A first class education at Bolton School
PUBLISHED: 17:25 15 January 2018 | UPDATED: 17:25 15 January 2018
Bolton School, with a list of alumni like a Who’s Who, continues to develop new generations of high achievers
Every year, up to 75 girls and boys set out on their school and, ultimately, career journey when they join the Reception Class at Beech House, Bolton School Infants’ School. A significant proportion will have progressed up from Bolton School’s adjacent Nursery or Nursery Class for 3 and 4 year olds but many are new to the School.
Whatever path lies ahead for them, their parents know that they are giving them the very best start in life as they enjoy the fun, creativity and learning that takes place in this Infant School where the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) is ranked as “outstanding” by the Independent Schools’ Inspectorate (ISI).
Summing up Beech House, headteacher Mrs Tracey Taylor says: ‘This is a school where, high standards and a warm family atmosphere with an emphasis on fun, go hand-in-hand. We develop each child’s talents in a secure, caring environment where they enjoy quality teaching which utilises the very latest facilities and technology.
‘We believe every child has talents and we provide as wide a range of activities as possible in order that they can experience success.’ The thoughts of Mrs Taylor reflect the ethos of the whole Bolton School offer, which, in a nutshell, seeks to realise the potential of each pupil.
After three years at the co-educational Infant School, girls and boys move up to either the Girls’ or Boys’ Division of the Bolton School Foundation, which includes Junior and Senior Schools with Sixth Forms. Like the EYFS findings, the latest ISI reports awarded both divisions with the top mark of “excellent” in all categories.
As an academically selective independent day school, there is a clear focus on stretching and challenging every pupil. The curriculum is delivered by a highly qualified, experienced and dedicated teaching staff, who create an industrious and supportive environment where pupils are motivated to learn. Annual GCSE and A-level results consistently place the school among the best in the North of England and often within the top 100 nationally. The vast majority of students go on to their first choice university and there is a regular flow of sixth formers to highly competitive courses.
An education is also around building all-round character, resilience and the ability to succeed in life. Personalities are forged from an incredible array of extra-curricular activities, trips and visits and engagement with the local community. The School recently celebrated becoming the first school to receive the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service – the MBE for volunteer groups.
With over 2,300 pupils, the school is of one of the largest in the country and this, coupled with the 32 acre campus, allows for an incredibly diverse and strong extra-curricular programme. Each year, both Senior Schools offer over 100 clubs and activities.
The School holds an enviable reputation for sport, with pupil success at regional, national and international level. Drama and music are also strong at the School and there are numerous ensembles, choirs and orchestras as well as large-scale regular joint productions. Pupils develop further through regular visits to the School’s own outdoor pursuits centre, Patterdale Hall, in the Lake District and large numbers achieve Duke of Edinburgh Awards at Bronze, Silver and Gold level. Pupils enjoy outstanding facilities from Nursery to Sixth Form. The School combines a rich history dating back 500 years with cutting-edge technology, including iPads for all pupils; it has recently been awarded Apple Distinguished School status. In 2013, the opening of the new Riley Sixth Form Centre marked the final phase in an £18m project which saw the construction of new Junior Girls’ and Infant Schools and the refurbishment and extension of the Junior Boys’ School.
The School prides itself on offering the best of both worlds, where single-sex classes allow girls and boys to focus wholly on their studies while enjoying regular opportunities to work collaboratively, for example on music and drama projects. Sixth Form students share a purpose-built Sixth Form Centre with a joint Common Room, Cafeteria, Seminar Rooms and other facilities but are still taught separately.
Pupils come from diverse backgrounds and, currently, over 300 Senior School pupils receive bursary-assisted places with approximately half of them receiving full fee assistance. The School’s secure private coach service covers over 20 routes across the North-West. Ethnically, the make-up of the School reflects exactly that of the local region.
Departing the Sixth Form is not the end of the journey and the Foundation has a very active network of Old Boys and Old Girls, which spans the globe. There are regular reunions both at the School and throughout the UK. Successful former pupils, both young and old, regularly return to the School where they enjoy sharing their expertise and life experiences with current pupils.
The School has a history of producing top class scholars and achievers and alumni includes household names such as Sir Ian McKellen, Nigel Short, Monica Ali, Kate Long, Baroness Taylor of Bolton, the Nobel Prize Winner Sir Harry Kroto, Dame Janet Smith, Baroness Morris of Bolton, Haseeb Hameed, Mark Radcliffe and Ralf Little.
* Anyone interested in registering their child for the school’s Entrance Exam on 18 January (for entry into Y3 or Y7 in Autumn 2018) or entry into any other year group should call 01204 840201 or visit www.boltonschool.org