Sixth Formers' 10,000 Hours of Community Work
Friday, 10 June 2011
Year 12 students and their parents enjoyed a celebration evening as they collected certificates and gave presentations about the community work they had undertaken over the past year. In total, over 10,000 hours of work had been undertaken by the Sixth Form students!
All Year 12 students in the Girls' Division and the Boys' Division have to undertake a minimum of 20 hours of community work after which they receive their bronze certificate. Anyone undertaking 50 to 99 hours receives a silver award and 100+ hours students receive a gold award. Girls and boys had offered their assistance to a wide range of local services including hospices, charity shops, nursing homes, Starting Point (an organisation that helps young refugee children and asylum seekers and gives them a basic education), the Brownies, the Lads & Girls' Club, conservation work and St John's Ambulance. Students had also helped out mentoring within Bolton School, many of them assisting with the SHINE: Serious Fun on Saturdays programme, where they helped local primary school children with a range of educational pursuits on Saturday mornings.
Prizes on the evening were given out by a young Old Girl, Rachel Roberts, who left the school in 2005. Rachel herself recalled how she had undertaken work in the community whilst at Bolton School and how this had left a lasting impression on her, so much so that she decided this is the career that she wants to pursue. Having discovered that she "loved volunteering and helping people" she did not take up a tempting university offer but focused on helping out in the local community, working at pupil referral units in Manchester and Bolton and then at Bolton Lads' and Girls' Club. She is now in her first year on a top Social Work degree course at university.
The evening closed with some words from Old Boy John Walsh, who is Leader of the Conservative Party in Bolton. He recalled how he had undertaken community work at Bolton School over 40 years ago and so too had his wife, who was an Old Girl. He told the audience that Bolton School had been part of the Big Society way before Mr Cameron dreamt up the concept and that he would report back to the Prime Minister the fine work that the school had been undertaking, saying "the School should be commended for putting in far more than it takes out." He said that the Prime Minister was very much aware of the school, having landed on The Levels several times in an helicopter.
Headmaster Mr Philip Britton said: "The work instils in students the importance of recognising they are part of a wider world and a bigger society where it is important to help one another. However reluctantly some students entered into the task, all come out of it having enjoyed themselves immensely and were very proud of their endeavours. They develop self-confidence, inter-personal and leadership skills. The Bolton School Big Society is very much alive and well."