This has been an eventful and busy term with a number of whole school events, external examinations, building work, Proms and interviews for a new Headteacher. As you are all aware Mrs Karen Sudworth has been appointed as the new Head, and will take up her post after completing her notice period for her current role.

During this term we have had very successful Founders Day services, a time when we celebrate the founding of the school by Canon James Slade in 1855. As always we are very grateful to the Vicar of Bolton for allowing us to use the Parish Church for these services. Next year will feel slightly different as the Government have decided to put back the early May bank holiday by four days to Friday May 8th so it coincides with the 75th Anniversary of VE Day. This would have been Founders day for us so next year Founders day will be on the Monday, 4th May, the original bank holiday date.

We have also had celebration services for year 11 and year 13 as they started their examinations. We wish them all every success in their chosen careers, and hope that they achieve the results that they need to allow them to progress on to the next part of their education or work journey. Results for year 13 are available in the Sixth form common room from 8.00am onwards on Thursday August 15th. Results for year 11 are available in the Sixth form common room from 8.00am on August 22nd, followed by registration for the sixth form in the Chapel. We hope to welcome many year 11 students back into the sixth form in September.

Year 11 and year 13 had very enjoyable Proms, at Rivington Barn and the Last Drop respectively. As always the year 11 Prom is more of an occasion with pupils arriving in a vast array of limousines and other transportation. All the students looked smart, the boys in their suits and the girls in their prom dresses.

Year 8 & 9 have been making preparations for the start of their GCSE courses in September, although year 9 have started their GCSE work in some of the core subjects. September is an important time for both these year groups. As year 9 move up to start year 10, it will not seem a long time before they are preparing to sit their examinations. GCSE examinations now start in the middle of May, usually around the 11th, so year 11 is a short year of preparation. It is important that they make a good start when they return to us after the holiday, as it can be difficult to make up lost time. For year 8, they will return in Year 9 to start their GCSE courses, so they need to ensure that they are always producing their best work as this will be an important part of their revision in years 10 and 11 for their examinations.

Building work is continuing on the dining room extension and the new teaching block. We expect to be able to use both of these from October half term at the latest. The dining room extension will give us the capacity to serve the extra 150 students that we will have by September 2022, as our intake continues to be for 300 students in year 7, until then. Although the Teaching block is not going to be complete by September, all our classes have got rooms for the start of term. The new block is going to be used to house the form rooms for year 7 and the Mathematics department. All students who will be having lessons or registration will find they have two rooms listed on their timetables for those lessons. The one that starts M will be used once we have the new block in operation, the other room will be used from September.

We have just had our annual school reward trips, so students were whisked off to Crocky Trails, Chester Zoo or Blackpool Pleasure Beach, whilst a small group of students chose to complete some sports activities and challenges in school. All seemed to have a good time and staff have been very complimentary about the way that students conducted themselves on the activities.

Athletics has seen another bumper year of successes for the school:
Four students were chosen to represent Greater Manchester at the English Schools Track and Field Championships in Birmingham, our congratulations go to Olivia Kimbowa, Ben To, Isabelle Merritt and Abigail Adenji.

  • Year 8 Boys, Year 9 Boys, Year 10 Boys and Year 10 Girls all Town Champions
  • Year 7 Boys, Year 7 Girls, Year 8 Girls and Year 9 Girls all Town Championship Runners Up
  • In the ESAA Regional finals the Junior Boys finished 3rd, Junior Girls and Inter Girls finished 4th and the Inter Boys finished 8th.
  • Our Cheerleaders finished in 7th place in the UKCA national schools competition
  • In Rounders our KS3 team won the Bolton Tournament and the KS4 team were Runners up in their Tournament.
  • In the Bolton League, Year 7 were Champions, Year 8 Champions and a combined Year 9/10 were also Champions!
  • Jamie Begg won the Best Nett score in the Lancashire U15’s Championship, held at Penwortham Golf Club.
  • In Rugby League 9’s both our Year 7 team were Greater Manchester Champions and National finalists and the Year 8 team were finalists in both Greater Manchester and National competitions.
  • The Music department took a group of students to Munich where they were able to perform in some prestigious settings as well as having the compulsory trip to a theme park!

As always at the end of a year we will be saying goodbye and good luck to some those moving on to pastures new, whilst for some staff it is simply our best wishes for a long and happy retirement.

We thank Mrs M Patel and Mrs Z Khattak for their work in the Maths department.
Mr R Worrall for his work in History and Miss H Lockey in RS.

Mr A Pettitt will be a big loss to the Music department which he has lead superbly for the last five years. Mr Pettitt is passing the baton to Mr T Moore who will lead the department from September. Mr Pettitt leaves us with our best wishes, to take up a place as Head of Music at Cheadle Hulme school.

Mr A Downing is leaving us to take up a post as Assistant Head at Woodhey School. He has served the school as Head of Geography and more recently has been part of our leadership team during Mrs Jacksons secondment to the LA. We are grateful for all the work that he has done for the school and we wish him every success in his new post.

Mrs A Hurst is leaving us to take up an exciting challenge as she and her husband move to Thailand to take up teaching posts there. We have pointed out that it rains just as much there as it does in Bolton, however she has assured us that the rain there is much warmer! We wish them both well.

Mrs L McQuillan is retiring after giving the school 30 years service as a cleaner and we hope she has a long and happy retirement.

Mrs A Bowman is also retiring this year, also from the Music department. Over the years she has done a great deal of work with the Junior choirs, and has indeed composed and arranged many of the pieces that they have performed at Founders days and Carol services.

Finally, Miss S Manning is retiring as Head of Year and PE Teacher. I won’t embarrass her by saying how long she has taught here, but she did start work here two years after me. Over the years she has worked with many students, encouraging them to do their best as Head of Year. She has been a stalwart of the PE department throughout that time. We wish her a long and happy retirement.

Along with this newsletter you will be receiving a copy of our new mobile phone policy. We have decided to implement this policy (as have many schools across the country), to try to improve the mental health and wellbeing of our students. During the course of this year our Pastoral team have had to deal with numerous issues that have occurred as a result of the use of social media. In some cases the result has also been physical violence, arranged via social media and circulated by social media. This can result in students being faced with serious sanctions, which we want to avoid if at all possible.

Please note that there have been some changes to the bus services provided by TfGM in September. The 987 route will no longer operate, part of the route is now covered by the re-routed 937 and part is covered by a re-routed 988. Please check the school website for full details of the changes of time and route. The 937 will be operated by Vision Bus Ltd, and the evening 969 services will be operated by Atlantic and Tyrers respectively.

We wish everyone a happy and restful summer and look forward to seeing everyone back healthy and ready to work hard next year.

Pupils return to school on Tuesday September 3rd at 8.50am.

D I Lever
Acting Headteacher