupils. Amy Chicken, Mabel Horridge and Maddie Kennedy have represented the School in seven sports during Years 7 to 9.

The Junior Girls' Sports Day saw crowds of parents cheering on the pupils as they took part in a range of fun-filled sporting activities. There was even a hint of sunshine on the day!

Niamh Knowles in Year 10 took part in the North West Region Open Water Regional Championships in June. Despite this being just her first competition, she achieved second place both in Lancashire and in the North West, and will go on to compete nationally!

Year 3 pupil Dinburgh Ai recently competed in the Rhythmic Gymnastics National Grade Finals. She did well in the competition, and enjoyed taking part.

Swimmer Elly Fraser in Year 8 has received a national call-up for the British and English Nationals! This follows her impressive performance at the North West regional swimming championships, where she won two golds and a silver in breaststroke.

Meanwhile Hollie Asquith from Year 6 has been crowned British Champion for Free Skating! She also took second place at the British Solo Dance Championships, and as such has qualified for an international competition in November.

Old Boy Lewis Daly left Bolton School last summer, and since then has spent a year travelling. His journey has seen him honing his water polo skills in Hungary, volunteering in India, and now playing for Australia's New South Wales Blue water polo team in the Pan Pacs competition in New Zealand!

From the start of the autumn term 2016, Bolton School will run a new bus route for children wishing to travel from the Winwick and North Warrington area. The new route complements the nearby and popular Culcheth pick-up as well as another 21 routes across the North-West.

Next year, the Girls' Division will once again host the 2016-17 Historical Association Lectures. These will take place in the Sutcliffe Studio. Click the link for further details about dates and topics.

Former staff member David Shaw, who taught in the Boys' Division from 1964 to 2002, shares his memories of his time at Bolton School in his recent Inspiring Minds profile. From physics to badminton to The Pirates of Penzance to the annual Saundersfoot camp, a tradition which continues today, his recollections are wide-ranging and paint a portrait of the School as dedicated to developing a rounded individual.

Constance Howarth, who attended the Girls' Division in the 1940s, went on to become a freelance fabric designer, milliner, dressmaker, business woman and sometime model, earning her fame from Lancashire to London and New York. Her profile talks about the remarkable achievements of this famous Old Girl.

Charles Winder taught English in the Boys' Division from 1964 to 1999. In his Inspiring Mind profile, he discusses some of his memories of Bolton School, including his early impressions of the classrooms and buildings, the annual Tillotson lecture and school productions, and activities within the English department.