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Thursday, 23 September 2010
Bolton School's 'SHINE: Serious Fun on Saturdays' project has been shortlisted for a National Independent Schools Award.
The project has been shortlisted for the Outstanding Community/Public Benefit Initiative award in recognition of its involvement with, and benefit to, the local community. Winning this award would also mean the School could walk away with the title of Independent School of the Year.
SHINE was launched at Bolton School in November 2009 and over the course of eleven weeks, Year 5 children from local state primary schools benefited from the School's specialist teachers and state-of-the-art facilities. The weekly sessions, aimed at pupils who would not normally be given exposure to such expertise, were designed to challenge and stretch gifted pupils and, longer term, to raise their aspirations. Sessions spanned the whole curriculum, and were designed to be serious with a focus on learning, but also fun. Traditional subjects such as maths, history, design technology and the sciences were taught, as well as more unusual offerings such as Russian and Japanese, psychology, classics and martial arts!
SHINE is a national programme, which aims to help disadvantaged children and young people. Fifty per cent of the funding for the project came from SHINE and Bolton School was only the second school outside of London to be funded to host the scheme. The other half of the funding came from the school itself, and although the funding from SHINE will cease after the initial three years, the intention is to continue to run the scheme through school funding alone.
The Independent School Awards recognise excellence in the strategic and financial management of independent schools in the UK and are organised by the team behind 'Funding for Independent Schools' magazine. As well as the Outstanding Community/Public Benefit Initiative there are nine other awards categories and judges will consider ten hallmarks of excellence when making their decision - including planning, innovation, enterprise, sustainability, accountability and people development. The winners will be announced at an Awards Presentation Evening at the Oxford Belfry on 11 November and all winners will receive an engraved trophy, framed photo receiving the award and a winner's logo.
Bolton School Boys' Division's Director of Admissions, Mr James Rich, who founded the scheme at Bolton School said: "Being shortlisted is a major coup for Bolton School. When you set up a scheme such as this, the last thing on your mind is winning an award; however it is gratifying for the staff involved to gain recognition for their efforts and for FISA to see that this is a project solely concerned with Bolton School's contribution to the wider community."
Due to the success of the SHINE programme's first year at Bolton School, the scheme will run again this year starting on Saturday 6th November for Year 5 children from local primary schools in Bolton. This year the scheme is being further expanded; as well as the same wide variety of School-based sessions as last year, this year's children will also experience a Geography field trip and a trip to the National Space Centre in Leicester.
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