Thursday, 21 December 2017

21 December 2017

The last week of term began with the traditional Ceremony of Carols in the Girls' Division, which was themed around the Lamb of God. The readings throughout the evening reminded the audience of the true meaning of Christmas, while a series of uplifting choral performances and carols made this a special occasion as always.

Listen to some of the Ceremony of Carols songs on Soundcloud, or watch videos of the performance via the following links: Hodie & Once in Royal David’s CityLittle Clouds (Middle School Choir), Jesus Christ the Apple Tree (The Accidentals), Seal Lullaby (Senior Choir), No Room, No Room (Chamber Choir), Away in a Manger (Senior Choir), Prayers set to musicThe Little Road to Bethlehem (Combined Choirs).

The Boys' Division Christmas Festival was once again a joyful occasion filled with rousing carols, interspersed with poignant readings. The Bishop of Bolton gave a meaningful festive address which reminded the audience of what Christmas is truly about, and the School's choirs were in fine voice throughout the evening.

Watch some of the Christmas Festival performances via the following links: Angels Tell the Christmas Story (Boys’ Division Choir), James R Murray's Away in a Manger (Boys’ Division Choir), William Blake's The Lamb (Chamber Choir), What a Glorious Night (Lower School Choir).

The Junior Boys also put on their annual Carol Service as the term drew to a close. The evening showcased the vocal talents of the boys with a series of moving musical pieces, including a multi-lingual rendition of 'Silent Night'.

The Junior Girls' Christmas Concert 'Hosanna Rock!' is now available to view online. Click the following links to watch the whole performance: Part 1, Part 2.

Children from the Nursery and the Nursery Class for Three and Four Year Olds visited Parkview Residential Home for a Christmas performance. They sang songs from their nativity 'Away in a Manger' for the elderly residents. Their festive performance was a special treat for the residents and was a great prelude to Christmas.

Pupils in Year 1 ended the nativity season at Bolton School with their performance of 'Shine Star, Shine'. Their parents and family members were delighted as the children took to the stage to tell the story of Christmas. The tale focused on the star that lit the way for shepherds and wise men alike, showing them the way to the newborn baby Jesus.

In the Girls' Division, the annual Christmas Cake Club has been under way this term and the results are stunning! All of the girls' efforts were impressive this year, which made judging them particularly difficult. However, the winning entry was deemed to be "out of this world" and the prize went to Yer 10 pupil Annabelle.

Pupils at Beech House provided some festive entertainment at the Tea at the Riley. This monthly tea party is run by Sixth Form girls for elderly people in the local community, and the Infants' singing provided something extra-special for the Christmas event.

Children at Bolton School's Nursery enjoyed a Christmas Singalong with Rhythm Time. Parents and grandparents were invited to join the children for this fun event, and they loved singing, dancing and playing along to a host of different seasonal songs.

Year 7 pupils have been thinking of others this Christmas time. Usually, each Form collects an 'Advent Calendar' of small treats, one of which is given to a different girl each day in December. However, this year, the girls in 7C decided to forego their treats and instead bring in a new item each day which could be passed on to local homeless people.

Elsewhere in the Girls' Division, pupils have been hard at work doing some festive fundraising for a variety of charities. And whole school Christmas Jumper Day, the Year 10 Christmas Post and the Prefects' Panto all raised money for worthy causes in the final days of term.

In less Christmassy news, Millie Hurt in Year 11 has been selected to play for the U19 Wales Lacrosse squad! She already plays for Bolton School, Brooklands and Lancashire U18s.

Pupils in Year 8 were visited in the last week of term by Toni Forrest and her guide dog Quilla, so that they could learn more about how important guide dogs are to blind and partially sighted people. Toni's talk gave them a better idea of what it is like to be be blind, and just how big a difference a guide dog can make to someone's life.

A group of twenty-five pupils in Year 10 took on the Knead for Speed Aero Challenge. Working with researchers from Manchester University, they were tasked with making model cars more aerodynamic by modelling with Plasticine! The girls listened to the researchers' presentation on forces and aerodynamics and were able to implement their advice in their models. The best of the model cars was 3D scanned and placed into a virtual wind tunnel so that everyone could see how the air would move around the model the girls had created.

Friday, 15 December 2017

15 December 2017

Bolton School has once again hosted the Royal Society of Chemistry's Christmas Lectures, welcoming over 1,050 pupils to the Boys' Division Great Hall to enjoy live chemistry experiments on stage. There were flashes, bangs, and a whole host of scientific facts to take in throughout the course of the presentation, which this year was given by Dr Steve Rossington from the University of Salford.

