Boys and girls at Bolton School recognise how lucky they are to enjoy all the advantages of a supportive and inspirational educational environment, with its superb facilities and exceptional range of extra curricular activities; they value the importance of ‘giving back’ through participation in community action programmes, locally, nationally and abroad. This is a central part of the School’s mission, and follows the ethos that much will be required of those to whom much is given.
Bolton School is involved in the local community in many ways and further examination of our public benefit portfolio can be viewed here. Some of the key areas of community involvement undertaken by the School are outlined below.
Sixth Form Community Action
National Award Schemes
Mentoring Younger Children
Assisting with Events
Caring in the Community
Sixth Form Community Action
All Sixth Formers are actively encouraged to give at least twenty hours of their time to supporting their local communities. However, the majority of pupils give much more, with many completing more than one hundred hours of community service each year. In total, Year 12 students give an average of 10,000 hours per year – the equivalent of six years’ full-time work.
A Volunteering Fair is held in September, where students are given the opportunity to meet with local organisations and make decisions about the kinds of voluntary activities they might pursue. There are strong links with external bodies including Bolton Lads and Girls Club and Bolton Wanderers Football Club. Students are involved in mentoring and taking leadership responsibilities in a number of areas, including the Saturday morning SHINE project, working with local primary school children. Opportunities to contribute to volunteering in a wider context are also pursued, with our pupils acting as student ambassadors for the national vInspired volunteering programme.
The pupils’ achievements are celebrated at a Bolton School Awards Evening in the summer term of the Lower Sixth. They receive bronze (20+ hours), silver (50+) and gold (100+) awards in recognition of their commitment to volunteering. In addition, the range of activities undertaken support the acquisition of other awards including the Duke of Edinburgh's Awards and the John Muir Environmental Award Scheme.
We believe in the ethos of service, and value the qualities it engenders in our Sixth Formers. They genuinely enjoy the wider aspects of contributing to their community, and 75% of those surveyed expressed a desire to continue their commitment in the future. Their efforts really do make a significant difference.
To read more about Community Action in our online brochure, click here.
Watch a short film showing the variety of community service our students undertake, and the impact their voluntary work has on the community:
National Award Schemes
Pupils in the Sixth Form are encouraged to take part in national award schemes, such as the Duke of Edinburgh and John Muir Environmental Awards. The activities undertaken as part of their community service feed into these award schemes.
Pupils are also offered the opportunity to take part in National Citizenship Service (NCS) at the end of Year 10. This is run by Bolton Lads and Girls Club, and aims to improve confidence, communication, teamwork and leadership skills while also encouraging young people to take a more active role in society. A key aspect of NCS is the Social Action Project, where teams plan and deliver voluntary work within their local community.
vInspired is the nation’s leading youth volunteering charity, providing young people with opportunities to do great things through volunteering and social action. In return for their time, volunteers become more skilled, confident and employable whilst doing things they really care about.
Bolton School Sixth Formers are encouraged to log their volunteering hours on the vInspired website in order to achieve awards. The awards are achieved at either 50+ or 100+ hours of community service.
During the 2013-2014 academic year, students logged a record-breaking 11,798 hours of voluntary work: the most of any school in the country! The pupils’ achievement won the school a place at the vInspired Awards Ceremony in London.
Mentoring Younger Children
There are many opportunities for Sixth Formers to assist younger pupils. There are obvious links within the Bolton School Foundation; many Year 12 and 13 students assist the pupils at our Beech House Infants’ School, Park Road Junior Boys’ School and Hesketh House Junior Girls’ School with their reading. There are also opportunities to help out at Bolton School Nursery, where pupils can read with the children and also help to supervise and facilitate various activities.
Sixth Form pupils are also given the opportunity to act as Maths Mentors to pupils in the Boys’ and Girls’ Division Senior Schools. They also help out with lunchtime clubs and activities.
Further afield, Sixth Formers travel to Smithills School once a week to run a guided reading project with boys in Year 8. This encourages the boys to read, and also helps to boost their attainment and skill level. A similar scheme is in place at Gilnow Fold Primary School.
Teachers and students deliver National Curriculum Level 6 Mathematics lessons to a group of gifted and talented pupils in a cluster of primary schools in Farnworth.
There are also strong mentoring links with Bolton Lads and Girls Club, where students can help with or even run sessions as a Young Leader.
Assisting with Events
Sixth Formers support the School in delivering a number of events which take place throughout the year for local primary and secondary school pupils, many of which are organised through the Ogden Trust Science Partnership which the School has set up. They act as teaching assistants, mentors, guides and ambassadors to ensure that the events run smoothly and the younger pupils have a great time. These events include:
SHINE: Serious Fun on Saturdays
Modern Foreign Languages Day
Bolton Book Award Literacy Day and the Bolton Book Awards Ceremony
Five-a-side Football Festival
For more information about the Primary School Liaison events, click here.
Sixth Form pupils can also lend a hand in the Junior Girls’ Library and both Senior School Libraries. They volunteer during some of their lunch hours throughout the week, checking books in and out of the library, helping with queries, and returning books to shelves.
