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School Contributes to Fight Against Covid-19

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As Summer Term 2020 drew to a close and parents sent in a plethora of messages congratulating Bolton School on how well it had managed an almost seamless transition to virtual learning during lockdown, there was also reflection on how much the School had contributed to the local community and the NHS during the Covid-19 crisis.

There has been much beneficence across the campus. In the Senior Girls’ School, 557 visors were produced for local hospitals, GPs and care homes. Several members of staff and pupils in Year 7​, Year 10 and the Sixth Form were involved with the laser cutting, assembling and delivery of the visors. Head of Product Design Miss Rachel Langley said: ‘We made up kits, which had been formed using our laser cutter, students collected them and then assembled the visors before distributing to places of their choice. I am delighted that we been able to help out in some way and we have all felt better for it.’

The Junior Boys’ School has also produced much needed PPE equipment, producing 150 visors and at least 250 visor headbands. Mr Winstanley explained: ‘For a time, we had two 3D Printers working 24/7 to produce as many visor headbands as possible. These were produced as part of a national effort and in conjunction with the National 3D Printing Society, who will hopefully be coming into Park Road in the next academic year to talk to pupils about additive manufacture. Alongside this project, pupils saw their class teacher using the 3D printing technologies to print headbands and face visors for the NHS as well as using TinkerCAD and the very same features they have been learning about in their own lessons, to adapt the Italian “Charlotte Valve” to produce a valve that better fits British medical equipment. The finished products were then distributed to Intensive Care Units across Greater Manchester. Pupils seeing similar work to theirs having such a large impact across the country has certainly added to their enthusiasm towards 3D Printing.’

One of his pupils, Zain Khan from Year 6, showed initiative and creative skills of his own by developing some well designed, cleanable and adjustable ear relievers which were gratefully received by staff in the stroke unit of the East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust.

In writing a poem for her grandparents who she was missing, Year 8 pupil Poppy-Grace Stebbings gave hope and inspiration to people around the world. Her work was printed in The Bolton News and went viral online. It was spread across the NHS by her parents who are both front line workers. Junior Girls also wrote inspirational and positive poetry about what makes them happy, which they shared via the School’s social media channels.

The Junior Boys’ School usually holds a charity run in the summer term but had to go virtual with their fundraising this year. Headteacher Mrs Sue Faulkner explains: ‘We were of course disappointed not to be able to run our usual charity fun run as it is an enjoyable event and one which usually raises a lot of money for good causes. So, we decided to do a virtual “Around the World in 8 Days” fun run instead. Each day, for just over a week, the boys and their families clocked up miles by running, walking or cycling as we sought to build up enough to circumnavigate the world. We didn’t quite get round the world but we did manage to raise just over £2,500 for local charity Bolton Hospice. We wanted to raise money for this local cause as we are aware that many smaller charities will not reach their fundraising targets this year as a result of COVID-19. The response from our boys and families was quite overwhelming.’

Whilst Beech House infants sent beautiful postcards to local residents in order to put a smile on their face, the staff got involved with dancing to Peter Kay’s version of ‘Amarillo’ as part of the Big Night In event which raised funds for the NHS. Their dancing was so good that they ended up in Peter Kay’s video which was shown on the tv programme Peter Kay’s Comedy Shuffle. Instead of their usual ‘teacher collections’ at the end of the academic year, parents at Beech House chose to donate to mental health charity Young Minds.

In the Senior Boys’ School, the Beekeeping Club donated jars of honey to Urban Outreach, who with the support of Bolton Council, prepared food packages for those families most in need during the Covid-19 crisis. In addition, ‘Butchart’s Bradshaw Bees’, set up by DTE teacher Mr Butchart, donated several more jars to the cause. As term ended the School’s Charity Committee donated funds to a number of local charities with concerns about cash-flow including Derian House, Urban Outreach, Emmaus Bolton, Zac’s Youth Bar, Fort Alice, Bolton Hospice, Bleakholt, Bolton cog, Epilepsy Support UK, The British Lung Foundation, OddBalls Foundation, Cavell Nurses' Trust, Markland Hill Memorial Gardens campaign and Star Academies.

Across the schools, there were many acts of individual kindness as girls and boys produced lots of thank you messages for the NHS and made sure elderly neighbours had the supplies they needed. Many pupils took part in the ‘Run for Heroes Challenge’, each raising £5 for the NHS as they ran 5km.

When many schools closed and the country went into lockdown, the Nursery and Infant School remained open, along with the Junior Schools to look after the children of key workers from all age groups from across the campus. Kidzone, the School’s Holiday Club, continued to look after pupils during the Easter and Whitsun breaks and its doors are now open for the Summer holiday.

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