Bolton School Infants
Reflections from Former Pupils
I had a wonderful three years at Beech House, which began my 14-year education at Bolton School. I still vividly remember all of the teachers who made a genuine impact on my life at such a young age. Going to school was always a fun, enjoyable experience as teachers balanced important learning in the formative years with imaginative play. Amazingly at the age of 5, I felt as though there were opportunities for positions of responsibility available, such as the enviable job of dropping off the register or helping fellow classmates with work. Thanks to the trust and rapport built by the teachers with each pupil, I really felt at home in the classroom. There was a real sense of community throughout, leading to friends across the years and lift-shares. Birthday assemblies are probably everyone’s highlight, but I also remember some wonderful school trips and the excitement of Show & Tell each week. One of the most formative experiences I had in Beech House was the opportunity to learn to play the piano. Music was a key part of school life, and I am fortunate that it was introduced at such a young age, having gone on to play several instruments which still form an important part of my life. Throughout my time at school, my confidence blossomed and I developed a real love of learning which I am certain began by attending a school which nourished each child as individuals and made learning fun.
Alexandra Hopkinson (Class of 2016) is a Graduate in Classics at St Anne’s College, Oxford and Future Trainee Solicitor at Shearman & Sterling LLP.
My years at Beech House were so memorable and formative. The teaching helped prepare me for my time at Bolton School and beyond, and the friendships I made through reception to year 2 have become friendships for life. My time there taught me skills that have been foundational to all my personal and professional development. Beech House gave me the best start in my educational endeavours, and its amazing staff made my time there so special. I look back on my time there with fond memories.
Sarah Ibberson (Class of 2016) went on to graduate from Durham University with a degree in History and a Masters from Cambridge. In March 2020 she began editing academic journals for the multidisciplinary publishing institute. From September 2021 she will train as a teacher.
I will always recall my time at Beech House fondly. My experiences there provided the foundations for the key features of my life. The focus on an all-round, ‘Renaissance’ education ensured that my personal strengths were supported whilst being introduced to pastures new which have become lifelong interests. This broad approach developed my love of languages, appreciation of the arts, including music, and fascination with history. The Beech House experience laid down key interpersonal skills of co-operation, leadership, and persuasion through healthy debate.
Nick Thompson (Class of 2016) completed his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Classics (Latin and Greek) at the University of Nottingham. He volunteers as a National Ambassador for the Top Awards with the Queen’s Scouts and as an Executive Team Member for the Patchwork Foundation, widening youth participation in politics. He is now studying for a Postgraduate Diploma in Law at BPP University, London (Waterloo)
For me, Beech House was what first angled me in the right direction in my academic life. I learnt the importance of a consistent work ethic and how to successfully operate in the world.
Adam Critchlow (Class of 2018), Student of English Literature and Philosophy at Newcastle University, with the hopes to do a Masters degree in creative writing and linguistics. In 2018, founded the company ‘Air Gymwear’, which is having increasing international sales.
As well as academically providing me with the fundamental building blocks for later in school life, the safe and friendly environment of Beech House enabled me to learn about forming friendships and getting the most out of school. I have fond memories of Beech House and I am grateful for the strong start it gave me in my education, especially as I now embark upon a career in teaching.
Rachel Ibberson (Class of 2018) went on to study History at the University of Exeter. She will train to be a teacher from September 2021.
I have lots of memories of Beech House which encapsulate the three incredibly enjoyable years I spent there and looking back give me a great sense of amusement and satisfaction.
I remember one particular maths lesson in Reception, which entailed sitting on the floor with the rest of my class and counting out loud to one hundred, something I struggled with then but have since worked on and improved! There were the weekly journal writing lessons, where we would explain what we had done over the weekend, but I imagine Miss Bevan soon got tired of reading about how I went swimming on a Saturday morning. I think my horrifying illustrations of said swimming probably continued to grab her attention though! I also learned valuable lessons in decision-making in my time at Beech House, such as having to make the unenviable choice of which Word Art font to use whenever we got to use the computers.
I remember how everyone took joy in the smallest things, whether it be the honour of ringing the bell at the end of break or being the monitor who gave out the registers to the teachers in the morning. There were also the guinea pigs who joined the school during my time there and I remember how everybody was incredibly invested in how they were growing up. I even fondly recall my first ever school trip when we were treated to the thrilling spectacle of some llamas standing in a field. I think these are the memories that I value the most from my time at Beech House: delighting in and deriving pleasure from the most minor things is a practice I seemed to have mastered as a four-year-old and it is something I continue to try to do today!
Peter Johnson (Class of 2019)
Reflecting back on my time at Beech House, although it seems a lifetime ago, I developed such vital skills and the best of memories! My favourite memories are of playing sport, with the best day of the year being Sports Day. Sport at Beech House taught me about the importance of a strong work ethic, goal setting, leadership, teamwork and importantly losing at a young age. These experiences have stayed with me through my education, work and athletics and have enabled me to go to university in New York, work for my university as an International Ambassador and represent my country in Water Polo. I spent many years of my life from Nursery to Sixth Form at Bolton School and throughout this time developed my relationships and social skills to enable me to get me to where I am today. A determined, educated and hardworking woman.
Thea Simpson (Class of 2019) is currently a Sophomore at St. Francis College, New York, majoring in a Bachelors of Science Business Management with concentrations in International Business. Thea is also a Student Ambassador.
The days I spent at Beech House are amongst my happiest. I was the first cohort to experience the ‘new’ Beech House, with fantastic modern learning facilities and a caring atmosphere that allowed me to discover my full potential. The friendly teachers helped to lay foundations in reading, writing and arithmetic that prepared me for further schooling and unlocked my inquisitive nature that I still possess today.
However, Beech House is about more than just what is in the textbooks. We were always encouraged to engage in a plethora of extra-curricular activities. It was in Beech House that my love for music was ignited. From Mrs Fairclough’s singing classes I grew into a passionate musician, achieving Grade 8 on three instruments by the time I had reached Sixth Form at Bolton School.
The Infant School introduced me to key soft skills that set me in good stead for further education. Monitor duty and School Council taught me the importance of teamwork, leadership and taking responsibility which I carried forward throughout my time at Bolton School, resulting in my being elected as Head Girl in my final year, which further imprinted the vital skills I was introduced to in Beech House.
I fondly remember the many charity events at Beech House. My favourite was definitely the Pudsey Bear bake sale! This instilled my love of giving back to the community and caring for those in need, a quality I took forward to my time in the Sixth Form when I volunteered to tutor lower years in Chemistry and spent my Saturdays helping out at Bolton Hospice.
I truly believe that Beech House set the firm foundations from which I have been able to build on throughout my school career, growing into a confident and kind young adult, ready to take on life beyond Bolton School. The School equipped me with the knowledge, interpersonal skills and determination that have served me well in my medical studies at King’s College London.
Lucy Stiles (Class of 2020) went on to study Medicine at KCL.