Friday, 10 November 2017

10 November 2017

The flags flew at half mast on Friday 10 November as pupils took part in Remembrance Assemblies ahead of Armistice Day.

The Boys' Division held a special morning assembly to commemorate the Armistice. This powerful occasion paid particular tribute to the Old Boys who died during the Third Battle of Ypres, also known as Passchendaele. There were readings of poetry, first hand accounts of the conditions at Ypres in 1917 and tributes to the lives of Old Boys from Year 10 pupils.

The Senior Girls remembered all those who have lost their lives due to war, and in particular those who died at Passchendaele, in their Service of Remembrance, which was also attended by Old Girls. The service included readings of poetry, hymns and music. The two minutes silence at 11 o'clock, framed by The Last Post and The Rouse, was a poignant moment of reflection.

Pupils in Year 6 conducted the assembly at Hesketh House, Bolton School's Junior Girls' School. They recalled the bravery and sacrifice of those who died in the First World War as well as the brutality of that conflict and why poppies are worn in remembrance. Poetry readings and songs made this a moving occasion.

This term, the Junior Girls raised over £2,000 to send one of their teachers to Malawi to work with the charity Retrak. Last year, pupils were really inspired by the important work this charity does in Africa and South America to help street children, and as a result of their fundraising Mrs Marsden was invited to join the charity on one of their trips during the October half term. The money was raised through a sponsored dance on the playground.

The annual bonfire night event organised by the Girls' Division PA was a real Fireworks Extravaganza this year! The superhero-themed display was designed and launched by Titanium Fireworks, the company behind the London New Year fireworks, and it lived up to everyone's high expectations. The many stalls and games, the musical entertainment and the delicious food in the dining hall also made for a fun-filled and enjoyable evening for all.

You can watch the fireworks display here.

Year 11 pupil Amelia Doherty has won second prize in the 2017 August challenge #1 on Young Poets Network (YPN). The poem was based on the theme of edgelands, the borders between rural and urban spaces, and impressed the judge with its imagery and language. Read 'Camping In The Edgelands With My Cousin' here.

Old Boy and actor Ralf Little will return to Bolton School to give this year's Tillotson Lecture. After leaving Bolton School, Ralf go his TV break with a role in BBC sitcom The Royle Family, and since then has played a variety of roles on TV and radio as well as in theatre. The Tillotson Lecture will take place on Wednesday 29 November 2017 at 7.00pm, and all are welcome to attend: please email Mrs Michaela Fox Makin ( to confirm numbers, or for the general public.

Friday, 3 November 2017

3 November 2017

Parents and staff across the Bolton School Foundation took part in the "World's Biggest Coffee Morning" to raise money for Macmillan Cancer Support. The Junior Boys' PA, Junior Girls' PA and Boys' Division staff all hosted coffee mornings and enjoyed delicious home-made and shop-bought cakes alike while chatting together before the start of school and, for staff, at morning break.

Isobel Garner continued the Girls' Division's series of evening enrichment lectures with a fascinating talk on 'Engineering the Building Blocks of Life'. She talked about her career as a Chartered Civil Engineer and her work as a career mentor. The lecture series will continue throughout this academic year: find out more about future events and speakers on the School website.

The Girls' Division recently hosted a performance of Antigone by the Actors of Dionysus. This spectacular production, which came to the School directly following two sold-out nights at The Lowry, offered pupils studying Classics and Theatre Studies a unique opportunity to see a modernised version of a timeless Greek tragedy in performance.

The Junior Boys and their families made a huge Harvest donation this year, filling the stage with tinned and packaged products which were given to local charity Urban Outreach. The boys were joined by the charity's CEO, Mr Dave Bagley, for their Harvest assembly and were reminded of the importance of contributing to charitable efforts.

Following the assembly, Mr Bagley collected a further Harvest gift for the charity from the generous families of children attending Beech House, Bolton School's Infant School. Year 2 led the assembly in school with a 'Harvest Rock and Roll'.

