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Thursday, 30 June 2016
Pupils, parents, teachers and governors gathered to celebrate the wide range of academic and extra-curricular achievement that has taken place over the 2015-16 academic year at the annual Prizegiving.
Following a welcome from Boys’ Division Headmaster Philip Britton, Chairman of Governors Mr Michael Griffiths congratulated the boys on their year of outstanding success but also paid tribute to their teachers and parents who have supported and guided them along the way. He stressed the importance of the School to the town and how, through its bursary provision, it drives social mobility and keeps alive Lord Leverhulme’s vision from 101 years ago that every child of ability should be able to receive a Bolton School education. He wished the departing boys good luck and told them to follow their instincts, be true to the values they have learnt in school and to try and make a difference.
Robin Partington, an Old Boy and architect who has overseen iconic London landmarks such as the “Gherkin” building during his career so far, was special guest for the evening. After presenting the prizes he told the boys to keep hold of their friends as it is a small world and communicating and making connections is imperative to success. The theme of communication was threaded throughout the whole of his address, linking often to architecture and the lessons he had learned in his own career. Nonetheless, his advice – to learn to communicate, not only to express ideas verbally to others but also to assemble thoughts and put them down onto paper; and to have respect for others, from the builders on site to the consultants and clients in the office, as it’s difficult to succeed alone and achievements such as the “Gherkin” are a team effort – was equally applicable to all of the young men seated in the hall regardless of their aspirations.
Headmaster Mr Britton reviewed the year and the wider history of the School, and reiterated that it has always been its mission to develop boys in the widest sense. The point of education, he told the gathering, is to improve and enrich lives and not just to prepare young people for work. The academic and extra-curricular successes, of which there were many, built resilience, character and leadership. He spoke of achievements by the ChemQuiz Team, which has won a place at the national finals for the second time in four years; the success in debating at Model United Nations events; Olympiad successes; and victories in the Latin and Greek reading competitions and in the regional Maths Challenge. He also reminded the boys that last summer students had achieved the best A level results in recent years. There had been great collaborative work with the Girls’ Division in subjects such as Drama, Design Technology, Sport and Music – highlighted by the celebratory Port Sunlight Concert. In sport, the School has retained all three national water polo trophies; Old Boys Haseeb Hameed and Matthew Parkinson have starred for Lancashire County Cricket Club First XI while current pupils simultaneously performed well in county cricket competitions; there has been national success in sailing and international success in water-skiing; and the U12s and the U13s football teams have won the Town Cups. Outdoor pursuits and all the great work at Patterdale Hall was also commended as well as all Year 10 boys now undertaking the Duke of Edinburgh Award. The Headmaster also mentioned the Royal visit from the Earl of Wessex, which acknowledged the Boys’ Division’s 500 years and the centenary of the Bolton School Foundation as well as particularly celebrating the School’s involvement with the Duke of Edinburgh Award and with community action more widely. Mr Britton ended his address by making note of the creditable amount of volunteering that pupils undertake each year.
The Prizegiving evening was punctuated by a number of rousing musical pieces: Nicholas Thompson played Pasticcio on the organ, Thomas Patterson offered Sarabande on the saxophone and Oliver King performed Sing, Sing, Sing on the drum kit. The evening ended with a rousing rendition of Jerusalem.
Click here to watch the Headmaster’s Review of the Year, or press the play button below.
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