Friday, 3 September 2021

August 2021

Bolton School students in Years 11 and 13 were delighted to be able to come into school for A Level and GCSE Results Days, which took place in a single bumper week this year. There were scenes of celebration in both Divisions, and full reports can be read as follows:

Boys' Division A Level Results Day | Girls' Division A Level Results Day

Just days before he received his GCSE results, Year 11 pupil Joel Burgess made his first team debut for Bolton Wanderers aged just sixteen. He received an outstanding set of GCSE results, bringing to an end a hugely successful five years at the Boys' Division: he has signed a scholarship with Bolton Wanderers and will go on to complete a BTEC alongside A Levels with support from the club.

Two teams of water polo players from the Boys' Division competed at friendly 'beach-style' ManUP! tournaments this summer. The Senior team, who were undefeated throughout their time at Bolton School, played at the Albert Docks event, where a number of Old Boys and staff members also played for rival teams. A young Junior team (born 2005) played at the Nantwich Lido event.

Over the summer, an Old Boy finally completed a personal challenge he first set in the year he left Bolton School! Chris Fairweather (Class of 2009) successfully swam the English Channel, and did it wearing his Bolton School water polo trunks!

All the fun of the farm was brought to Bolton School Nursery by Little Barn Mobile Farm. The children were introduced to a calf, a goat, two sheep, a chicken, a guinea pig and a rabbit as part of this interactive session.

A group of Year 7 pupils from the Boys' Division had the opportunity to learn about the innovative robotic instruments at Manchester Children's Hospital. Under the watchful eye of Children’s Urology Surgeons, who hosted this event, they had the chance to find out more about and even try controlling the Da-Vinci Robot!

The end of August saw Bolton School bidding farewell to Girls' Division Headmistress Sue Hinks, for family reasons, following the announcement of her resignation at the start of the month. Tributes have now been paid online to a fondly remembered Headmistress.

An Alumni Networking Breakfast will take place on Wednesday 22 September, 8.00am to 9.00am on Zoom. A panel of six alumni speakers will lead a discussion on the future of the UK property sector, examining what the future might hold, followed by virtual breakout rooms where discussion between all attendees is encouraged. To register for this free event, email by Friday 17 September 2021.

Friday, 30 July 2021

July 2021

This summer, Bolton School has been shortlisted for a number of awards! In the Independent School Parents’ School of the Year Awards, Bolton School has been shortlisted in no less than three categories: Social Mobility; Performing Arts; and, for the Junior Girls' Oracy Project, Outstanding New Initiative. In addition, at the UK Social Mobility Awards 2021, Bolton School has been shortlisted in the School/College of the Year category.

Old Boy Adam Crook has arranged a transformational donation of £100,000 to the bursary fund through the Goldman Sachs Gives Fund: the money will provide four new Sixth Form bursaries to Boys' Division students from September 2021 and for the following three years. 

The Junior Girls' '(S)miles for Malawi' campaign aims to raise £50,000 to build a school for street kids in Malawi. In just one term, they have already raised 10% of their target through sponsored challenges! If you would like to support this cause, please donate on the JustGiving page.

Watch a short video about why the Junior Girls are raising money for this important cause, and their Summer Concert dance to 'Waka Waka (This Time For Africa)' on Bolton School TV or below:

Just like the Bookers, the Bolton Children's Fiction Award had not one but two winners this year! The shortlist was carried over from 2020 to allow the Award to continue, as the usual voting and announcement could not be held last summer. Bolton School's librarians were delighted to announce that the 2020/21 winner were 'Clownfish' by Alan Durant and 'The Fox Girl and the White Gazelle' by Victoria Williamson. 

This summer saw the return of live, in-person performance for actors in the Boys' Division! An open-air production of A Midsummer Night's Dream took place at the Anderton Centre, with boys in Years 7-9 working alongside pupils from Sharples School and the Octagon Theatre's Creative Engagement Team. 

In further Shakespearean news, three Year 10 students in the Girls' Division took part in the national Final of the English Speaking Union's Performing Shakespeare competition. Safa Karin won the sole runner up award, while Charlie Lowe and Lola Rigby were commended by the judges for their performances.

Prizegiving in the Boys' Division was a hybrid affair this year: a limited live audience of parents joined their sons in the Great Hall, while the occasion was also made available to the wider community via Zoom. The whole event can be watched again via the following links: Part 1 & Part 2.