Pupils in the Junior Girls' School also made a large Harvest offering which further added to Urban Outreach's Winter Watch campaign. In their assembly, girls learned about the origins of the festival and how it has changed over the years, but the sentiment of helping those less fortunate is no different now.

The Senior Girls also donated a wealth of tinned and packaged products to Urban Outreach for Harvest.

Pupils at Beech House enjoyed a visit from the Travelling by Tuba duo, who took them on a musical tour around the world. They used music to evoke different landscapes and countries while also allowing pupils to learn about the origins of instruments. Some of the children were even able to join in with the music making!

The Girls' Division's U16s Netball Captain Cate has joined the Manchester Thunder U17s squad. Cate, who is in Year 11, was successful in her bid to join the team following trials.

The Senior Boys will once again collaborate with RoughHouse Theatre throughout the forthcoming academic year on a special theatre project as part of the theatre's School Residency Programme. This year's piece of verbatim theatre will be inspired by the Mass Observation Project, which began in Bolton in 1937. This will involve the voices and experiences of pupils, staff, and local people from across Bolton coming together to create a new piece of theatre to be performed.

Follow the Mass Observation theatre project's progress via the School's Noticeboard and social media platforms, particularly @BoltonSchool and @drama_bsbd on Twitter.

Over the summer holidays, Sixth Form student Alexandra took part in a medical skills residential at Liverpool Science Park. She was able to develop a host of practical skills for performing clinical tasks and lab work, which will no doubt be invaluable in her future career.

The Chamber Choir is entering the Barnardo's National Choral Competition. The choir has booked a recording session and has been hard at work, rehearsing the two pieces needed for entry into the competition. If successful, they will have the opportunity to perform in the final at London's Royal Festival Hall in March.

Boys' Division pupils raised money for Leukaemia CARE with a non-uniform day. All the boys wore at least one orange item to raise awareness of this illness, and also received wristbands after making their donation to promote further awareness.

Year 9 pupil Lizzie has been selected for the Football Association's Under 14s Regional Development Programme. This is a particularly great achievement for her, as she has only been playing with a Tier 1 Regional Talent Centre for six months.

Junior Girls' School pupil Dinburgh has been selected to join the British Gymnastics U12s squad! This follows her a bronze medal winning performance in June at her first national competition.

Old Boy Edward Hibbert attended Beech House and Park Road and, following a successful career in software development went on to become the Chairman of Freegle. He returned to Bolton School to give the Sixth Form boys an insight into why we should reuse items and extend their lifespan before recycling them or throwing them away. He also gave a valuable perspective on the importance of doing something for the benefit of the community.

Pupils quizzed Labour MP Sir David Crausby on a wide variety of topics when he visited the School. Girls' Division pupils from all year groups joined members of the Politics Club and A Level students from both Divisions studying Politics for this fascinating session. Pupils engaged with some complex political topics and asked for Sir David's thoughts on Trident and his opinion on Jeremy Corbyn

The Girls' Division Tennis Squad became Division 1 champions in the Year 8 AEGON Teams Tennis Competition during the summer term, and recently took part in the next stage of the competition. The Regional Knockout was closely contested, with the Bolton girls just losing out.

The Nursery Class for 3 and 4 Year Olds recently learned about the Hindu festival of diwali. They visited a local temple to enhance their learning further.

Year 12 student Thea has been selected for the GB U19 Women's Water Polo Squad! This year she will also undertake the prestigious Sporting Excellence Award by Swim England Waterpolo alongside her A Level studies.

The Junior Girls thoroughly enjoyed a visit from Travelling by Tuba. The girls loved learning about a variety of different instruments and where they are from in the world from this musical duo. A lucky few pupils were chosen to take part in the performance.

Year 13 pupil Morgan has been chosen to play rugby for Lancashire U18s in a match against Cumbria. As well as playing for the school team, he also plays for Bolton RUFC.

