Friday, 31 March 2017

31 March 2017

As the Spring Term drew to a close there were lots of exciting events at Bolton School. One of the highlights of the end of term was the stunning Joint Production of Miss Saigon. The show was a sell-out, and the talented cast of pupils from both Divisions offered a mature and sensitive portrayal of the tragic tale.

Old Boy Jason Appleton paid a flying visit, quite literally, to Bolton School: arriving and departing by helicopter, much to the enjoyment of pupils from the Nursery to the Sixth Form! He is now Station Commander of RAF Shawbury in Shropshire, and was able to give numerous pupils a tour of his Squirrel helicopter during its time on the sports field and delivered an absorbing talk to Sixth Form students over lunch before taking off once more.

Click here to watch a video of Jason leaving Bolton School by helicopter (take off is at 7 minutes 50 seconds).

Old Girl Katie Clinton, now a Partner at global accountancy firm KPMG's Manchester office, returned to School to launch the seventh year of paid summer internships with KPMG. This exclusive opportunity offers a pair of Bolton School Sixth Form students the chance to work for the company in the Audit and Corporate Finance teams and get an idea of a workplace environment.

There was excitement in the Junior Girls' School as pupils were visited by Bumble, the police horse that has been sponsored by the School! Bumble and his fellow police horse Maxwell, ridden by Chris and Kerry, came along at playtime and were proud to show off some of their special skills, such as moving backwards and sideways.

This week, Dr Heather Williams considered the history and workings of medical imaging in a fascinating lecture held at Bolton School. From Leonardo da Vinci's anatomical drawings, through the discovery of x-rays and through to the most up to date technology, she talked about how the internal workings of the body have been viewed throughout history and how various different medical scanners work today.

Dr Williams's talk is available to watch in full on the School website: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3

In sporting news, the U14 rugby team reached the Lancashire County Schools' Finals' Day following success in earlier rounds. They played well, and came in second place in the Plate competition.

The Year 7 netball team have become Bolton Town Netball Champions this week following their impressive performance in the Bolton Schools' Netball Tournament. The girls scored 67 goals while conceding just 3 across the whole tournament!

The U12 football team has won the Bolton Schools' Football Tournament, overcoming Rivington and Blackrod High School in the final to be named Town Champions! This followed a close encounter in the semi-final last week.

Individuals have also been performing well in sport. Jos Winstanley has followed in his older brothers' footsteps and been called up for the England U17 Water Polo squad. He will take part in the European Nations' Tournament in Brno, Czech Republic, over the Easter holidays.

Old Boys Aaron Winstanley and Lewis Daly, along with former member of staff Addison Brown, have been named in the England water polo squad.

Year 8 pupils Lizzie Harkness has successfully trialled and been signed for Everton U14s!

Matthew Mair has received not one but two county vests in recent weeks! He played hockey for North Lancashire and ran for Greater Manchester in the National Intercounties Cross Country.

Children at the Nursery got involved with Sport Relief with some fun hurdling activities. The children were really keen to have a go at the hurdles, which they had never tried before, and everyone who took part received a medal to take home.

The Nursery Class has recently been having lots of fun! The children enjoyed playtime based on the story of 'Hansel and Gretel' after reading the story together.

Eight gifted and talented pupils at Lostock Primary School have been benefitting from extra Mathematics tuition in after school classes with Girls' Division teachers Mr Wrigley and Miss Doran. The aim was to help the children prepare for their KS2 National Curriculum Assessments in the Summer Term.

Mums and Grandmas were invited to Bolton School's Nursery last week to celebrate Mothers' Day with their children. Each of the rooms put on a host of activities for the children to enjoy with the mothers and grandmothers, including baking, games and crafts.

The Nursery Class also invited Mums and Grandmas in to spend extra time with their children before Mothers' Day as a special celebratory treat.

The Junior Girls were lucky to enjoy glorious sunshine for their Spring Fair over the weekend. A host of stalls, games and raffles provided fun for everyone, and the pupils also offered fantastic musical entertainment and a lovely Maypole dance.

