"I remember my days at school vividly and with great affection. Bolton School has a great tradition in the liberal arts. I've always acted for the love of it and this first love was inspired at Hopefield, the school theatre."

Sir Ian McKellen - Actor and Old Boy

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Old Girls’ Adventures Inspire Year 11

Monday, 10 February 2014

The Year 11 girls received a visit today from two recent Old Girls, whose adventures since leaving Bolton School have taken them around the world!

Rachel Flanders is an Old Girl with quite a few claims to fame. In 2007, she left Bolton School after completing her GCSEs and took a gap year. During her year out, she joined a team of three other women who planned to row across the Atlantic. She trained, helped to gain sponsorship for the trip, travelled to Devon every weekend to assist with building the boat – and, at her parents’ insistence, started work on her A-Levels just in case the trip fell through! However, when the 2nd of December came, Rachel did set off from the Canary Islands. When the boat finally arrived in Antigua on the 14th February, after a truly arduous trip, she became the youngest person to row across the Atlantic at the age of just 17.

When she got back from the Atlantic crossing, Rachel returned to Bolton School to complete her A-Levels as part of the Class of 2010. As a result of her adventure, she carried the Olympic Torch in 2012 in the run-up to the Olympic Games. She is now studying Engineering at the University of Durham, and is in her final year of her Masters.

She fascinated the Year 11 girls with tales of her ocean adventure, but also spoke about her experiences at university and what awaits her in the world of work after she finishes her course.

Georgina Carter initially considered becoming a doctor, but changed her mind just before submitting her UCAS applications. Upon leaving the Sixth Form in 2008, she studied Biological Science at Oxford University. At the end of her course, inspired by the other teachers in her family - including her mother, who teaches Music in the Girls’ Division - she applied to join Teach First. This charity has recently become the subject of BBC3’s documentary, Tough Young Teachers. She was accepted onto the two-year graduate scheme and placed at an all-boys school in Manchester.

After just six weeks' of training in the summer, she was thrown in at the deep end at the start of the school year and expected to teach 70% of the timetable! From English and Maths lessons to the Sciences, she had to cover it all. With the majority of her pupils coming from ethnic minorities, low-income backgrounds, and speaking English as a second language, this was no easy task!

However, she did not let this deter her! She stayed with Teach First for the full two years to gain a Masters in Education, loved the experience and felt as if she was making a huge difference to these boys’ lives.

However, Georgina does not plan to remain in teaching - she told the girls "I think I deserve a break after the past two years!" She has just completed a trip to Australia, and is about to move to London to join a financial firm as a management consultant. Therefore Georgina’s message to the girls was that it’s okay for them not to know what they want to do, but without experiencing the full spectrum of opportunities available, they will never find out.

These two Old Girls have taken very different paths to arrive where they are today. However, both were equally inspiring for the Year 11s, and each gave an insight into the opportunities that lie beyond A-Levels.

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Georgina Carter and Rachel Flanders with two of the Year 11s

Georgina Carter and Rachel Flanders with two of the Year 11s

The girls were fascinated by Rachel

The girls were fascinated by Rachel's daring Atlantic adventure

Georgina

Georgina's stories from the classroom had the girls in stitches