Sixty-five Girls' Division linguists were invited to take part in a morning focused on Modern Foreign Languages. They learned more about studying languages at university and the benefits and opportunities it can provide in the workplace, as well as hearing from Old Girl Izzy about the daunting thrills of the year abroad experience. They also got to experience a taster session in a new language: Mandarin, Arabic or Russian.

Two Boys' Division pupils and a Girls' Division pupil have played water polo for ESSA over the October half term break in the Malta Exiles International Water Polo Tournament. They helped the ESSA teams to success with the boys' team achieving silver medals and the girls winning gold.

On 3 December at 7pm, Bolton School will host a talk from BBC weather presenter Tomasz Schafernaker. Earlier this year he was named the UK's favourite weather presenter, and he recently travelled to the US to report from the middle of Hurricane Irma, so he will certainly have some stories to tell from his television career. This free event is open to the public and is part of an ongoing series of Arts and Sciences Enrichment Events hosted by Bolton School Girls' Division.

Friday, 6 October 2017

6 October 2017

This September, the Boys' Division welcomed a new Head of Sixth Form: Mr Jack Williams. His appointment completed a 'trade' between Bolton School and Hipperholme Grammar School spanning over 100 years: in 1911, former Bolton School teacher Maynard Andrews became headmaster of Hipperholme, and Mr Williams came to Bolton School from that same post!

Children in the Nursery Class have been having fun while learning about the natural world. Each week they take advantage of the School's woodland nature area and recently have experienced the changing of the seasons first-hand.

From September 2018, the Junior Boys' School will introduce an additional Year 5 class. The Junior Boys will have 3 classes of Year 5 pupils to accommodate increased demand or places at the school, and a special Entrance Examination has been arrange for Year 4 pupils wishing to enter Year 5.

The Nursery has announced its Employee of the Month for September 2017 as voted by parents and staff. Khatijah received flowers and a card as a token of appreciation and thanks.

Across the school, parents and staff raised money for Macmillan Cancer Support by hosting coffee mornings as part of the annual 'World's Biggest Coffee Morning' appeal. The Junior Boys' School and Junior Girls' School PAs joined in, as did staff in the Boys' Division Senior School.

Friday, 29 September 2017

29 September 2017

There was excitement in the Great Hall for Year 7 pupils as they attended the launch event for the Bolton Children's Fiction Award 2018! New author Matt Killeen announced this year's shortlisted authors and books: a varied and challenging list that includes themes of racism, anxiety, cyber issues and bereavement, balanced with hope, determination and resilience. The award places the choice of the winner entirely in the hands of young readers.

The week began with a free, public talk on 'Life at Westminster' from former MP John Pugh. He was able to give a fascinating insight into the realities of being a member of Parliament, discussing what the House of Commons is like and how MPs spend their time. He also talked about some of the particular highlights of his political career, which included meeting the Dalai Lama!

John's talk was the first in a series of arts and sciences enrichment lectures to be hosted this year by the Girls' Division. The next event is on 5 October and will feature former Chartered Civil Engineer Isobel Garner, who will talk about 'Engineering the Building Blocks of Life'.

Earlier in the term, pupils were inspired by a visit from Olympic and Commonwealth athletes. Elite athletes from the Girls' Division joined year 11 Boys' Division pupils and Junior Girls in Year 5 to meet Olympic medallist Kelly Massey and two-sport international and Commonwealth Games athlete Dave Readle.

On 19 September, the Boys' Division marked Lord Leverhulme's 166th birthday with a commemorative assembly. Lord Leverhulme played a pivotal role in re-founding Bolton School as two Divisions on the Chorley New Road site just over 100 years ago, and the assembly reflected on some of his work further afield.

Children in the First Steps room at Bolton School Nursery enjoyed a delightful music session with Rhythm Time! They loves playing along on their instruments and hearing the different nursery rhymes.

The Greater Manchester Schools' U14s and U16s' squads recently held one of their training sessions at Bolton School. Two Girls' Division pupils, Lizzie and Anna, are members of the squads as well as being signed up with Tier 1 Regional Talent Centres at Everton and Manchester City.

