Lancashire Life - - EDUCATION LIFE -

Two ma­jor awards at the pres­ti­gious awards for in­de­p­dent schools have gone to Bolton School. The Lan­cashire school was named TES School of the Year and Se­nior School of the year dur­ing an awards night at the Grosvenor House Ho­tel in London.

De­spite tough com­pe­ti­tion, Bolton School was cho­sen as the TES over­all school of the year with unan­i­mous back­ing from the judges. Ear­lier it had been named Se­nior School of the

Year, said the judges, ‘not just for its out­stand­ing achieve­ments, but for its broad out­reach ac­tiv­i­ties and deep com­mu­nity re­la­tion­ships.’

One of the old­est schools in the county, with a his­tory that can be traced back to the early 16th cen­tury, Bolton School has be­come a regional success story. Over the last aca­demic year, pupils in both di­vi­sions achieved a wide range of suc­cesses, from the Year 9 girl who won the

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School Com­pe­ti­tion to the boys’ wa­ter polo team scoop­ing an un­prece­dented 13th na­tional ti­tle.

Both di­vi­sions also per­formed at the Mon­treux Jazz Fes­ti­val and the fi­nal of the Na­tional Cho­ral Com­pe­ti­tion, as well as at lo­cal events, while the boys staged sev­eral per­for­mances of their orig­i­nal play, My Room, My Bolton.

But what made Bolton stand out was the im­por­tant role it plays in its com­mu­nity. From act­ing as the North­ern SCITT hub for MFL and Physics as part of the gov­ern­ment’s teacher re­cruit­ment drive to host­ing pub­lic lec­tures from the likes of Si­mon Ar­mitage, the RSC Christ­mas Lec­ture and the Royal Sta­tis­ti­cal Society, along­side trav­el­ling the­atre pro­duc­tions and a re-en­act­ment of the English Civil War, the school has be­come a fo­cal point for lo­cal ac­tiv­i­ties. At a time when many regional schools have strug­gled to sur­vive, the judges com­mended Bolton on how it has helped its com­mu­nity to thrive.

Events for lo­cal school­child­ren such as the Foot­ball Fes­ti­val and Bolton Children’s Fic­tion Award, at­tended by 700 pupils, as well as 10,000 hours of vol­un­teer­ing by Sixth For­m­ers, fur­ther ce­mented the school’s place in its com­mu­nity.

Lead judge Dr He­len Wright said Bolton was cho­sen be­cause of ‘their im­pres­sive out­reach and the way in which they in­volve the whole com­mu­nity in a plethora of en­rich­ing events’.

Sue Hincks, head­mistress of the Girls’ Division, said: ‘It was a won­der­ful evening and we were incredibly proud to pick up our awards on behalf of ev­ery­one who is part of the Bolton School fam­ily.’

Her op­po­site number in the Boys’ Division, Philip Brit­ton, added: ‘It was a very spe­cial night and a pleas­ing af­fir­ma­tion of all the time, en­ergy and ini­tia­tive that boys, girls and col­leagues put into their work. The award also touched on how we en­deav­our to pro­vide an ed­u­ca­tion for all through our gen­er­ous bur­sary pro­vi­sion with one in five of our pupils re­ceiv­ing fee as­sis­tance.’

Rachel Par­ris, host for the evening, Dr Fraser Mullins, deputy head, Bolton School Boys’ Division, Lynne Kyle, deputy head, Girls’ Division, Sue Hincks, head­mistress, Girls’ Division, Philip Brit­ton, head­mas­ter, Boys’ Division and Ann Mroz, ed­i­tor of the spon­sors, the TES

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