Bolton School: Wikis


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Bolton School
Motto Mutare Vel Timere Sperno
(Latin: I scorn to change or to fear)
Established ante 1516
Type Independent school
Headmaster (Boys' Division) Philip Britton MBE
Headmistress (Girls' Division) Gill Richards
Chair of Governors Michael Griffiths
Founder Viscount Leverhulme
Location Chorley New Road
Greater Manchester
Students 2400 (approx.)
Gender Boys and Girls Divisions
Ages 0 to 19
Coordinates: 53°34′48″N 2°27′18″W / 53.579868°N 2.454866°W / 53.579868; -2.454866

Bolton School is an independent day school in Bolton, Greater Manchester, in the North-West of England. It comprises a co-educational Nursery and Infant School (Beech House) and single sex Junior and Senior Schools (with Sixth Forms). With almost 2,400 pupils it is one of the largest independent day schools in the country.[1]



Bolton School main entrance

Established as Bolton Grammar School, it is not known exactly when the Boys' School was founded, though it is recorded as being a going concern as early as 1516. In 1644 it was endowed by Robert Lever and so began a long and close relationship with the Lever name. In 1899, the school moved from its site next to the Parish Church in Bolton to its current site on Chorley New Road.

The Girls' School was established in 1877 as Bolton Girls' Day School and was quickly renamed Bolton High School for Girls.

In 1913, Sir William Hesketh Lever, the first Viscount Leverhulme, gave a generous joint endowment to the Bolton Grammar School and the Bolton High School for Girls on condition that the two should be equal partners known as Bolton School (Boys' and Girls' Divisions). On 1 April 1915, the Bolton School Foundation formally came into existence.

The current buildings were begun in the 1920s though they were not completed until the late 1960s. The motto of the school (used only by the Boys' Division) is Mutare Vel Timere Sperno, meaning "I scorn to change or to fear".[2]


The School is consistently ranked amongst the best independent schools in the North of England.[3] At GCSE in 2009, the Daily Telegraph league table ranked the Girls' Division as 87th best independent school in the country (and 75th in the previous year) and the Boys' Division as 131st.[4]

At A Level the Daily Telegraph ranked the Girls' Division as 81st nationally in 2009 and the Boys' Division was 110th in 2006.[5]

Unusual offerings include Greek, Latin, Classics, Russian (Boys' Division only) and Spanish. Separate sciences are taught. Both divisions of the school are featured in the Good Schools Guide.[6]


The Centre Quadrangle, Bolton School

From September 2008, the Headmaster of the Boys' Division has been Mr Philip Britton (alumnus of St. John's College, Oxford and the University of Leeds) and the Headmistress of the Girls' Division is Mrs Gill Richards. The Head of the Boys' Junior Division is Mr Stephen Whittaker and the current Acting Head of the Girls' Junior Division is Mrs Ruth Brierley.[7]

Bolton School has its own private coach company, BSS Coaches, and brings in over 900 pupils on 22 coach routes, spreading from Preston to Warrington to North Manchester to Wigan to Rochdale. A new coach route from Penwortham, Preston has been running since September 2008.[8]

The school also hires out its buildings and services through BSSL Events and Lettings. The school is a popular venue for weddings - in both the Arts Centre and the boys' Great Hall - and for conferences and exhibitions as well as a location for film shoots. The Mark of Cain (2007 film), a BAFTA Award winning television film, was filmed on the premises. The excellent sporting facilities are utilised by local clubs and both Bolton Wanderers FC and Bury FC have based their academies at the school in recent years.[9]

The school also operates a pre- and post-school club for children, Kidzone, which offers childcare over the holiday periods for children from across Bolton.[10]

Expansion and Renovation

Bolton School campus, August 2009

The 32-acre (130,000 m2) campus is set 1-mile (1.6 km) to the west of Bolton town centre and a £12 million building project is currently underway.[11] On 1 June 2009, infants (boys and girls aged 4-7) moved into their brand new school, Beech House, built alongside the School's Nursery.[12]

The Junior Boys' School on Park Road has also been extended and renovated and an official "opening" ceremony took place on 2 December 2009.[13] The Park Road community is now making full use of their permanent extension to the main school, comprising two Year 6 classrooms, a new library, changing rooms and showers, storage facilities, staff/visitor toilets, staff accommodation and a kitchen and dining hall.[14]

A new state-of-the-art Junior Girls' School (adjacent to the Girls' Senior School), Hesketh House, is due for compeltion by the summer of 2010.[15]


Children aged 4-7 moved into their new Infants' School, Beech House, on 1 June 2009

The school comprises:

  • A nursery on Dobson Road (ages 0-4)
  • A co-educational infant school, called Beech House (ages 4-7)
  • A junior independent boys' school (ages 7-11), known as Park Rd.
  • A junior independent girls' school (ages 7-11)
  • Two separate secondary divisions, both with 6th form provision - Bolton School Boys' Division and Bolton School Girls' Division (ages 11-18).