Congratulations to Rosalyn Harper, who has won this year's Childnet Film Competition! Her entertaining and educational short film 'Mission Fake News' was awarded the top spot and impressed the judges: six key figures from the film industry.

This summer marked the end of an era for children in the Butterflies Room: in September, they will leave Bolton School Nursery behind! They marked the occasion with an Alice in Wonderland themed Leavers' Party.

A long-standing cricketing tradition returned to the Bolton School Levels this summer. The Bolton School First Eleven cricketers faced the Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) team in a friendly match which was also one of the first opportunities for alumni to visit school since the outbreak of the pandemic. 

Two Girls' Division Sixth Form students won first and second place in the national YPO Art Competition! Congratulations to Muryum Binte Fahad, who was the overall winner, and Georgia Barnes, who took the second prize.

Pupils in Year 2 at Beech House, Bolton School's Infant department, have been learning how to be Climate Heroes! This formed part of their 'Superheroes' topic and, as well as learning about water conservation, recycling and electricity, they made a recycled art project to send to Blue Peter.

Young runner Elena Bartalotta in Year 9 is currently fifth in the UK at the Under 15 Women's 800m! Earlier this year she was ranked second in Great Britain, and has enjoyed much success since she started her running career when she was 8 years old. 

The Boys' Division's pastoral curriculum has gained national exposure this term. Pupils and teachers have shared elements of the pastoral curriculum on BBC Radio 4's File on 4 programme and on ITV's Tonight programme.

A group of Year 2 pupils at Beech House are well on their way to becoming the next generation of football stars! The team, which came together in Reception, has been training ever since to develop skills ready for progression into the Junior School.

Young water polo player Harriet Dickens was a member of the victorious City of Manchester Senior Women's team who were named British Champions early in July. Later in the month, she was selected to represent Great Britain, joining the Under 17 team for the LEN Women’s European Junior Water Polo Championships in Croatia. 

It was panto time for children in the Butterflies Room at Bolton School Nursery as they enjoyed a special production of Cinderella in the Beech House hall.

There was a topical focus in the latest edition of the Girls' Division student-written newspaper. The View covered topics related to Covid, sustainability and the environment, and more! Download and read now.

The Tweenies at Bolton School Nursery had fun with their very own mini-Olympics for Sports Day!

Friday, 14 May 2021

14 May 2021

Recently the Infants helped to boost supplies at Urban Outreach's 'Storehouse' food bank by collecting breakfast cereals at Beech House.

Over the last eighteen months, the Junior Girls have benefitted greatly from the introduction of a new initiative called The Oracy Project. Teachers have been working hard to ensure that oracy attains the same status as numeracy and literacy in the classroom, by developing key skills and creating a culture of talk across every subject. 

A Roman soldier arrived in the hall to help girls in Year 4 discover the realities of being a legionary or auxiliary with the Roman Army. They found out about training, equipment, weapons, tactics and much more as well as enjoying a hands-on clay workshop in the afternoon.

A group of netball stars in Year 6 enjoyed a workshop with former England player Tracey Neville! As a former coach for both Manchester Thunder and the Commonwealth Games winning England team, she had plenty of advice for the young players as she put them through their paces with a combination of drills and matches.

Year 6 also had run finding out what the Victorians did for us through instructive and hands-on demonstrations run by Balestra School Workshops. They explored science topics through a historical lens and discovered more about steam power and Victorian photography.

Meanwhile, the Junior Boys in Year 5 leaned more about organ and tissue donation from Dr Khambalia. This interactive session combined an overview of anatomy with further information about transplants, blood types and lots of other interesting facts. 

The Senior Boys' annual celebration of founders and benefactors took place in morning assembly. Headmaster Philip Britton led the occasion and reminded the audience, both in person and attending via Zoom, that drawing on the past, living vibrantly in the present and investing in the future is what the Bolton School education is all about. The assembly can be viewed in full here.

Old Girl Rajeshree Bhosle was the last in this year's series of World of Work talks for Year 10 girls. Now the Chief Financial Officer (CFO) for premium ski brand The Faction Collective, in her fascinating talk Rajeshree shared her career path in the fashion industry, information about how fashion companies operate, and details about commercial finance.

The Development Office has announced the next alumni networking event, which will take place on Tuesday 8 June 2021. Two top alumni speakers will give their opinions on The UK's Place in a Post-Brexit World, followed by a breakout session in which all attendees will have the chance to share their views. Further information and how to register can be found via the link.

