Friday, 24 February 2017

24 February 2017

Bolton School was delighted to welcome Old Boy and chess grandmaster Nigel Short as he returned to inspire the current crop of chess players. This culminated in a tense two and a half hour simultaneous chess match against twenty-three pupils, aged eight to eighteen and hailing from the Junior and Senior Schools. Although all were ultimately defeated, this was undoubtedly an unforgettable experience for them. As part of his visit, Nigel also gave a stimulating account of his recent match against Sergey Grigoriants during a talk to Boys' Division chess enthusiasts.

A series of clips from Nigel's simultaneous exhibition match against twenty-three Bolton School pupils can be viewed here.

Boys in Year 8 impressed their peers and teachers in the annual Gymnastics Vaulting Final before half term. Seven boys took part in the last stage of this competition, which began with the whole of the year group competing in heats, and all finalists showed off their consistency and skill over the course of four vaults.

Two Boys' Division pupils have attained impressive achievements with the Independent Schools’ Football Association (ISFA) recently. James in Year 12 has been awarded his full ISFA International cap, while Johsn in Year 11 has been selected for various ISFA National U16s squads.

Tickets are now on sale for this year's Joint Production of Miss Saigon. The show will run from 22 to 25 March 2017 and tickets are available to purchase at break and lunchtimes (£6 each).

There is also still time to buy tickets for When The Eye Has Gone, the visiting production about the life of cricketer Colin Milburn, coming to Bolton School on 1 March for one night only! This one man show is produced by Roughhouse Theatre and was commissioned by The Professional Cricketers’ Association (PCA). Tickets are £10 and booking details are available here.

Friday, 17 February 2017

17 February 2017

The Infants at Beech House had lots of fun in the run-up to half term with their Arts Week! Pupils celebrated their achievements in music, art and dance and were able to try lots of new things, from African drumming to Inuit clay sculptures to Gum Boot dancing.

The Junior Girls collected a rainbow of coins for charity! The girls showed their support for Ethiopia-based charity Rainbows4Children by coming into school wearing rainbow colours and giving a £1 donation. The money was then laid out into a spectacular 'rainbow' on the playground, with an estimated £800 raised in total!

Boys' Division pupils in Year 11 learned more about the National Citizen Service (NCS) scheme and how they could get involved at Bolton Lads and Girls Club. During their visit they got to try a host of fun activities while also finding out how NCS could help them to assist their local community, make new friends and build on existing skills and develop new ones.

Thirteen Girls' Division pupils have been selected for the U13 Lancashire Lacrosse squad, including one Junior Girls' School pupil! The girls made it onto the A and B squads and will go on to play at the Northern Counties tournament.

Children at the Nursery celebrated Valentine's Day with baking and crafts, and by dressing in their best red and pink outfits for the day!

Girls' Division pupils Elly and Lucy won eight gold and silver medals between them at the Lancashire County Swimming Championships! Year 7 pupil Lucy came away with three gold and two silver medals, while Year 8 pupil Elly won two gold medals and one silver.

Year 8 pupils learned more about the vital work that guide dogs perform for Toni Forrest and her labrador retriever guide dog. Toni explained about the difference a guide dog makes for someone who is blind and how a person is matched up with their dog.

The Junior Girls enjoyed a day filled with Russian fun on the annual Modern Foreign Languages Day, which this year was themed around Stravinsky's ballet The Firebird. Pupils and staff from the Boys' Division helped out with the activities and the girls were able to find out more about the Russian language and culture.

Girls' Division pupils represented Bolton Town at the recent Greater Manchester Cross Country Championships. The four pupils were selected for the Bolton Town team after competing well in the Bolton Schools' Championships in October.

At the end of the half term, Mrs Kathryn Critchley and Mrs Maureen Drinkwater retired after having spent almost sixty years at Bolton School between them! Mrs Critchley, who joined the School in 1974, was able to recall teaching some of the current pupils' mothers and aunts. Both were showered with gifts, including Hesketh House bears and Port Sunlight roses and other personal gifts.

This week's Inspiring Mind is Old Girls Laura Moss, who attended the Girls' Division from 1994 to 2001. After leaving School she became a lawyer for a few years, but then quit her job and spent sixteen months cycling around the world! On her 13,000 mile trip, she visited twenty-seven countries and journeyed across Europe, the Middle East and Asia to Australia, before returning home across the USA. Following her life-changing experience, she founded and still directs the Cycle Touring Festival, encouraging others to make journeys by bicycle.

Friday, 10 February 2017

10 February 2017

Following the Inspection in December 2016, the Boys' Division has been officially awarded the top rating of "excellent" by the Independent Schools Inspectorate. The new format report judged the pupils' academic and other achievements to be excellent, and the quality of personal development is also excellent.