Sixth Form pupils were given an insight into the government's Budget over lunchtime thanks to Lisa Wilson and Dominic Aspinall of chartered accountancy firm Cowgill Holloway. The audience of predominantly Business and Economics A Level students came with a host of questions for the guests to answer, considering all things relating to the Budget.

The Nursery Class 'ate their words' with a delicious French Breakfast after their morning French lesson. The three and four year olds have been learning the French words for many Breakfast foods, and the meal was a great opportunity for them to try out some of the delicacies!

A Careers Carousel for Year 9 boys held this week offered pupils a view into the world of work. The afternoon featured a range of industry professionals, including three Old Boys who have taken very different career paths.

The Junior Girls in Year 4 were enthralled when a Roman soldier visited their classroom. They learned all about Roman Britain and were even able to try on some of the soldier's gear for themselves!

The Junior Boys welcomed the new season with a wide variety of music at their Spring Concert. This was a delightful occasion which showcased the talents of the musicians in the Junior Boys' School, and culminated in a fantastic Elton John Medley sung by the whole school!

Girls' Division pupils in Year 11 were given an enlightening talk about stress and depression, delivered by Old Girl and Consultant Adolescent Forensic Psychiatrist, Dr Lynne Daly. She talked about a range of symptoms for stress and anxiety and offered some tips to pupils on how to combat these, then moved on to discuss depression.

The whole of Year 2 enjoyed an exciting trip to Jodrell Bank to learn more about space. They took part in workshops about astronauts and constellations and were able to see the telescopes up close.

All six Junior Girls who recently took Trinity Music Exams have received Distinctions after achieving scores of over 90! This is a wonderful achievement for them all.

Earlier in the Spring Term, the Girls' Division held a non-uniform day in support of Birtenshaw, a charity providing a range of services for children and young adults with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities. The girls raised over £700 for the charity, which was suggested by Year 13 pupil Alex Duxbury, and on the last day of term a cheque was presented to Birtenshaw for the full amount.

After the Easter break, art historian Michael Howard will give a free, public talk on 'The Poetry of Art and the Art of Poetry' at 7pm on 27 April in the Girls' Division Sutcliffe Studio. Michael is President of Bolton Decorative and Fine Arts Society and taught in the History of Art department at Manchester School of Art and Design at the Manchester Metropolitan University for over 30 years. He is married to the artist, Ghislaine Howard and is a practising artist in his own right.

There are two Inspiring Minds this week.

The first is Commonwealth Silver and Bronze Medal-Winning Swimmer Emma Saunders. Emma left the Girls' Division in 2012, having already won Commonwealth Silver and Bronze medals at Delhi in 2010 while still a pupil! In her profile, she talks about the importance of balancing her studies with her athletic achievements.

The second is Major William Ainsworth, who was the highest ranking officer connected with Bolton School to die as a result of either the First or Second World War. He was killed in action on 16 April 1917, aged 39. His profile is based upon his entry in Remembered with Honour by Eric McPherson, the book commemorating the Old Boys and staff of Bolton School who died in the two World Wars.

Friday, 17 March 2017

17 March 2017

Last week, pupils visited the moon, ventured into the heart of a volcano and even travelled back in time to an Anglo-Saxon village with Google Expeditions! Children from both Junior Schools and in Year 1 and Year 2 at Beech House Infant School were able to take part in these virtual reality adventures which got pupils excited about learning in a wide variety of curriculum areas.

The Junior Boys raised £1,350 for the Breast Unit at Royal Bolton Hospital. They were motivated by School Secretary and Old Girl Mrs Iddon's breast cancer diagnosis a year ago, and the boys threw themselves into designing wrapping paper to sell at the Christmas Fair. Additional funds were raised by the Parents' Association. Surgeon Clare Garnsey, also an Old Girl, and Nurse Mal Sheridan came into School to accept the donation during assembly.

Sixteen Girls' Division pupils were selected at trials to join the U15 Lancashire Lacrosse A and B teams and reserves. One pupils was even selected as the A team captain!

