School Celebrates its Cultural Diversity
Boys' Division Girls' Division

Bolton School's inaugural Culture Festival, held during October, was a great success. The event celebrated the rich tapestry of cultures within the Boys’ and Girls’ Divisions and provided a platform for cultural exploration and expression through a wide range of workshops and activities.

The festival aimed to promote respect and cultural curiosity and to instil in students the value of embracing and learning from diverse cultures. A variety of bespoke arts and culture experiences opened doors to new perspectives and creative expression, enriching students’ cultural capital and promoting community cohesion.  The event also developed a collective understanding of the school community's cultural identity and heritage and, by celebrating differences, strengthened the sense of unity within the school.

Personal and collective well-being was enhanced during the festival's two weeks through active participation in arts and culture. Engagement in such creative activities can boost morale, reduce stress, and foster a sense of belonging. Students of all ages thoroughly enjoyed the activities on offer, which included cross-Division Dabke dance workshops to introduce this Arab folk dance to a wider cross-section of the school community, There were also art workshops: GCSE pupils worked with Joel Penkman on photo-realistic paintings of food, while Year 8 pupils created large-scale collaborative sculptures with Faith Bebbington on the theme of Ubuntu, which can be translated as 'I am because we are'. Girls' Division Year 12 pupils also visited the Whitworth Gallery as part of the Festival, and a wellbeing survey engaged pupils with thinking about their mental health and physical welfare.

Primary Division pupils in the Junior Boys' and Girls' Schools also got involved with the creative side of the Culture Festival by discovering The Blood Bag Project through a visit from textile artist Leigh Bowser.

Other Culture Festival activities included themed school work, for example exploring Anglo-Saxon and Norse culture in history lessons and exploring the cultures of other countries in languages lessons. Year 12 girls had fun and developed their thinking in workshops with the BIG COMEDY SHOP and had the opportunity to watch the film 'Freedom Fields' before a Q&A session with director Naziha Arebi. Girls' Division students developed their skills in a Spanish cooking session to make a delicious lunch together, and on the penultimate day of the festival the whole of the Girls' Division had the delicious Afro-Caribbean dish Jollof Rice as a lunch option, made from a recipe supplied by Year 10 student Danielle Alalade and her mum.

The festival also saw the launch of the Year 7 'One Square Mile' Creative Thinking project. Blending together multiple subjects and activities across the school year, this project will continue throughout the year to develop pupils' character education and creative thinking skills though an exploration of 'the extraordinary within the ordinary'.

Boys' and Girls' Division students were encouraged to share their personal culture on two non-uniform days during the festival, and the Girls' Division also combined the final day of the festival with some fundraising for Show Racism the Red Card.

During the Festival, students also engaged in discussions to gather their input on further arts, culture, and creative health activities. Their voices will help shape future programmes. This was all in addition to musical evenings and, at the weekends, community theatre enrichment and community arts collective studio sessions.

The School was delighted to welcome Professor Bill Lucas, Director of the Centre for Real-World Learning and Professor of Learning at the University of Winchester to the Culture Festival. He visited the Junior Girls' School, delivered a whole school assembly to the Girls' Division and a gave an evening lecture for local educators.

The Culture Festival was overseen by Miss Naomi Lord, Foundation Director of Creative Learning and Partnerships.

Flickr album: Culture Festival 2023 | Height: auto | Theme: Default | Skin: Default Skin


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