Children in the Nursery Class for Three and Four Year Olds have visited Park View Residential Home to spend valuable time with the elderly residents there. Research shows that there are many benefits to bringing old and young people together, and so this is the first of several trips to take place through the year.

At the Nursery Class, children had fun learning about healthy world cuisine at cookery school. They joined children from the Butterfly Room at Bolton School Nursery for this informative and interactive session.

On Sunday 5 November, Bolton School's annual Fireworks Night will take place. This year the event promises to be even more spectacular, as the Parents' Association has booked Titanium - the company behind the London New Year display and the Olympic and Paralympic opening and closing ceremony fireworks - to arrange the display to music! There will be the usual stalls and games, great music, and supper including traditional black peas available from the dining all.

The bi-annual Careers and Higher Education Fair hosted by Bolton School will take place on Monday 16 October between 6.30pm and 8.30pm. This event is for all students in Years 9 to 13 and will cover a broad range of careers, apprenticeships and higher education options. There will also be a programme of seminars taking place on the evening.

Friday, 22 September 2017

22 September 2017

Bolton School's water polo players were excited to accept a royal appointment and play in an exhibition match for Prince William, the Duke of Cambridge. The Prince spent some time talking about the sport with Bolton School's players and staff before dropping the ball into the water to start the match. He also discussed the Bolton School teams' achievement of winning all three ESSA titles for three years in a row with their coach, Mr McGinty.

Watch Prince William drop the ball into the water here.

At the start of term, a group of Year 12 girls studying Economics had a first lesson with a difference: they were joined by Old Girl and entrepreneur Ingrid Murray, who offered her insights and advice to the class. She talked about setting up her own businesses, including the circumstances that led to price comparison website!

Year 13 students in the Girls' Division enjoyed the opportunity to explore the relationship between history and digital media with Catriona Oliphant and Caitlin Kennedy, who came into School to talk about a docudrama podcast which brings to life the US entry to WWI. They discussed the docudrama and audio format with the Year 13s and were also interested in hearing their ideas about potential uses in school, and how the girls engage with primary sources.

New cricketing kid on the block Praharsh Parikh has enjoyed a summer of success: he has played for Best of Bunbury (England) U15s, North of England U15s, Lancashire County U15s and Winton CC First XI. He is now in the England Development Programme and the Elite Player Programme with Lancashire County Cricket Club!

On Friday 22 September, Bolton School is looking forward to welcoming former MP John Pugh for an evening talk on 'Life in Westminster' at 7pm. This free, public talk is the first of this year's series of Arts and Sciences Enrichment Lectures, which are organised by the Girls' Division. Last year, the list of speakers included virtuoso percussionist Dame Evelyn Glennie, aurora scientist Dr Melanie Windridge, TV historian Susannah Lipscomb, and particle physicist Professor Jeff Forshaw.

Next month, the Girls' Division Theatre will host a special production of Antigone by the Actors of Dionysus. This performance will follow two sell-out nights at the Lowry Theatre and has been arranged for Bolton School pupils.

Finally, watch Ingrid Murray's inspirational Presentation Evening address and hear her advice to the newest set of Old Girls:

Friday, 8 September 2017

8 September 2017

A new term has begun at Bolton School, and the Girls' Division started the year with the annual Presentation Evening. The guest of honour was entrepreneur Ingrid Murray, who presented girls' with their certificates and prizes and gave an interesting address which was full of fitting advice for the future. She encouraged the Year 13 leavers to celebrate their friendships, find out what drives them, and "ride the waves of change".

Earlier in the summer, Junior Boys' School pupil Alex Bowen-Heaton helped Team Europe overcome the USA to win the Styal Junior Ryder Cup! He won his individual match in the 8-16 year old category.

Former MP John Pugh will give a talk at Bolton School on Friday 22 September at 7.30pm. He will talk about 'Life in Westminster' and his career in politics, including his seventeen years as Liberal Democrat MP for Southport. This free event is open to members of the public and all are welcome to attend.