Gifted and talented pupils from a range of schools across the North-West came to Bolton School for an English and Design and Technology Saturday Challenge workshop based on Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream. They were able to get involved in a range of activities as part of this experience, aptly named 'The Mechanics of the Mechanicals'.

Current Year 13 students in the Boys' Division took advantage of technology to hear from two Old Boys this week via Skype and FaceTime. They connected with tech entrepreneur and investor Rob Dobson and with investment banker Adam Crook. Both Old Boys spoke about their career paths and offered advice for the future.

The Junior Boys enjoyed a wonderful concert from four Senior Boys who recently won their sections at the Young Musician of the Year competition. The younger pupils very much enjoyed the varied programme of music.

Children in Year 1 at the Infant School recently visited Knowsley Safari Park to learn more about the animals there! They had fun getting up close and personal with all kinds of creatures, from tall giraffes to tiny hissing cockroaches.

Badminton player Shreya Kamath in Year 9 has been selected to play for Lancashire at the upcoming Under 18 Inter County Badminton tournament in April. She has already won several gold medals at U14, U16 and U18 level in Badminton England tournaments.

Old Boy James Dunne's love of dance began at the School's Strictly Dance Club several years ago. He is now entering a charity dance competition to support Christie's and returned to School to collect a donation, and also to dance with current members of his old club!

Junior School pupil Vlada Kozak has been called up to the Great Britain tennis team and will take part in a French national tournament next week! She is currently the number one player in her age group.

Children in Year 2 at the Infant School have been whipping up delicious treats to enjoy as part of their Baking Club.

The U14 Netball team last weekend won the Bolton Schools' Netball Tournament after a tense final played against Turton School.

This week the School hosted a 'Bad Day at School' conference, organised by Ease Training. Girls' Division Headmistress Sue Hinks was one of the afternoon speakers at this event, which offered advice to schools on what to do when problems arise.

Sports enthusiasts at Bolton School recently heard from massage therapist Sally Barker, who in 2016 travelled to Rio to support the GB team at the Paralympics! She spoke to them about this amazing experience and also offered inspirational career advice.

Infants have been comparing the toys of today with those from the past, most recently by weighing and measuring their favourite toys.

Click here to watch the clip from North West Tonight about Old Boy and chess grandmaster Nigel Short's recent visit to Bolton School, when he faced more than twenty pupils in a simultaneous chess match!

This week's Inspiring Mind is Lord Peter Smith, and Old Boy who attended the School from 1956 to 1964 on a scholarship. He trained at the London School of Economics and went on to become a lecturer, teaching politics and economics at colleges in London and then Manchester. He has a long career in local government, beginning in 1978 when he was elected Labour Councillor to Wigan Council, and was given a life peerage in 1999 for his services to local government. In his profile, he talks of his fondest Bolton School memories of trek camps and teachers, and offers the advice to 'never stop learning' to current pupils.

Friday, 10 March 2017

10 March 2017

Professor Jeff Forshaw helped pupils, staff and members of the public to contemplate the origins of the universe when he visited the Girls' Division as part of the series of enrichment lectures hosted by the School this year. Based on his popular science book Universal, co-authored with Brian Cox, his talk touched upon the some of the most fundamental questions about the Earth, Sun, Solar System and the star-filled galaxies beyond.

The U18 Water Polo team shone in the final round of the national ESSA U18 Water Polo Championships. Following three years of success, the pressure was on to continue the School's winning streak, and the Boys' Division team did not disappoint. They held the title for a fourth year, winning the final with a score of 8 goals to 1.

Click here to watch the U18 team in action against H.A.B.S. in the Final.

The School welcomed delegates from both Divisions and Westhoughton High School along with guests for a conference focused on community action. Pupils heard from speakers about adult volunteering: why people do it and what they find rewarding. There were also discussion groups in which pupils could share their volunteering experiences and give their opinions on the Bolton Vision in conversation with a representative of Bolton Council.

