"Bolton School was such a large part of my life. I can safely say that I would not be doing what I do for a living if it wasn’t for the vibrant arts scene at the school and the encouragement that I was given."

Neil Eckersley, Former Pupil and Theatre Producer

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Aspirations Raised for SHINE Pupils

Thursday, 15 September 2016

Seven pupils who attended the SHINE ‘Serious fun on Saturdays’ programme at Bolton School in 2014-15 have now joined the School in Year 7. Five boys and two girls who attended these fun sessions raised their educational aspirations and as a result successfully applied for places at the Boys’ and Girls’ Division Senior Schools.

SHINE, which is run in partnership with the SHINE charitable trust, aims to encourage approximately forty Year 5 boys and girls to participate in entertaining educational sessions run by Bolton School staff on Saturday mornings each year between January and April.

The programme of activities is firmly focused on pupil enjoyment and participation and it encompasses a wide range of curriculum areas, as well as other less familiar activities. The scheme is supported by an array of local primary schools, currently thirteen, who nominate pupils for the programme. SHINE is aimed at pupils who are able, have shown a high level of academic engagement, are of limited means and would benefit from furthering their educational development by attending these inspiring sessions. Many of the pupils accepted onto the programme have English as an additional language and therefore not only benefit from the enriching sessions, but also form strong friendships with children from other schools.

The new Year 7 pupils who attended SHINE when they were in primary school were invited to an informal get together at the start of the school year. They reminisced about their time on the programme, which they regarded as a positive and enriching experience.

One pupil commented: “The subject I liked the most at SHINE was Biology; it was really enjoyable because we saw our own DNA and we did lots of cool stuff in science. I think SHINE has made me more interested in different subjects that I didn’t really enjoy before. I felt that my mind was more open and I knew a little bit about the subjects so if I want to do it in the future, I’ve got a little bit of a head start.”

Another said, “I think it changed my life. I never used to like science and now I really like it because SHINE showed me different aspects of science from different angles. We used Bunsen burners – that was good! It opened my mind; we did so many different subjects it made me want to do different things. For instance, instead of being a teacher, I now want to be a doctor. You got to know the students as well, so you got to make friends at the same time.”

A third stated, “I always wanted to be a doctor but then SHINE made me want to become more of a scientist, trying to find cures in medicine. We did Science all as one in school and we didn’t do a lot of it, so I liked doing all of the different sciences at SHINE and that’s what I was looking forward to most at high school. It made me want to do more subjects, such as English which I didn’t used to like. It made me think more about challenging myself. It also helped me to know where to go around the school when I started here.”

The SHINE programme is currently in its eighth year and will begin again in January. Miss Gunshon and Miss Wrathmell, the SHINE Project co-ordinators were pleased to reunite the pupils as they start Senior School.

Miss Wrathmell said, “It was pleasing to see so many familiar faces and to hear the pupils articulate their experiences so confidently.”

Miss Gunshon also commented: “The SHINE programme works so well because it relies on collaboration and co-operation between a wide range of individuals and organisations. It is a very welcome development to see so many ex-SHINE pupils joining the School in Year 7; this serves as an important milestone, not only for the pupils involved, but also in the continued success of the initiative.”

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Seven former SHINE pupils have now joined Year 7 at Bolton School

Former SHINE pupils Ammaar Haffeji, Safia Adia, Ubaid Ahmed, Fatima Bagas, Mohammed Zayd Patel, Rahim Malik and Neerav Patel have now joined Year 7 at Bolton School