Pupils at Bolton School have once again helped to fill Urban Outreach's Christmas Hampers. This year, the School has donated stuffing and cranberry sauce in enormous quantities to ensure that those less fortunate in Bolton will be able to enjoy a traditional Christmas dinner.

The Nativities continued this week with Year 2's performance of Lights, Camel, Action! Pupils took to the stage as angels, shepherds and sheep, Kings and camels, stars, and even residents of Nazareth  in this dance extravaganza, which ended with two favourite Christmas songs.

Children in Reception also put on a delightful traditional Nativity for their parents. A chorus of Narrators told the story of the birth of Jesus, interspersed with musical interludes including classics like 'Little Donkey' and 'Away in a Manger'.

The Junior Girls performed Hosanna Rock! as their Christmas Concert this year. Tracing the story of the Nativity through songs, narration and recitations of poetry, this upbeat festive treat was filled with delightful moments.

Watch Hosanna Rock! via the following links: Part 1, Part 2. Alternatively, listen to just the songs from Hosanna Rock! by visiting the School's Soundcloud.

Year 12 pupils from the Boys' Division attended the Inspire a Class: Chemistry in Action day at The University of Salford. There they met their chemistry teacher, Dr Turner, who was one of the speakers! Dr Turner gave a presentation about exam preparation.

Recent leaver Chris Rowles returned to the Boys' Division to talk to Year 7 pupils about a life at sea in the Merchant Navy. He was able to talk about his role, primarily as a Navigator, and what it is like to join the Merchant Navy, including the benefits and drawbacks.

The U13 football team won against Stockport Grammar in the Quarter Final of the ISFA Cup. They will now go on to face Lochinver School from North London in the Semi-Final in January.

The 2017 Year 7 Gymnastics Final was one of the closest in recent years, with impressive performances from all of the boys who competed. It was a tough task for the PE staff to choose a winner from the eight boys who had won a place in the Final.

On 31 January, Bolton School will welcome renowned philosopher and theologian Dr Peter Vardy to give a talk on Sexual Ethics in the Girls' Division Great Hall. This event is the next in a series of free, public Arts and Sciences Enrichment Lectures hosted by the School.

The penultimate Inspiring Mind is Old Boy and founder of, John Roberts. John left the School in 1992 and in his pen portrait recalls his memories of the School, summarises his unorthodox career and offers advice to current pupils.

Friday, 8 December 2017

8 December 2017

During his return to Bolton School last week, Old Boy Ralf Little found time to give a masterclass to aspiring Senior School actors. They worked with unseen script extracts from productions Ralf has appeared in, and he helped pupils as they interpreted character and performed. In the evening, Ralf delivered the Tillotson Lecture.

The UK's favourite weather presenter, Tomasz Schafernaker, visited the Girls' Division this week to continue the series of Evening Enrichment Lectures. He addressed a large, engaged audience of pupils, staff and visitors from the local community about how he became interested in meteorology and his pathway into weather forecasting. Full of anecdotes about his experiences, this fascinating talk gave an insight into the reality of being a weather forecaster and presenter.

The full programme of Arts and Sciences Enrichment Lectures can be found here on the School website. The next talk, on 31 January at 7pm, will be from Dr Peter Vardy, philosopher and theologian, on the subject of Sexual Ethics.

Bolton School is set to become a partner school in a unique independent and state school partnership to recruit more Modern Foreign Languages (MFL) teachers. This is part of the National Modern Languages' School Centred Initial Teacher Training (SCITT) programme.

Year 7 pupils have raised over £3,800 for Key103 and Cash for Kids' Mission Christmas appeal, and this week visited Toys R Us in Bolton to buy a host of toys and gifts to donate to the cause. The girls enjoyed picking out over £2,000 worth of presents for children of all ages, and will also make a cash donation to the appeal.

The Business Challenge Final took place, pitting five teams of Year 12 students against one another in a dramatic pitching battle in the style of Dragon's Den. Each group presented their business idea to the panel of judges, and all were praised for their ingenious concepts which would fill a unique gap in the market. However, it was Caterplastic - a company aiming to recycle plastic using wax worms - who were the overall winners.

Sixteen Girls' Division pupils have been called up to join Lancashire Lacrosse's Under 15 and Under 18 squads this year. This number includes two pupils who have been selected for both the U15 A and U18 B squads, and a Year 7 pupils who is 'playing up' by a significant number of years to join the U15 team.

Sixth form student Morgan helped Lancashire RFU U18s to beat Yorkshire in a spectacular Roses clash last weekend, following his recent call-up.