Friday, 30 April 2021

30 April 2021

At the beginning of the first lockdown, the managers and owners of a group of Early Years providers, including Bolton School Nursery, came together to support one another through the pandemic. The group has since gone from strength to strength with discussions widening beyond issues related to Covid-19, and there are plans to continue sharing ideas in the future.

The Boys' Division School Captain, Vice-Captain and team of Monitors looked back on an unprecedented year ahead of handing over their responsibilities to the next year group. From recording speeches to go with events to organising Zoom assemblies to introducing the new Year 7s to school, they have risen to the many challenges and provided leadership as role models for the rest of the school community. 

The Junior Girls have launched a fundraising initiative which will see them travel a collective 12,000km to raise money to build a school in Malawi! The aim is to collect sponsorship for walking, running, cycling and swimming the distance between Bolton and Malawi, which will also boost fitness levels in the school. Support the girls on JustGiving.

Congratulations to young scriptwriter Rosalyn in Year 13 who was recently one of the finalists at the Prague International Monthly Film Festival. Her script 'BabyDoll' tells the story of a grief-stricken detective, with inspiration taken from Quentin Tarantino.

The Boys' Division Young Musician of the Year competition took place last week. A group of finalists performed live for the adjudicator and each other, and the event was recorded so that parents, friends and family members could enjoy it later. Congratulations to all of the musicians who won awards as part of the competition.

Watch the Young Musician of the Year Final here: Part 1 (Juniors) and Part 2 (Seniors)

Congratulations to Year 8 pupil Olivia who has been selected to represent the Lancashire U14 girls' tennis team at their forthcoming matches! She has been playing since she was three years old.

Junior Girls' School pupils in Year 6 enjoyed learning more about how to safely ride their bikes with Bikeability sessions this week. The cycling proficiency course boosted the girls' road awareness and developed their manoeuvring and hand signal skills.

Year 5 pupil Egan has been awarded the LHP James Cup for outstanding individual Cub Scout Achievement after working hard during the first lockdown to gain all his activity badges.

Viking visitor joined the Junior Girls to help them discover more about their history topic. The immersive presentation showed the girls weapons, tools and even a little bit of 'Viking magic'!

Friday, 9 April 2021

9 April 2021

The Boys' Division has taken part in the Anti-Bullying Alliance's programme to become a gold All Together School. The School has achieved this highest level for proving its commitment to stopping bullying and improving the wellbeing of students.

The second 'Perspectives' lecture hosted by the Girls' Division featured four Old Girls and a current parent sharing the privileges and challenges of working in journalism. Panellists Kathryn Austin, Stephanie Gabbatt, Amanda Killelea, Kate McGeown and Kathryn Knight found themselves on the other side of the interview for a change as they talked about their careers and answered a variety of questions.

The careers events continued with Old Boy Graham Bramwell. He spoke to boys in Year 9 about his experiences since leaving Bolton School in 2006, and gave an insight into his current role as Venue Sales Manager for Arsenal FC!

During a off-timetable enrichment afternoon, Year 10 heard from two Old Boys whose very different experiences after leaving Bolton School have allowed them to both follow their dreams and make a difference for good. Krish Patel, founder of Tales to Inspire, shared his personal experiences of feeling lost, and how he has found purpose through a passion for helping others. Prateek Buch, former medical researcher and now Head of Data Acquisition at 10 Downing Street, helped the year group to start thinking about the future they want and how they might get there.

After an 18 year innings, Andy Compton has retired from the post of Head of Cricket in the Boys' Division. During his tenure, he has seen the School become national champions and several boys go on to forge careers playing county and national cricket, as well as enabling the School to become one of the seven original MCC Foundation hubs.

Children at Bolton School's Nursery recently enjoyed a 'Healthy Body, Happy Me' week. The theme of 'nurture with nature' allowed them to explore how the great outdoors is good for both mental and physical wellbeing through a host of age-appropriate activities.

A new section of the Bolton School website with a focus on our Pre-School Class was launched just before the Easter break. Established 10 years ago, the Class has gone from strength to strength over the years and offers a nurturing environment to help children grow and thrive in every aspect of their development, ensuring they are 'school-ready'.

