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Bolton School is an independent school in Boltonmarker, Greater Manchestermarker, in the North-West of Englandmarker.


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 1899, the school moved from its site next to the Parish Church in Bolton to its current site on Chorley New Road. In 1913, it was re-endowed by Viscount Leverhulme. 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".

The Girls' School was established in 1877 as Bolton Girls' Day School and was quickly renamed Bolton High School for Girls. In 1913 it amalgamated with Bolton Grammar School and the Bolton School Foundation was formed.


The Boys' Division came in the top 500 nationwide in GCSE examinations in 2004. It has won national titles in water polo, football and chess. In 2006 A level examinations, the Boys' Division secured a position at 110th nationwide in the Daily Telegraph league table. The Girls' Division was ranked the 111th best independent school in the country for A levels in 2007 by the Daily Telegraph and 75th best school for GCSEs in 2008. Both divisions of the school were featured in the 2008 edition of the Good Schools Guide.


From September 2008, the Headmaster of the Boys' Division has been Mr Philip Britton (almnus of St. John's College, Oxfordmarker and the University of Leedsmarker) and the Headmistress of the Girls' Division is Mrs Gill Richards. The Headmaster of the Boys' Junior Division is Mr Stephen Whittaker and the Headmistress of the Girls' Junior Division is Mrs Sarah Wilson.

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

Expansion and Renovation

The campus is set to the west of Bolton town centre and a £12 million building project is underway, begun at Easter 2008, which will see the completion of a new Infants' School, a new Junior Girls' School and renovations to the Junior Boys' School.


The school comprises:
  • A nursery on Dobson Road (ages 0-5)
  • A co-educational infant school, called Beech House (ages 5-7)
  • 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 (11-19 year olds) have over 800 students each of whom 286 receive financial assistance from bursaries. The Junior Boys' and Junior Girls' schools (ages 7-11) have about 200 pupils each.

Extra-curricular activities

main entrance to Bolton School
The school has a varied extracurricular programme, ranging from the subject-related clubs, such as Art Club and The History Society, to wider-ranging clubs, such as Film Society, Kayaking Club, Table-Tennis Club and Doctor Who Society (created and run by Year 9 pupils). Many of these are run by the staff with the help of sixth-formers, but some have been created by the sixth-formers themselves. The lunch break is also used for sports training, along with sports-related clubs.

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 near Lake Ulswater in the Lake Districtmarker.

Over 450 boys have an individual music lesson. Many ensembles are operated jointly with the Girls' Division. 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.

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. The current Editor for the paper is Ed Hardy.

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. In current production is the LSL Bulletin and should be released by Mid-October. It features an interview with the Tillotson lecturer of 2008 who will be talking about his work on various TV programmes, such as Doctor Who and Top Gear, named "The Me in Media".

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

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 scheduled for (and did) launch in May 2007, and is owned by the school and for use in outdoor pursuits. The boat, christened "Tenacity of Bolton", allows all Year 8 pupils the chance for sailing lessons in the Irish Sea as part of the curriculum.

Notable Old Boltonians

External links


  • The History of Bolton School, W. E. Brown M.A., Bolton School 1976, ISBN 0-9504947-0-4, with an extended essay by F. R. Poskitt, C.B.E., M.A.

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