Bolton School Shortlisted for the Tes Awards 2024
Bolton School Arts

Schools and teachers across the country have been shortlisted in this year’s Tes Schools Awards. The Tes Schools Awards, which have been dubbed the ‘Oscars of education’, is a prestigious awards programme which celebrates the best of education across the UK. It has now been revealed that Bolton School has been shortlisted in the category of Excellence in Creative Arts.

The school’s application focused on its inclusivity, ambition and community engagement – it is a cultural influencer in the town. Its vision is to ensure that every child in Bolton has access to arts and culture. Within and beyond the classroom, the school emphasises holistic learning, using arts, culture and creativity to explore the good life and support self-actualisation. Collaborative high quality arts experiences with local schools and community arts organisations, of which there are over 50 sessions annually, extend the reach of the programme. Through pupil-led initiatives, such as the organisation of town youth open-art exhibitions and town arts collectives, Bolton School celebrates diversity, heritage, and personal expression, enriching the cultural landscape of the town and nurturing the artistic talents of its pupils.

Bolton School operates at Artsmark Platinum standard and objectively measures its success in the creative arts through pupil-centred and multi-modal evaluation methods. Grounded in a comprehensive creative and cultural development ethos, initiatives wrap around and underpin the entire educational journey, from Early Years to Sixth Form. The uptake of art, DTE, music and drama at KS4 and 5 is good and the results are excellent. Pupils engage in various theatre options, including large-scale productions, pupil-directed festivals, musicals and outdoor theatre festivals. Music programmes offer over 20 concerts and recitals annually, with many pupils opting for individual music lessons and participation in competitions. The art curriculum includes trips to galleries, exhibitions and sculpture parks, fostering creativity and cultural appreciation. Over the last three years, pupils have been regional finalists in the ESU Performing Shakespeare Competition, and the music programme boasts a participation rate of over 600 pupils in individual music. The school’s arts and culture impact is reflected in excellent examination results, participation in optional certifications and competitions, and high engagement in co-curricular and community enrichment activities. Its commitment to creative health is evidenced by the use of well-being scales and trackers, ensuring emotionally healthy environments through initiatives like BeeWell.

The Tes Schools Awards recognises the very best teachers and schools from UK state and independent schools, across early years settings, primary and secondary.

The shortlist was compiled by a panel of expert judges, including school leaders and experts. The schools and teachers they chose showcase the best of education across the sector within 21 award categories, covering all areas of school education.

Head of Foundation at Bolton School, Philip Britton, said: 'I am delighted that our work in this field has been recognised. Creative opportunities help young people understand the world around them. As well as the benefits these activities bring for our own pupils. we have very deliberately focused on our outreach and connections to make an impact for all local students.'

Jon Severs, Editor of Tes Magazine said, ‘Congratulations to all the shortlisted entries – the standard was so high this year despite the challenges schools face. It is critical we celebrate excellence and share it widely so we can ensure that the fantastic work happening in education is properly recognised.’

Winners will be announced on 21st June at a glittering gala awards night at the Grosvenor Hotel, Park Lane, in London.

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