Caring in the Community
Many students choose to work with the elderly or ill at local institutions such as Bolton Hospice, Beechville Care Home or Derian House. Others help out with projects such as Disability Snowsport UK and Pocket Nook, a local residential home for children on the autistic spectrum.
The SPACE Programme
The 2013-2014 academic year introduced the new SPACE programme to the Boys’ Division. Every fortnight on a Monday afternoon, the school has been taken off the usual timetable, allowing staff and boys to be scheduled to a whole range of different activities. The time has been used for planned and embedded curriculum enrichment; and for several year groups, this has involved community action projects, including helping out the Darcy Lever Gravel Pits Action Group and volunteering at The Hive at Moss Bank Park.
“My role as Head of Community Music is to take Bolton School music into the community and to invite local schools and musicians into our school to share in our music making. This job began in 2007 and since then many schools and organisations have been keen to get involved in what we have to offer.
“Bolton School Boys' and Girls’ Division Music Departments are currently very active within the local community and beyond. We are very keen to share our facilities with local primary schools and regularly have them joining us for our autumn and summer concerts. In April 2013, we invited pupils from Tonge Moor Primary and St Peter and St Paul’s RC Primary School to a concert by the Boys’ Division Percussion Ensemble in the School Arts Centre.
“We also take many of our ensembles out to perform at local schools. Recently, our Year 11 Percussion Ensemble performed at Ladybridge Primary School, and the Boys’ Division Flute Choir, Joint Clarinet Group and Classical Guitar Quartet performed at Kearsley West Primary School. The Joint Junior Concert Band performed at St James CE Primary School and the Joint Junior Orchestra performed at Ladywood School. Our Joint Jazz Band also regularly performs at events and recently provided music at the Bolton and Bury Business Awards Dinner, Bolton University, the Horwich Carnival and at the NUT Conference in Liverpool. They also performed concerts at St Ambrose Church in Leyland and St Patrick’s Church in Patterdale. At the beginning of December, our Joint Saxophone Group played at the opening of the "Christmas Range" for the John Lewis store in Manchester, and performed again in John Lewis in April. Members of the Joint Concert Band performed at Morrisons in Bolton in December.
“We regularly invite musical talent from other local secondary schools to share in our specially organised workshops. In October, pupils from local schools were invited to take part in piano master classes at the School, directed by Jonathan Middleton who teaches piano at Junior RNCM and Chetham’s. Jonathan also performed an evening recital in the Arts Centre. Earlier in the year, internationally renowned classical guitarist Craig Ogden visited Bolton School to direct a Classical Guitar Ensemble Workshop. Students from six schools including Canon Slade, Manchester Grammar School, Bacup Grammar, Altrincham Girls' Grammar, St Michael's Chorley and Junior RNCM joined students from Bolton School for this community music event. A concert followed in the evening, featuring the ensemble and Craig Ogden.
“The Music Department supports many local and national charities through performances both in and outside school. The Joint Jazz Band recently provided music for Bolton Hospice, playing at their celebration party for volunteers; our Joint Chamber Choir provided music for ‘Jigsaw’ (a stroke survivors group), singing at their Christmas party; and our Year 11 GCSE students put on a concert for the ‘Muscular Dystrophy Campaign which took place at Christ Church, Heaton.
“Money raised from our annual ‘Battle of the Bands’ goes to support local charities. The judge this year was Tim Thomas from Blueprint Studios and the chosen charity was ‘Action for Children’. The event has, in the past, been judged by DJs Andy Peebles (2008) and Mark Radcliffe (2010) and Tony Wadsworth, former Chairman and CEO of EMI Music, UK and Ireland (2012).
“Our own new lunchtime concert series was launched in March 2012 in the Arts Centre. The 2013 series featured musicians from Junior RNCM, Chetham’s School of Music and Classical guitarist, Jon Gjylaci. The concerts were free of charge to the public and were well attended.
“Beyond the local community, our Joint Jazz Band were the winning band at the Great North Big Band Festival in Sunderland. They also performed at the National Music for Youth Festival held in Birmingham and the National Concert Band Finals in Birmingham.
“Our Joint Senior Guitar Group, Joint Senior Concert Band, Joint Jazz Band and Joint Chamber Choir regularly go on tour to European destinations.
“Anybody wishing to know more about our community music activities should contact me by telephone (01204 840201 ext. 391) or email (email@example.com).”
Mr Jeremy Bleasdale
Head of Community Music
The School has a great many links with international charitable organisations.
One of these is LivLife, which was set up by two Old Boys; it aims to provide free and relevant education and vocational opportunities to poor communities in Tanzania. Pupils visit LivLife Centres in Tanzania once every two years to help with their educational programmes.
There are also strong links with SKCV in India and Water Aid. Pupils have in the past taken part in Operation Wallacea, and World Challenge projects.
Over £30,000 is raised for charities each year across the Bolton School Foundation. This is achieved through a number of annual events, many of which are organised and run by pupils.
To find out more about the School’s charities and fundraising activities, click here.