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Thursday, 27 June 2013
“Tonight we are celebrating extraordinary achievement in Bolton School Boys’ Division,” said Mr Michael Griffiths, Chairman of Governors, as he opened proceedings at this year’s Prizegiving. He told the audience that the boys’ success was a result of their hard work, the guidance from talented staff and the domestic and personal support received from their parents. Mr Griffiths paid tribute to an outstanding Headmaster who led the school with great energy. He praised the generosity of alumni and other benefactors as, over the course of the past year, £2m had been donated which would help fund the education of the most able pupils. He was also delighted to see the new Riley (Sixth Form) Centre was now a reality and that its building had been on budget and on schedule, with Sixth Form boys and girls set to enjoy it from early September.
Mr Griffiths reminded the boys to go out into the world and to have fun, work hard and to try and make a difference for good. Introducing the guest speaker for the evening, the Rt. Hon. Lord Peter Smith of Leigh, he said there were few finer examples of someone making such a huge difference for good to the wider community. Old Boy, Lord Smith of Leigh, has been leader of Wigan Council since 1991 and was made a life peer in 1999. His hard work had given immeasurable benefit to Wigan and the North-West.
Before handing out awards, Lord Smith reflected on his own schooldays: “I am very grateful for the beginning I got in my life. On returning to school I was struck by how the same ethos and aura remains. I learnt about truth and honesty and the academic training was excellent, I know it has made a real difference to my life. It was about how you learnt and not just what you learnt. You leave Bolton School, but it never leaves you.”
Headmaster Mr Philip Britton reflected on an amazing year which had seen boys enjoy success on the national stage. Academically the boys had been ranked as 34th best school in the country by the percentage of students achieving ABB in their A level results. Pupils had received gold, silver and bronze awards at Biology and Chemistry Olympiads and one boy had received a rare silver medal at the Mathematics Olympiad; boys had also reached the national Spelling Bee Final. Sixth Form Chemistry students were the North-West winners of a national schools’ Chemistry Competition and other Sixth Form boys were commended in a national writing competition. In Technology, two boys had won the national Wallace and Gromit design competition and another boy had designed Grubber Bear, the mascot for the forthcoming Rugby League World Cup. Boys had enjoyed many interesting and stimulating talks from guest speakers, not least of which was the recent visit from Old Boy and Nobel Prize Winner, Sir Harry Kroto. The School Jazz Band had travelled the country and played many prestigious venues, including a performance to 15,000 teachers as they closed the NUT Conference. Year 12 boys and girls were also praised for giving the equivalent of 5 years’ worth of time to help out in the local community.
In sport, the year had started with the U15s winning the national 20/20 cricket final and the year ended with the U18s and U12s also reaching the national T20 final. Boys were national water polo champions at the U16 and U14 levels and national biathlon champions. The School boasted a national kayaking champion and other boys were called up to the GB Youth Water Polo Team and GB Tetrathlon team. Dominic Walker set a new British swimming record in the 50m backstroke and Junior Boys reached the national swimming finals. A team of U16 boys were Northern tennis champions and Senior School boys reached national finals in badminton.
Waqqas Patel, the new Head Boy, gave a sincere and insightful Vote of Thanks and the evening concluded with a stirring rendition of “Jerusalem”.
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