Fundraising superstar Milan Kumar was shortlisted as a Bolton News Lockdown Hero. Since the start of lockdown last year, the Year 4 Junior Boys' School pupil has single-handedly raised more than £3,000 for charity while also doing his best to keep others' spirits up through sporting challenges, book recommendations and even by publishing his own uplifting Covid Christmas story!

Friday, 19 March 2021

19 March 2021

International Women's Day was celebrated at Bolton School Girls' Division with a special assembly from astrophysicist Dr Becky Smethurst, who is also an Old Girl. Dr Becky shared her passion for space and science in an accessible and fascinating address, and reflected both on the challenges women face and the many ways they can and do support one another.

Dr Becky's International Women's Day assembly can be viewed in full here.

A wide range of alumni have recently offered their advice and guidance to Senior School pupils in careers events. The World of Work series of morning talks for Year 10 girls has seen Judith Grazier reveal her non-linear career path and Thorrun Govind share her career in pharmacy and Law. Meanwhile, in the Boys' Division, Year 9s have enjoyed a set of filmed careers talks from eight alumni, followed by further talks and Q&As with anti-corruption lawyer Suve Banerjee, chartered engineer Ali Kapasi and software engineer Chris Newton

Children across the Nursery, Nursery Class, Infant School and Junior Girls' School helped to raise money for Comic Relief on Red Nose Day. The children wore red accessories and brightly coloured clothes in exchange for donations, raising in excess of £600 with more donations yet to come in!

In additional fundraising news, Year 7 pupil Harry set himself the task of running and walking 50 miles in February to raise money for Maggie's in Manchester (part of The Christie Hospital). He vastly exceeded his initial target of £250 with donations flooding in from across the globe, and ultimately raised over £2,000!

For World Book Day, the Girls' Division held a writing competition, which was judged by Old Girl and novelist Kate Long. The question posed was: How can we look to Literature for inspiration and comfort in times of crisis? The girls came up with some impressive answers in the form of prose, essays and poetry. The shortlisted entries selected by Kate, as well as the winners in each category, can be downloaded and enjoyed here.

Children at the Nursery celebrated St David's Day on 1 March with a host of fun, themed activities. They enjoyed painting daffodils and dragons and heard the story of St David.

Staff at Bolton School Nursery also recently signed up to the Bolton Cross Phase Reading Project. The programme links closely with the Nursery’s participation in the Local Authority Early Years Phonics Project.

Coming up next week, on 24 March 2021, the Girls' Division will host the second in a new series of 'Perspectives' lectures. A panel consisting of four Old Girls and one Bolton School mum will discuss Careers in Journalism. The event will take place on Zoom, starting at 7pm. Register here to attend.

Earlier in the month, to coincide with National Careers Week, Bolton School launched a new project offering young people in Bolton the chance to to deepen their participation in their local arts and culture scene through a series of free Saturday morning workshops. The project is being delivered by the school in collaboration with Manchester International Festival (MIF) as part of Curious Minds’ SLiCE programme.

Finally, Old Boy Haseeb Hameed has been appointed as vice-captain of Nottinghamshire County Cricket Club and skipper of this summer's Notts Outlaws Royal One Day Cup team. 

Friday, 18 December 2020

December 2020

The last few weeks of 2020 have been as busy as ever at Bolton School.

Children and parents at Beech House collected a huge haul of Christmas gift boxes to be distributed to families in need across the town. Year 1 teacher Miss Niaz's 'Sprinkle of Kindness' appeal aimed to make a difference for those less fortunate this Christmas.

Children and staff at Bolton School Nursery and their families also helped to spread festive cheer with donations to Farnworth and Kearsley Foodbank. The children also brightened Bolton Hospice and Park View Nursing Home by sending Christmas decorations, chocolates and artwork.

The Pringle Bells Challenge saw pupils from the Junior Girls' School, Junior Boys' School and the Girls' Division working together to help fill Urban Outreach's Christmas Hampers. Pupils vastly exceeded their targets and were able to hand over 1,503 tubes of Pringles and a cheque for £1,658.14! 

The annual Girls' Division Christmas Post went virtual with the Year 10 forms acting out skits in the Great Hall and streaming their efforts to every form room via Zoom. They held the usual sweet sales outdoors on the netball courts and raised £1,023 for The Christie. The Year 7 Sponsored Silence also raised £2,191.95 for Centrepoint.

Christmas Jumper Day saw the Sixth Form Boys raise £530 for Bolton Hospice, exceeding their target of £318 to send three Hospice at Home nurses to visit a patient this Christmas. Money raised in the Girls' Division on Christmas Jumper Day was added to the Urban Outreach Hamper Challenge fund.