The Boys' Division and Girls' Division Senior Schools (11-18 year olds) have approximately 850 students each. Across both divisions, 286 pupils receive fee assistance through bursaries, many pupils enjoying full fee bursaries. The Junior Boys' and Junior Girls' schools (ages 7-11) have about 200 pupils each. The co-educational Infant School also has over 200 pupils. The Nursery has about 90 places available and there is a waiting list.[16]

Extra-curricular activities

Patterdale Hall in the Lake District is visited regularly by all pupils

The School takes its extra-curricular provision seriously with multiple activities taking place in the extended lunch break, after school and at weekends. Pupils are expected to voluntarily involve themselves in the school's varied range of clubs and societies.

In the Boys’ Senior School, pupils in Years 7-9 are expected to attend at least three societies each week; Year 10 and 11 pupils are expected to involve themselves in at least one weekly activity. As well as the societies catering for sixth form students, there are many opportunities for members of Year 12 and Year 13 to become involved in the leadership of the activities. Aside from developing vital leadership qualities, elder students who assist members of staff in the organisation of societies are rewarded with a 'Leadership Certificate' at the end of each academic year.

Depending upon the term, there are up to 90 weekly or fortnightly clubs, societies and practices available to the boys (this number excludes the many music practices on offer). These range from subject-based clubs, such as Art Club, Science Club, Computer Club, Biology Club and The History Society to more wide-ranging societies such as Film Society, Warhammer Club, Creative Writing Club and Gameshow Club. There is also both a Junior Literary and Debating Forum and a Senior Literary and Debating Society, in which pupils of all ages can sharpen their oratorical skills. Boys with musical and acting talents are also well-catered for at Bolton School. Music ensembles and drama rehearsals all take place in the lunch break and there are numerous concerts and productions every year. Over 450 boys have an individual music lesson. Many ensembles are operated jointly with the Girls' Division. The School performed a joint concert at the Bridgewater Hall, Manchester in 2009, which involved over 650 pupils from Year 4 upwards. The Joint Chamber Choir has performed live on BBC Radio 4. The Senior Guitar Group has also won the Kirklees National Youth Guitar Orchestra Competition in recent years.

Sport plays a central role in the activities programme (it also takes up 10% of the timetable: soccer, rugby and hockey in winter, cricket in summer). Twenty five metre pool means the School is strong in water polo and swimming. There are two sports halls, one with a climbing wall, a multigym and quality games pitches on the 32 acre campus. The boys have recently won national titles in water polo, football and chess.[17]

The Bolton School Paper is a quarterly-released newspaper, founded in 2002 and printed on tabloid newsprint. As of 2009, its circulation was 500. It is distributed free of charge to Bolton School students, staff, visitors and alumni. It is written solely by the students of the school - with students from Year 7 through to Year 9 taking a role in production, whether writing content, editing it or finalising the data. The newspaper also takes part in the TES Newsday competition annually. In 2007 it was awarded a Distinction.

There are also many Newsletters regarding the school libraries which the boys may write book reviews for, such as LSL Bulletin. This is supported by the lower School Reading Group. These Newsletters are organised by Dr Holland, Mrs Dean and the various Editors of the newsletters. The LSL Bulletin, October 2009, featured an interview with digital media expert and Old Boy, Anthony Lilley, who gave the 2008 Tillotson Lecture ("The Me in Media") at the school, in which he talked about his work on various TV programmes, such as Doctor Who and Top Gear.

The School also has a new BBC News School Report Programme for the Lower School, organised by Mrs. Spencer-Jones. There is a web design and journalistic side to this new project.

The Girls’ Senior School also offers an extensive extra-curricular portfolio with over 90 activities to choose from in any week. Sport is strong with much interest in athletics, lacrosse, netball, badminton and swimming. There has been considerable successes in netball and lacrosse. Girls have also represented Great Britain in the World Athletic Championships, water polo and swimming. The U14 netball team were crowned National Champions in 2003-04. One pupil voted first ever BBC Young Sports’ Personality of the Year.