Last week, pupils in Years 8 and 9 put on their student-devised promenade production of Wonder. The cast and crew delivered three nights of excellent and thought-provoking entertainment to appreciative audiences, who followed the story and the emotions as they travelled to various locations around School, from the Great Hall to 'summer camp' in the third-floor Studio Theatre!

The U18 and U15 Water Polo teams have begun an unprecedented attempt to defend their ESSA National titles for the third year running. The first leg of the competition for the U18s was held in the School's pool, while the U15 team played in Manchester. Both teams progressed to the National Finals with strong scores. The U13s will join their fellows in defending the third National title in May.

The Junior Girls' Music Festival allowed pupils in all four year groups to take part and showcase their talents over the course of two days. Parents, grandparents, pupils and staff enjoyed the wonderful music-making as the girls performed on a wide variety of instruments and impressed the adjudicators.

Local pupils in Year 5 are once again enjoying the SHINE: Serious Fun on Saturdays programme at Bolton School. These Gifted and Talented youngsters are challenged and inspired by these Saturday morning classes, led by Bolton School teachers and Sixth Form students, while also having fun over the course of eleven weeks.

The Girls' Division Senior swimming team tied for first place at the recent Bolton Schools' Swimming Championships!

On 27 February, Bolton School will host a free lecture from particle physicist Professor Jeff Forshaw. 'Universal: a guide to the cosmos' is based on his popular science book, written with Professor Brian Cox, and promises to be a fascinating and informative evening. The event is free and open to the public.

Bolton School is encouraging staff to join the Chartered College of Teaching to support this new professional body set up by teachers for teachers. The School is offering a contribution of more than 50% to all of its full- and part-time teachers who obtain first-year membership.

This week's Inspiring Mind is Old Boy Professor Malcolm Stevens OBE, FRS who attended the Boys' Division from 1944 to 1957. He gained a PhD in Pharmacy from Nottingham University and went on to to conduct groundbreaking research into treatments for cancer. His profile recalls his fondest memories of his time at Bolton School and his inspirational teachers.

Friday, 3 February 2017

3 February 2017

Fourteen Bolton School Sixth Form students have received offers from the Universities of Oxford and Cambridge this year. This is a wonderful achievement for all five girls and nine boys, and the School wishes them luck in achieving the grades needed to accept their offers.

High Sheriff of Greater Manchester the Lady Smith of Leigh, who is an Old Girl, returned to the Girls' Division to offer an entertaining address in morning assembly. She talked about the history of her role and her duties today, as well as briefly touching on her memories of attending Bolton School.

The Lady Smith also visited the Junior Girls' School, where she enthralled pupils with more fascinating historical information and held a lengthy question and answer session with the curious girls. They were delighted to see her symbolic sword and learn more about the High Sheriff's crest.

Bolton School has placed top of the government's latest league table of local schools and colleges by A level results. The Girls' Division leads the table when a school or college is measured by the average point score performance per student and the Boys' Division is number one in the league when measured by the percentage of students achieving AAB grades or higher in the facilitating subjects.

The Junior Boys' School held its annual Music Festival, with over 145 individual performances taking place over two days! Pupils, staff and parents alike enjoyed the wide-ranging music, which included classes in piano, guitar woodwind, brass, recorder, percussion, strings, vocal and ensembles.

Children at the Nursery and attending the Nursery Class for 3 and 4 year olds had fun in special ball skills session run by a Bolton Wanderers coach. The sessions were tailored to fit each age group, with the younger children simply getting used to the equipment and the older ones learning some moves through play.

Girls' Division alumni, Sixth Form and staff held an unwanted jewellery collection in support of Alzheimer's Society in the run-up to the Christmas holidays. A representative from the charity visited the School to collect over 350 donated pieces, which will raise an estimated £600!

A pair of Junior Boys and a pair of Junior Girls spent a day filming with the BBC's Terrific Scientific crew. They were investigating what trees do for us and measuring how much carbon is contained in trees across the campus. The film will eventually be uploaded on the Terrific Scientific website in March or April.

Students in Years 12 and 13 enjoyed a day of improving their modern foreign language skills at the annual French Conference. They discussed a number of topics relating to their A Level studies with native speaker Richard Peltier, making this a great opportunity to stretch themselves and improve both confidence and ability.

This week's Inspiring Mind is Old Boy Frank Kenyon, who attended the Boys' Division from 1944 to 1952. After leaving Bolton School, he read Geography at Downing College, Cambridge, and completed his National Service in the Royal Artillery before becoming a teacher and ultimately headteacher.