Junior Girls' School pupil Dinburgh has recently enjoyed success in two prestigious competitions, one for ballet and one for gymnastics, winning second place in each of them!

The first Nativity of 2017 has taken place! Children from the Butterfly and Caterpillar rooms at Bolton School Nursery put on their Nativity, which told the story of a very special baby found in Maurice the Mule's manger. The audience was delighted with the children's efforts.

Children in Beech House also got into the Christmas spirit with a pantomime! They thoroughly enjoyed the performance of Jack and the Beanstalk.

Families at Beech House have also helped Bolton Lions to spread Christmas cheer this week with a huge donation of toys to the club's Caring Christmas Appeal. This annual appeal, which the school has been involved with for several years now, gives toys to children in the local area who might otherwise not receive anything on Christmas morning.

At the Junior Boys' School, two groups of Senior School musicians put on a festive concert during morning assembly. The Brass Group and Junior String Quartet managed to set everyone's feet tapping with their feel-good Christmas tunes.

A new book written by the School Archivist which details the history of the Girls' Division is now available. 'Pride in the Past; Confidence in the Future' charts the full chronology of the School from its earliest origins, with each section based on a different Headmistress. Buy it here.

This week's Inspiring Mind is Betty Vause: an Old Girl, Beech House teacher and ultimately Governor who played an integral role in the Girls' Division for many years. She was also the first woman to hold the post of Vice Chairman of the joint Governing Body. She is remembered fondly in her profile.

Friday, 1 December 2017

1 December 2017

The Girls' Division has been named in Parent Power, The Sunday Times Schools Guide 2018, as one of the top ten independent schools in the north west. It is the only independent school from the north Manchester and Lancashire region to appear on the list.

Old Boy Ralf Little, who is famous for his roles in The Royle Family and Two Pints of Lager and a Packet of Crisps, returned to the Boys' Division to give the annual Tillotson Lecture. His presentation reflected on his twenty-year career in the arts, as an actor, writer and producer, and also offered current pupils with a host of life tips based on his own experiences.

Pupils from both Divisions were joined by students from local schools for a STEM Day themed around motorspot. They built miniature electronic racing cars, which went head to head in a series of high-speed races to determine overall winners. There was also the opportunity to explore the University of Bolton's real race car in the Riley Quad.

Girls' Division pupils in Year 7 have once again raised money for the annual Key 103 and Cash4Kids 'Mission Christmas' appeal. They conducted a 24-hour sponsored silence to raise money for the cause, which helps to provide Christmas presents to disadvantaged children in Greater Manchester.

Children in Year 2 at Beech House, Bolton School's Infant School, enjoyed a trip to the Lowry Museum, where they learned all about the artist's famous 'match-stalk men and match-stalk cats and dogs'.

Boys' Division pupils in Year 9 enjoyed an afternoon of careers advice, during which they learned more about a variety of different job options. Two of the industry professionals who joined pupils for the afternoon were Old Boys.

Students in Year 13 connected with two Old Boys through the use of technology to hear more about their careers in finance. Nick Lord spoke to pupils live from Singapore using Skype, while Raj Apte sent a video message about his job in the city of London. Both provided a great insight into the different routes into this type of career.

The whole of Year 12 put their enterprise skills to the test on Business Challenge Day. Working in mixed teams, they came up with ideas and made business plans from scratch in the course of just one day, with a little advice of expert judges. The groups then presented these in front of judging panels, with the five best business ideas going through to a final in early December.

Year 8 pupil Beth has been selected to compete at the British National Dressage Championships next April. Her success follows two years of competing at British Dressage level and in affiliated classes.

Old Boy Julian Butterworth returned to Bolton School to speak to students in Year 13 about the dangers of alcohol. He gave a frank and moving account of his personal recovery from alcoholism, which led to a mature question and answer session, with students asking a series of pertinent questions.

Pupils in the Girls' Division celebrated National Chemistry Week towards the end of November with a series of competitions. They wrote poetry, created mug designs and posters, and even baked cakes in the first 'Chemistry Bake Off' in School! Prize winners received periodic table mugs.

The Joint Jazz Bank put on a wonderful lunchtime concert for pupils at the Junior Boys' School. They performed and also passed on some extra information about the Jazz Band's instruments to interested Junior Boys.

Pupils from the Girls' Division learned all about 'Physics Acting Out' from Hannah Renshaw, the Institute of Physics North West Regional Officer. They found out more about many of the different projects that the Institute of Physics is involved with to change people's perceptions of science, with a particular focus on the events and projects related to drama and music.