Later on the same afternoon, the School hosted the second national Schools Together meeting, and the first to be held in the north. The subject was partnerships and how the worth and impact of independent and state schools working together can be measured. Guests and speakers from a variety of state and independent schools attended along with Christina Astin, Chair of the Schools Together Group, for this useful and informative event.

Over half term, a group of Sixth Form girls visited Berlin as part of their A Level German studies. They discovered more about German culture and history during the trip as well as putting all of their language skills to use, and experienced everything from a chocolate workshop to a trip to the Reichstag!

Also during the holidays, girls got into the creative mindset with a week of creative writing at Patterdale Hall. They sailed on Lake Ullswater, visited tranquil waterfalls and Wordsworth's home, and received expert tuition from Tobias Jones, novelist and Peter Sansom, poet. The pupils produced an anthology of work following their week at Patterdale and all felt they had improved their creative writing craft by the time they returned home.

The U12s football team has made it to the semi-final stage of the Greater Manchester Cup! The team made it to the semi-final following a dramatic quarter-final against Altrincham Grammar School that went into extra time.

Girls' Division pupils in Year 10 presented a representative from Christie's with a cheque for over £1000 following their Christmas Post fundraising! The girls sold cakes and sweets in the run-up to Christmas and managed to raise this significant sum for the charity.

The Young Musician of the Year Final has been held in the Boys' Division, with a wonderful quality of music on show yet again. Adjudicator Jennifer Downing had the challenging task of picking the Junior and Senior winners, Junior and Senior Composers of the Year, and choosing the recipient of the Most Promising Performer award.

Year 12 students enjoyed a day learning about the World of Work, with talks from a wide range of professions. Seven alumni spoke to the Sixth Form on the day, including Charlie Ball, who gave the keynote speech: "Is it worth going to university?" The whole of Year 12 made the most of the opportunity to ask questions and discover more about potential career paths.

Children in the Nursery Class read the story of 'The Three Little Pigs' and took part in related activities this week. The children had fun and learned lots of new things!

On 27 March 2017 at 7pm, the School will host a free, public lecture from Senior Medical Physicist Dr Heather Williams on "Seeing Inside - Imaging the Structure and Function of the Human Body". She will talk about how PET, CT and MRI scanners work, what they show us, and the latest generation of hybrid imaging technology. This promises to be a fascinating evening. Everyone is welcome to come along.

This week's Inspiring Mind is Karen Diggle, who left the Girls' Division in 1976 and is now a Governor of the School. While studying History at Nottingham University, she discovered a passion for coxing and eventually joined the British National Ladies Rowing Team! She is now the Managing Director of Chamberlain Doors. Her profile talks of her lifelong involvement with the School, her happy memories of teachers and the supportive environment the Girls' Division provided.

Friday, 3 March 2017

3 March 2017

Gifted and talented sports pupils as well as Junior School pupils were delighted to meet Olympic and World finalist runner Eilish McColgan just a few days ahead of her performance at the European Indoor Championships. Her message of perseverance and resilience came across strongly as she recounted the injuries she has suffered, and how they did not stop her from realising her dream of competing at the Rio Olympics in 2016.

Children across the Foundation enjoyed a range of literary celebrations in honour of World Book Day's 20th anniversary.

The focus for the Junior Girls was on character, and pupils came into School dressed in outfits to depict a host of figures from literature, from poetry, from myth and from history! The day was filled with book-related activities from start to finish, and the girls enjoyed sharing their favourite stories as part of the festivities.

In both Divisions, pupils could hunt for and keep 'Found, Not Lost!' books that had been hidden in obscure locations around the School. The Girls' Division held the 'Big Book Bake Off', which encouraged pupils and staff to recreate books in cake form. The Library also hosted the Scholastic Book Fair.

The Infant School donned a wide range of costumes for the day with everyone from Dennis the Menace to the BFG roaming the halls of Beech House on World Book Day! Not to be outdone, the staff also put on their best literary dress for the day and enjoyed sharing their characters with the children.