This academic year, the Girls' Division will once again host a series of lectures arranged by the Historical Association (Bolton Branch). These fascinating monthly talks take place from September in the Sutcliffe Studio and are free for Bolton School pupils and staff, with a small charge for guests.

Over the summer holidays, the staff at Bolton School Nursery presented When You Wish Upon A Star with a cheque for over £1000, which was raised through a charity duathlon. Three members of staff completed the duathlon as a relay team to raise funds in memory of toddler Scarlett Walker, who died last year.

A group of four Old Boys are remembering the loss of their friends Jonny Sharples and Danny Harrison, who died in a car crash ten years ago, by completing a gruelling charity bike ride from the Sharples family home to Jonny's beloved West Ham United. After discussion with Jonny's parents, the group has decided to support When You Wish Upon A Star with their efforts. Click here to support them on JustGiving.

Friday, 1 September 2017

1 September 2017

Earlier this week, Girls' Division Headmisstress Sue Hincks and the Chair of Governors, Mike Griffiths, received the Queen's Award for Voluntary Service from The Lord-Lieutenant of Greater Manchester on behalf of the Bolton School Foundation. They were joined by a group of pupils, teachers and Governor Eric Fairweather for the ceremony, which was held at Gorton Monastery.

Two Girls' Division pupils have received prestigious Arkwright Scholarships for the duration of their A Level studies! Aaliyah Ascroft and Grace Palmer aced the tough selection process and will now gain access to exclusive enrichment events and the mentoring of an industry sponsor. Arkwright Scholarships are awarded to potential future leaders in engineering, computing and technical design.

Before the start of the new term, a final look back at the summer and some of the fun the children had on Sports Days!

The Junior Girls enjoyed a host of different activities on their Sports Day! From sprints to long jump to 'obstacle course' relays, and of course including the traditional sack race, there was plenty to get the girls active.

The Infants at Beech House took part in not one but two Sports Days. A carousel of activities including egg and spoon races, sprints and even welly throwing got the Reception children enthused about sport. Closer to the end of term, pupils in Years 1 and 2 had fun competing in sprints in the sunshine for their sports day as well.

On the last day of term the Junior Boys' School houses went head to head in the last competition of the year on Sports Day! They were cheered on by a great crowd of family members and the sun shone for much of the event. The boys gave their all in a variety of different running races.

Friday, 25 August 2017

25 August 2017

Sixth Form students in the Girls' Division had plenty to celebrate on A Level Results Day this year. The percentage of papers graded A*-B and A*-C improved, and 42.4% of grades were at either A* or A!

Boys' Division Sixth Form students celebrated an excellent crop of A Level Results as well. The number of A*-C grades rose to 91.5%, from 89.1% the previous year, and 40% of passes were at A* or A grade.

Fourteen students in total achieved the grades needed to accept their Oxbridge offers, and there were many more individual success stories on A Level Results Day.

On GCSE Results Day, pupils in the Boys' Division discovered that they had performed outstandingly as a year group and there were lots of happy faces in the Great Hall. This year saw a significant rise in the percentage of A* and A grades, from 52.7% to 57%! There was also an increase in the percentage of papers graded A*-C. Nine boys achieved nine or more A* grades.

Pupils in the Girls' Division also had an excellent set of results, which included English Language and English Literature grades in the new numbers system. 21.2% of grades in those two subjects were at either level 8 or 9. Every girl at Bolton School Girls’ Division achieved at least 5 A*-C grades (9-4), with nearly 60% of all grades being at A* or A (or 9-7). Thirteen girls received nine or more A* or 8/9 grades.

Earlier in the holidays, Three students in the Sixth Form walked from Grenfell Tower to Manchester Arena to raise funds for those affected by the fire and the bombing. They covered almost 200 miles in just six days! They have so far raised just over £2,000 with a goal of £3,600 - help them reach their target by donating at the JustGiving page.

