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.

Friday, 21 July 2017

21 July 2017

Earlier this month, Bolton School celebrated winning the MEN's Active Community Award sponsored by Redrow for making a positive contribution to the local community! The award was received at the Manchester Evening News's Greater Manchester School Awards Ceremony, and follows the School receiving the Queen's Award for Voluntary Service in June. This is a wonderful recognition of all the work that pupils and staff do for the local community.

Congratulations to Year 12 student Adam Hall, who was the Secondary School winner in the Saatchi Gallery Schools Art Prize! His piece, 'Bolton School: A Modern Tradition', was taken to the Saatchi Gallery for the Awards Evening and subsequent public exhibition, and he was joined by members of staff and several alumni for the Awards Evening itself. He was one of just twenty young artists to be shortlisted from over 24,000 international entries.

The winning installation, 'Bolton School: A Modern Tradition', can be viewed in virtual reality here. (Click and drag or use the arrow keys to look around, and press the arrows at the bottom of the page to switch between the 'modern' and 'traditional' sides of the piece.)

The Bolton Children's Fiction Award Ceremony took place at Bolton School with three of the shortlisted authors and pupils from fourteen local schools in attendance. Pupils enjoyed workshops with the authors and were able to pick up signed copies of the books before the exciting moment when the winner was finally announced. Congratulations to this year's winner, Andrew Norriss, author of Jessica's Ghost.

The Junior Girls were also treated to a special performance of Roald Dahl's The Twits from storyteller John Kirk on the day of the Award Ceremony. John was in School to host the Bolton Children's Fiction Award, but found time to bring this classic tale to life for the Junior Girls and visiting pupils from Beaumont Primary School.

A team of pupils from the Boys' Division has continued the School's Chemquiz winning streak, taking the top prize at the event for the second year in a row! The four boys will now go on to compete in the national Top of the Bench competition in the next academic year. The pressure is on to follow in the footsteps of last year's team, who won first place.

A Girls' Division team also took part in Chemquiz and achieved a creditable sixth place overall. However, they did manage to win first place in the tough Quiz section of the competition!

Technology entrepreneur and Old Boy Rob Dobson was the guest speaker at this year's Prizegiving. As well as presenting pupils with their awards, he gave an interesting address on work and the function of technology in the world of work, both now and in the future. The Headmaster also gave an insightful Review of the Year an offered his comments on independent schools.

Rob's Prizegiving Address is available to view in its entirety here.

The Headmaster's Review of the Year is also available to watch again here. A video containing just Mr Britton's remarks on independent schools as 'strong and stable' and 'for the many, not the few' can be found here.

A group of three Sixth Form boys are planning a charity walk from Grenfell Tower in London to Manchester Victoria train station. They hope to raise £3,600 for  the We Love Manchester Emergency Fund and the Grenfell Tower Emergency Fund.

Please support their efforts via their JustGiving page.

The Junior Girls raised over £1,200 for a variety of good causes on their Charity Afternoon. This annual event saw Year 6 organise a range of stalls for younger pupils to enjoy, and the day also included a sponsored skipping challenge for all the girls which raised money for the British Heart Foundation.

In the Summer Term, Girls' Division senior school pupils have raised over £1,700 for four very worthy charities: Refuge, LivLife in Tanzania, Ehlers-Danlos Support UK, and the victims of the Grenfell Tower fire. This was raised through a variety of events such as cake sales, a staff relay race and non-uniform days.

The U14 cricket team has been crowned Lancashire Schools' Cricket champions! They won the Association Cup Final by 117 runs, defeating Oldham Hulme Grammar School.

A team of girls in Year 5 and Year 6 recently did well at the AJIS Athletics competition. They achieved five podium positions, with the Year 5 Relay team giving a particularly impressive performance!

Pupils in the Girls' Division commemorated the Battle of Passchendaele during morning assembly. The assembly focused on the equality of all men's sacrifice in the First World War, reflected by the ranks of identical headstones in Commonwealth War Graves Commission cemeteries, and on two lives lost during Passchendaele. The first was Lieutenant Fred Carrie, an Old Boy of the School. The second was Welsh poet Hedd Wyn, who went on to posthumously win the Bard's Chair at the National Eisteddfod only a few weeks after his death on the first day of the battle.

During the assembly, Year 12 student Caroline Blair sang 'Hen Wlad Fy Nhadau' (Land of my Fathers) in Welsh. Click here to listen to her performance.

From September 2017, the Boys' Division Technology department will be known as the Department of Design, Technology and Engineering (DTE). This rebranding is a move to to more accurately reflect the nature of the courses and activities taking place within the department.

String players came together for a workshop and masterclass led by cello virtuoso and opera singer Matthew Sharp, which took place at Bolton School. This wonderful evening of music-making culminated in a short concert, featuring some incredible solos from Matthew himself.

A group of recent leavers returned to talk to pupils in the Boys' and Girls' Division Sixth Forms about life immediately after School. They offered their real-world experience and advice from their perspective at the end of their first year at university or following a gap year.

Children at the Nursery enjoyed a trip to Smithills Open Farm, where they really enjoyed getting close to lots of different animals, including some they might never have seen before!

The Business Enterprise and Skills Training days for Year 12 students in the Boys' Division were a hugely beneficial experience. The two days of activities helped the Sixth Formers to improve a range of skills that will be vital in the workplace and challenged them to come up with innovative ideas.

Girls in Year 12 were encouraged to look Beyond Bolton School on a special day organised by the Careers Department. With visitors from various universities, talks on apprenticeships, and information about gap year opportunities available throughout the day, this was a useful opportunity for students to think about their futures.

The Junior Girls put on a spectacular performance with their Songs of the Earth Summer Concert. Pupils in Years 3 to 5 took their audience on a journey through the natural world, using poetry recitals, narration, facts, musical numbers and dancing to evoke all the elements that make up the planet.

Click here to watch the whole of the Songs of the Earth concert again. The songs from the Junior Girls' Summer Concert are also available to listen again on Soundcloud.

Girls in Year 7 and Year 8 also put on a wonderful Celebration Concert at the end of the year. They offered a brilliant tribute to children's author Roald Dahl with their songs and readings, punctuated with vignettes from the author's life. The event also served as a presentation evening, commending girls on their achievements throughout the year.

The Roald Dahl tribute is available to watch in two parts: One & Two.

This summer, the School said a fond farewell to Trevor Pledger, who joined the School in 1986 to "improve water polo". He retires confident that he has achieved that goal, with the Boys' Division teams victorious in all three ESSA age groups for the third year running! His career at the School was celebrated with a water polo reunion, featuring 'friendly' matches at Bolton One followed by a dinner at School.