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Girls Take a Lot More Away From School than Qualifications

Thursday, 13 September 2012

Old Girl and District Judge, Mrs Louise Relph, this year’s Guest Speaker at the Girls’ Division’s Sixth Form Presentation Evening, reminded pupils that you take a lot more away from school than merely qualifications.  Whilst good exam results offer a passport to the next destination, it is the other skills and the memories and friendships that should be cherished.  Mrs Relph, who was at the School from 1969-76 had been Head Girl before going on to the University of Kent and then to Law School to train as a solicitor.  She told the girls that life’s road constantly opens up with new challenges and that they should make the most of all opportunities presented to them.  She also said that life had taught her that you should not underestimate your friends and family and how much they can help you get to where you want to go.

Earlier in the evening, Chairman of Governors, Mr Michael Griffiths, had opened proceedings with an address that commended the girls on another highly successful year for GCSE and A level examination results. He also considered the exciting future that lies ahead for the Bolton School Foundation with the building of a new Sixth Form Centre, ready for occupancy next Autumn, which will realise Lord Leverhulme’s vision of single-sex teaching with shared social facilities – the best of both worlds.  He told those girls leaving Bolton School that they should go out into the world and try to make a difference and how satisfying it can be if every time you leave a place you have made it a little bit better.

Headmistress, Miss Sue Hincks, praised the girls for their hard work throughout their time at the school.  A level results had been as good as ever despite pass rates declining across the country and so many girls had shown their intellectual rigour through pursuing and passing with Distinctions and Merits the AQA Baccalaureate qualification.  At GCSE, girls had performed so well that they were the highest points per candidate scorers in Greater Manchester and the School was ranked 83rd best independent school in the country in the Daily Telegraph’s ranking.  Miss Hincks also lauded the commitment of their teachers and the support of their parents. 

Whilst the School was again celebrating exam results, the Head also reminded the audience of how the Girls' Division is not merely an academic hothouse but that great effort goes into ensuring that all the talents of all the girls are realised.  Miss Hincks said she could not help but be impressed by how much extra-curricular provision, including travel opportunities, is on offer to girls and how much success had been recorded throughout the year.  Pupils were congratulated for their participation in a wide variety of sports – with many girls involved in the Lancashire lacrosse teams, with two, Georgina Greenwood and Emily Harper, progressing to the National Centre of Excellence for Lacrosse; in the Cheshire U18 Netball Quad; and in the Lancashire Tennis Squad.  Emma Saunders had been part of the GB Swimming Team in the European Championships, Hannah Furey had represented GB at ju-jitsu and Hannah Pike had played in the U18 England Hockey Team.  Three girls had made it to the English Schools’ Biathlon Final and there had been individual and team success for girls in football, rugby, karate, cricket, cross country and athletics.   

Throughout the year there had been outstanding musical performances and the School Jazz Band had picked up a Platinum Award in the National Concert Band Final.  There had also been wonderful dramatic productions, some joint with boys, a particular highlight being the production of We Will Rock You. Over the course of the last year the Girls’ Division had also set two new World Records – the largest Maasai dance and, on Dickens Day, the most people dressed as storybook characters.  Three girls had won prestigious Arkwright Scholarships during the year and Holly Holt had sung with the Halle Youth Choir Orchestra.  Stephanie Gabbatt had been runner-up in the Guardian’s Young Human Rights Reporter of the Year competition. Sixth Form girls had been Target 2.0 regional winners and had come third in the North of England final.  The girls had also committed many hours to helping out in the local community and beyond, with 32 pupils visiting India and helping out with the care of street children.  The Girls' Division alone had raised £17,904.25 for charity over the course of the year.

The girls were reminded that when they leave the school that they still belong to the Bolton School family and that they should go out and contribute to the wealth of the local community and of the nation.  The evening ended with a Vote of Thanks from Head Girl, Heather Harrison, and a stirring rendition of The School Song.  Pupils, parents, staff and guests then enjoyed celebratory refreshments in the School's Arts Centre.

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Miss Hincks and Heather Harrison, welcome Mr Griffiths, Chairman of Governors, the Mayor and Mayoress of Bolton and Mrs Relph District Judge

Miss Hincks and Head Girl, Heather Harrison, welcome Mr Michael Griffiths, Chairman of Governors, the Mayor and Mayoress of Bolton and Mrs Louise Relph, District Judge, to Presentation Evening

Bolton School Jazz Band

The School Jazz Band entertained the large audience

Mrs Relph's presentation told the girls to value friends and family