Over the summer, eighteen Boys' and Girls' Division pupils went on a "once in a lifetime" trip to Dominica to take part in biodiversity research with Operation Wallacea. Over the two weeks, students worked in a terrestrial forest camp, enjoyed a volcanology or canyoning day, and took part in a marine ecology week. They worked with lizards, birds, invertebrates, bats and a host of marine life, and even had the opportunity to go spear-fishing for invasive lionfish!

Pupils in the Boys' Division also went on a cricket tour of the Caribbean and participated in the Sir Garfield Sobers International Schools Cricket Tournament. See a gallery of photos from their trip here.

Back at School, children taking part in the three-day Netball Roadshow run by Activate Sport had the exciting chance to learn from England player Rebekah Airey. She spent a whole day with the girls, putting them through their paces and giving coaching advice. She also talked about her experience playing netball for England.

The Andrew Flintoff Cricket Academy also had a star visit from Lancashire bowler Simon Kerrigan. The boys taking part in this programme, which is also run by Activate Sport, thoroughly enjoyed meeting Simon and hearing his tips and tricks as part of the five-day progamme.

As the summer term came to an end, Boys' Division biology teacher Mr Teasdale attended the international Science on Stage festival. He was there to present a slime mould project jointly created with Dutch teacher Hans Mulder, and their efforts were Highly Commended by the judges! In addition to showing off their project with a stand, Mr Teasdale and Mr Mulder gave a workshop to interested teachers.

Eight Girls' Division students at the end of last year received Copper Awards in the Cambridge Chemistry Challenge. They sat this extra test straight after their AS Level exams and received their awards based on attainment.

The children at Beech House were excited to meet two police horses, who visited school along with their riders. Pupils learned more about the important work these animals do to help keep everyone safe.

The winners of the Junior Girls' Photography Competition were announced in the final assembly of the year. The theme was 'My Favourite View' and produced a wide variety of images. Judging fell to Old Boy and photography expert Mark Power, who was very impressed by the high standard. The overall winner was a moving photo of the tributes to the Manchester Arena bombing victims in St Ann's Square.

Friday, 28 July 2017

28 July 2017

At the end of term, the Year 6 Junior Girls took a trip through history with The Keymaster. This play tells the story of a bored history class who are shocked to discover that their supply teacher is the mysterious time-travelling Keymaster, who takes them on a journey to visit the past. However, it is their trip to the near-future that leaves the most lasting impression. The girls all gave wonderful performances in this funny and informative production.

Click the following links to watch the Year 6 girls' performance of The Keymaster: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4

The Year 6 boys were also hard at work as the year drew to a close putting the final touches to their production of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat. They tackled this Andrew Lloyd-Webber musical with confidence and showed off their musical talents in all of the songs! The colourful and entertaining retelling of the Biblical tale delighted audiences from start to finish.

The Senior Girls in Year 7 to 9 told the story of George Orwell's Animal Farm in their end of year production. The political fable was brought to life on stage with the help of some fabulous costumes, created by the Textiles department, and the girls' wonderful acting skills.

At the end of term, three pupils in the Sixth Form decided to walk from Grenfell Tower in London to Manchester Arena to raise money for those affected by the fire and the victims of the Manchester bombing. They are now into the last day of their over 170 mile journey, which has taken just under a week, and on track to finish as planned! They are still hoping to raise additional funds and meet their target of £3,600 - £20 per mile. Donations can be made at their JustGiving page.

Listen to Chelsea Norris interview Stewart, Nikolaii and Adam about their endeavour on BBC Radio Manchester's Drivetime. The interview starts at 1:09:45. (This will be available on BBC iPlayer until 23 August 2017.)

This week's Inspiring Mind is architect Robin Partington, the man behind 'The Gherkin' skyscraper in London, who attended the Boys' Division from 1964 to 1978. Robin studied Architecture at Liverpool University, and has worked on many fascinating projects during his career since becoming a qualified architect. He mentions some of these in his profile, as well as discussing his School influences, inspirations and memories.