Children at the Nursery brought their favourite characters to life with a host of costumes, from fairytale princesses to comic book superheroes! They enjoyed face-painting, visits to the local library and drawing pictures of characters from books.

Pupils from 13 Ogden Trust Partnership schools attended the Physics Olympics, which was once again hosted by the Boys' Division. All of the teams had fun completing the five challenging physics tasks and answering the quiz questions throughout the day, using their scientific knowledge and practical skills to achieve the best possible scores in the competition.

A variety of speakers from a wide range of careers spoke to pupils as part of the NHS Careers Day at Bolton School. Three alumni returned to talk about their work as a pharmacist, a junior doctor, and an Operating Department Practitioner. In addition to a host of sessions tailored to specific career paths, pupils were enlightened by Dr Mohmmed Jiva's keynote speech on the evolution of a new National Health Service.

The Year 11 girls were introduced to National Citizen Service (NCS) at Bolton Lads and Girls Club for the seventh year running. This scheme puts pupils into a mixed group with young people from across Bolton, with the aim of them making new friends, improving their skills, and ultimately delivering a project to aid their local community by the end of the NCS programme.

Roman Mysteries author Caroline Lawrence visited the School to talk to Boys' and Girls' Division pupils in Year 7 and Junior Girls in Year 5 about her work. She also discussed the destruction of Pompeii and her Classical influences, the use of archetypes in writing, and her new series of books, the Roman Quests, set in Roman Britain.

Junior Boys' School pupil Henry won the downhill slalom at the Obergurgl Village Race during the half term holidays! Henry skis just ten days a year in Austria, but nonetheless beat tough competition to win this race again 242 other children.

A weekend drop-in session for parents at Bolton School's Nursery to help them to understand different aspects of the Early Years’ Foundation Stage. They were able to get ideas for activities to try with their child or children to benefit learning.

The Venerable Jonathan Boardman, Archdeacon of Italy and Malta and Chaplain of All Saints, is an Old Boy of the School. He recently welcomed Pope Francis to his Anglican church in Rome, with the visit making history as the first time the pontiff has visited an Anglican church in the city.

Luxe & Co, Anime and Mugs Away were the three Young Enterprise teams from Bolton School Girls' Division who plied their wares at the Trafford Centre trade fair. Jewellery company Luxe & Co won the highly commended award from the Young Enterprise Manager for Greater Manchester!

Before the half term break, the Girls' Division held its annual Music Festival. This year, there were new categories such as 'Open Mic' to tempt even more performers to take part, and the adjudicator was very impressed with the standard throughout. The two-day event culminated in a fabulous Celebration Concert which showcased the girls' musicianship.

Roughhouse Theatre brought When The Eye Has Gone, a poignant play about the life of cricketer Colin Milburn, to Bolton School. The School community was joined by members of the public for an evening of entertainment which was by turns funny and sad. Prior to the performance, Boys' Division pupils interviewed the one man show's actor and director.

Recently Nursery children in the Butterfly Room enjoyed a visit from a dentist and learned more about the job. They used model tools to have a go at being dentists themselves.

Recent leaver Teddy Pender has won the 100m US Freestyle title at the New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) Swimming Championship meet in Middletown, Connecticut. He was cheered on to glory by his Bates College coaches and teammates.

Last week's Inspiring Mind was Michael Griffiths, an Old Boy who is now Bolton School's Chairman of Governors. After leaving the Boys' Division in 1965, he completed a gap year on VSO and then studied Industrial Economics at Nottingham University. After a few years as part of a large firm, he decided to take his career along a more entrepreneurial route. He became Chairman of the Governing Body in 2007. He fondly recalls some recollections of his time as a pupil as part of his profile and celebrates the staff who taught him.

This week's Inspiring Mind is Old Boy Nigel Short, who attended the Boys' Division from 1976 to 1981. He became the youngest International Master in chess history at the age of 14 while still a pupil, and went on to become the youngest grandmaster in the world. His profile charts his illustrious career, and also recalls some of his favourite Bolton School memories.