Bolton School’s generous bursary has enabled me to continue my studies here in the Sixth Form. I have particularly enjoyed the opportunities to engage in Community Action within the school and with Bolton-based organisations. I appreciate the opportunities I have been given to study at this supportive school and am eager to give back to my community. The small class sizes have been beneficial in maximising the support from my teachers and increasing my passion for my subjects. I’ve been able to help with running clubs for younger pupils and have been a peer mentor for a year. The arts and science evening lectures which I regularly attend have broadened my knowledge base and allowed me to gain an insight into a variety of subjects which I would not have thought to explore. The friendly atmosphere of Bolton School has enabled my academic and social progression. I have had the room to grow and develop crucial skills such as communication, leadership and teamwork throughout my time here. As I now look to my next steps in life at University, I am confident that my academic abilities and social skills which I have developed at Bolton School will get me far in life. Without the financial aid from the school, this would not have been possible for me and many others in similar positions. I am very grateful for the experiences I have had as a Bolton School pupil.
Bursary Recipient, Y13, Girls’ Division
My time at Hesketh House, Bolton School Junior Girls' School, was wonderful and fantastic. I instantly experienced the caring atmosphere which enabled me to thrive and maximise my full potential. The head teacher, teachers and pupils are all part of one big family all willing each other to do well. There was never a dull day at Hesketh House. In our structured classroom environment we always enjoyed the distinctive and special educational experience as we always learnt new skills and performed new tasks. There were lots of opportunities to enhance outdoor learning and extra-curricular activities. One such occasion was in Year 3 when I joined the Chess Club. Before then I had never played chess but after playing in the school club I developed a passion for the game. I quickly moved forward from chess novice to England International. Hesketh House is a place where we were taught a sense of responsibility which would help us all the way through our lives. I took on the responsibility of being a Prefect in Year 6 and it improved my confidence and self-esteem. The excellent standard of teaching at Hesketh House gave me a chance to enhance my academic skills. An academic competition in year 5 which we entered was the Bolton Primary Maths Team Challenge and our team was crowned as overall champions. We were always encouraged to think creatively and to have different perspectives on the world around us. Recently I won the Mensa Child Genius Competition 2014 and I believe that it was possible because of the academic skills and the skills to perform in front of an audience and to keep calm under pressure that I acquired at Hesketh House. An example of this was in Year 6 when we were taught for the English Speaking Board how to remember information while presenting to an audience. I am grateful to all my teachers for all the opportunities they offered me. I love Hesketh House as it is a happy and purposeful place to learn and I felt valued and it has made me the person I am today. It definitely was a great place to be.
Sharon Daniel, Girls’ Division, reflecting on her time in the Girls’ Junior School
We were nervous about moving our daughter whilst in Year 6 but, given her primary school class numbers had risen to 34 pupils, we felt we needed to do so. We need not have worried. She breezed into the house at the end of day one telling us the teacher was wonderful, the girls were lovely and the food was amazing! She has loved all the opportunities the school has provided and it has been wonderful that her teachers have recognised her special interests - her acting, her love of the theatre and her fascination with Greek Mythology. More importantly, she has been encouraged to push herself in new things. We know Bolton is a sporty school and we were a little worried that this might be a problem. Her old school did not do any team sports apart from football for boys. She had never even played netball let alone lacrosse. She was worried that she'd never be good enough to even join in. We need not have worried. I can't thank the PE staff enough for including her. She's far from a natural sportswoman, but on her first ever netball lesson she was encouraged and given player of the match for her effort. Since then she's loved lacrosse, even though she knew she didn't have a hope of making the team she says she's determined to do it one day, and even plays football at lunchtime. The final thing I wanted to mention was the camaraderie of the girls. They have all been lovely. She was included into birthday treats only a few weeks into term and I have noticed how incredibly supportive all the girls are of each other. My daughter started to come home on the coach recently. She was a little nervous as she's the only junior school pupil on her coach. Her classmates walked her to the buses on the first afternoon. Once she was on the bus, they called her from their phones as they travelled home to check she was ok and to make sure she wasn't lonely. How lovely! We are so glad we found you and wanted to thank you for letting our daughter join you. She is so happy and has grown in both confidence and ambition. It's a delight to see her blossom. We wish we'd found you years ago.
Primary Division Junior Girls’ School Parent
The extra-curricular offering at Bolton School is immense. My son spends his spare time playing bass guitar in the Senior Concert Band, helps with Russian Club, indulges in bell-ringing, dabbles in broadcast TV, and is building a rocket to enter a national competition. And that is just this term. He will never stop talking about his school trip to Russia. Camping at Saundersfoot and outdoor pursuits up at Patterdale are character-forming. Regular trips to the theatre and participation in the performing arts are a given, even for those boys not studying drama or English at A level. Throughout their time at Bolton School they are encouraged to volunteer, to lead, to perform, to try new things, to move outside their comfort zone and they emerge as fine, rounded, honourable young adults equipped to thrive and succeed wherever life takes them. Engaging parents in school life is a key theme at Bolton School. The Teenage Journey Series invites a wide range of speakers into school to guide parents through the challenges of the teenage years. Mental health, resilience, life skills, drugs and alcohol, health and wellbeing, parenting, social media, pornography, sexting, consent; all these difficult issues are faced head-on and parents are hugely grateful for all the support and advice that Bolton School provides. The Parents’ Associations are thriving and through many varied activities bring parents together, often with staff, to help build a whole-school community for the benefit of all.
Helen Critchlow, Boys’ Division Parent