Lunchtime clubs across all areas of activity. Arts centre, drama productions in well used theatre. Music is flourishing with many girls learning instruments in school – over 300 instrument lessons given each week and others taking lessons outside, beginners to grade 8+. More merits and distinctions are recorded than straight passes in Associated Board exams.[18]

Girls travel the world on school trips and there have been recent ski trips to France, Italy and Switzerland. Netball and lacrosse teams have toured Malta, Australia and Barbados. Choirs and orchestras have performed in Florence, Paris, Bruges, Barcelona and Prague.[19]

Outdoor Pursuits

Tenacity of Bolton provides sailing lessons and team-building skills for pupils

Bolton School maintains a large, full-time outdoor pursuits department, called Bolton School Outdoor Pursuits (BSOP). The school operates Patterdale Hall, a large residential outdoor pursuits centre on the shores of Lake Ullswater in the Lake District.

As well as being a key part of the main curriculum, Outdoor Pursuits plays a central role in the extra curricular programme. Many pupils are introduced to a particular discipline via the Outdoor Education Programme and then go on to further their interest via the extra curricular programme. Pupils gain valuable experience of the world of business and commerce through the 'Business Awareness' course held each year at Patterdale Hall. The Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme is also pursued successfully by students, several having achieved the Gold Award whilst still at school.

For eight years (1999-2007), the School undertook the construction of a concrete yacht as a millennium project ("The Third Millennium Ketch"). The boat was constructed in a temporary boat shed attached to the school. It was launched in May 2007, and is owned by the School and is for use in outdoor pursuits. The boat, christened "Tenacity of Bolton", allows all Year 8 pupils (girls and boys) the chance for sailing lessons in the Irish Sea as part of the curriculum. Sixth Formers have also used the boat as part of their Duke of Edinburgh training. It is also available for commercial hire.

Notable Old Boltonians

The Old Girls' Association and Old Boltonians' Association are very active with over 9,000 members. Regular reunions are held throughout the year in Bolton, Manchester, Leeds, Oxford, Cambridge, Durham, Edinburgh, London, Bristol, Birmingham and Cumbria. Notable alumni include[20]:

External links


  1. ^ "Bolton School - Independent School for Bolton, Lancashire, Manchester". Retrieved January 10, 2010.  
  2. ^ The History of Bolton School W E Brown MA, Bolton School 1976, ISBN 0-9504947-0-4 with an extended essay by F R Poskitt, CBE MA
  3. ^ "Bolton School - Independent School for Bolton, Lancashire, Manchester". Retrieved January 10, 2010.  
  4. ^ "A-level league table: independent schools entering 25 or more candidates". Retrieved January 10, 2010.  
  5. ^
  6. ^ "The Good Schools Guide". Retrieved January 10, 2010.  
  7. ^ "Bolton School - Independent School for Bolton, Lancashire, Manchester". Retrieved January 10, 2010.  
  8. ^ "BSS Coaches". Retrieved January 10, 2010.  
  9. ^ "BSS Events & Lettings". Retrieved January 10, 2010.  
  10. ^ "BSS Kidzone". Retrieved January 10, 2010.  
  11. ^ "School Invests In The Future". Retrieved January 10, 2010.  
  12. ^ "New School Offers Best of Both Worlds". Retrieved January 10, 2010.  
  13. ^ "£1.5m Refurbishment for Junior School". Retrieved January 10, 2010.  
  14. ^ "£1.5m Refurbishment for Junior School".£15m-refurbishment-to-junior-school. Retrieved January 10, 2010.  
  15. ^ "Building for the Future - Progress Report". Retrieved January 10, 2010.  
  16. ^ "Bolton School - Independent School for Bolton, Lancashire, Manchester". Retrieved January 10, 2010.  
  17. ^ "Bolton School Senior Boys - Independent Eduation, Lancashire". Retrieved January 10, 2010.  
  18. ^ Good Schools' Guide 2008-09
  19. ^ "Bolton School Senior Girls - Independent School, Manchester". Retrieved January 10, 2010.  
  20. ^ "Old Boltonians and Old Girls' Association - Alumni and Former Pupils". Retrieved January 10, 2010.  
  21. ^ "Famous Old Boltonians - Old Boys". Retrieved January 10, 2010.  
  22. ^ "Old Boltonians and Old Girls' Association - Alumni and Former Pupils". Retrieved January 10, 2010.  


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