Both the Junior and Senior Schools found ways to hold their usual Christmas events in Covid-secure ways with a variety of approaches.

The Ceremony of Carols became a drive-in event with cars packing the Girls' Division quad for a memorable evening of ethereal music and thoughtful readings. Traditions were kept as much as possible, with the Chamber Choir 'processing in' with the Hodie, the Headmistress welcoming everyone with the Bidding Prayer, and the 'Three Kings from Persian Lands Afar' featuring in the programme.

Watch a beautiful performance of 'Away in a Manger' or see a short video reel recapturing the whole evening here.

The Junior Boys also maintained as many traditions as possible in their filmed Christmas Celebration. The performance began with 'Once in Royal David's City' and continued with readings, poems, festive tunes and carols. Pupils explained the origins and symbolism of the Advent Wreath, Christingle and Christmas Tree, there were performances from instrumental groups and all year groups gave lovely renditions of traditional carols.

The Junior Boys' Christmas Celebration is available to watch in full here.

The Junior Girls also filmed their festive production of 'How The Grinch Stole Christmas'. The girls combined songs and poetry recitations to tell the story of the Grinch from start to finish, with Year 3 also performing dances to the tune 'Trim Up The Tree'. Girls also enjoyed singing the carol 'Joy To The World' in Spanish and English. 

The Junior Girls' performance of 'How the Grinch Stole Christmas' is available to watch in full here.

The Boys' Division hosted a virtual Christmas Festival on Zoom, anchored with live addresses from the Great Hall and augmented with pre-recorded musical performances. Once again, traditions were upheld with 'Once In Royal David's City' opening the programme, followed by a combination of congregational carols, readings, prayers and reflections.

The Boys' Division Christmas Festival is available to watch in full here.

With the help of professional video company Sitcom Soldiers, the Boys' Division produced a filmed version of 'It's A Wonderful Life'. The cast auditioned online, rehearsed on Zoom and for just a few days in bubbles, and finally turned the Great Hall into a socially distanced film set. The spectacular performance of this Christmas classic premiered to an excited audience on Thursday 17 December.

'It's A Wonderful Life' is now available to watch in full here. Pick up a digital programme here.

In the Girls' Division, three separate casts from Year 7, Year 8 and Year 9 recorded a new radio drama called 'Parr for the Course', which was written specially for the occasion. The play charts the rise and fall and rise again of women's football over the past 100 years, from pioneer Lily Parr to Megan Rapinoe.

Take a peek Inside the Rehearsal Room to see behind-the-scenes photos from the production process.

All of the Junior Girls enjoyed Travelling by Tuba workshops as the end of term approached. They had fun listening to music from a variety of instruments and learned how to play a fast-paced festive Samba on percussion at the end of their session.  

Girls in Years 8 created fabulous iced cakes as part of Christmas Cake Club, and Year 9 girls studying Food Preparation also made individual cakes ahead of the festive season. More photos of their impressive creations can be found via the link.

Bolton School has a new Science Coordinator in the Girls' Division. Mrs Power is focused on inspiring girls from Year 7 to the Sixth Form, but also works with Year 6 pupils in the Junior Girls' School. She is able to offer specialist teaching and helps to develop science knowledge to a deep level, inside and outside of the classroom. 

Year 12 student Sanjana has won first prize in the University of Warwick's Beat the Pathologist competition. She identified and annotated different types of tumors to give a diagnosis.

Year 13 student Rosalyn took part in the National Final of The Great Debate. This competition, organised by the Historical Association, asked students from across the country to debate the question, 'Should we judge historical figures by the morals of today?' Rosalyn's virtual entry can be viewed here on the Historical Association website.

Two alumni gave talks to students in Years 9-13 from both Divisions via Zoom. Professor Sarah Mercer talked about her experiences studying modern foreign languages at university, the year abroad and her subsequent career teaching English as a Foreign Language. Simon Turner offered his audience a series of life lessons to help with decision making and living an examined, and therefore more fulfilling, life.

Finally, Year 12 student Harry recently raised money for the men's charity Movember. He ran 84km to bring attention to the 84 men lost every week to suicide in the UK and raised over £865. He completed the impressive feat in memory of his grandfather, who passed away earlier in the year following a battle with prostate cancer.