Bolton School Junior Girls

Pupils Present Tales of Hesketh House

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Parents and family members gathered in the Girls’ Division Great Hall to watch the Junior Girls’ Summer Concert, which this year focused on school itself. ‘Tales of Hesketh House’ celebrated the variety and humour of school life with poems and songs. Throughout the concert, pupils talked about the things they love about the Junior Girls’ School, voiced interesting facts about the history of education and what has changed since Victorian times and put a humorous spin on many aspects of school life.

The performance began with an uplifting rendition of ‘This Life of Mine’ from the Hesketh House Choir, opening ‘Tales of Hesketh House’ with a reminder of all the girls’ potential. A series of poems and song then covered the start of a new school year, including ‘The Teacher’s Prayer’ by Allan Ahlberg. Pupils also explored the feelings of a ‘Monday Morning’ in song and asked ‘Why Must We Go to School?’ with another of Ahlberg’s poems. Colin McNaughton’s poem ‘I Don’t Want To Go To School’ also raised lots of laughs.

Recollections of what school days used to be like were scattered through the performance with songs like ‘Spare the Rod’ and ‘Headmaster’ Hymn’, sung to the tune of ‘When a Knight Won His Spurs’ but with Ahlberg’s hilarious interjections. Younger girls also offered important reminders: Year 4 spoke of ‘The Rules that Rule the School’ (John Foster) while Year 3 told the audience ‘Don’t Forget Your Capital Letters and Full Stops!’ (Ian Bland).

School dramas were captured in the song ‘Please Miss!’ and the poem ‘Please Mrs Butler’ (Ahlberg), and the stresses of ‘Parents’ Evening’ were explored from the point of view of pupils, parents and teachers. Girls also shared their love of language lessons with the upbeat song ‘El Abecedario’, complete with dance moves for each letter of the alphabet.

All members of the school community were remembered, including sergeants, nurses and catering staff through the songs ‘Lunchtime Queue’ and ‘The Losing Things Song’ and poems ‘The School Nurse’ by Kenn Nesbitt and ‘Lost Property at Hesketh House’, which was introduced by the Hesketh House sergeant himself!

The performance ended with the poem ‘We’re So Proud of Our School’ by Paul Field before girls raised their voices for the final song, returning to the theme from the beginning: ‘We’re Aiming High’.

A retiring collection was held in support of Chisomo Children’s Club in Malawi, which aims to bring about long-term change in the lives of girls and boys aged 14 and under who are living and/or begging on the streets. Over the past few years, the Junior Girls have built strong links with this charity through Mrs Marsden’s involvement with Chisomo.

 

A gallery of photos from ‘Tales of Hesketh House’ is available here.

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