Held at London’s Grosvenor House Hotel at the start of the month, the 2019 TES Independent School Awards saw Bolton School win out in two categories: Independent School of the Year and Senior School of the Year.
The school scooped the overall award following unanimous backing from the judges. Earlier in the evening, it was chosen as Senior School of the Year “not just for its outstanding achievements, but for its broad outreach activities and deep community relationships”.
Over the last academic year, pupils in both divisions achieved a wide range of successes, from the Year 9 girl who won the Show Racism the Red Card school competition, to the boys’ water polo team winning their 13th national title. The school also performed at the Montreux Jazz Festival and the final of the National Choral Competition, as well as at local events, while the boys staged several performances of their original play, My Room, My Bolton.
Events for local schoolchildren, such as a football festival and Bolton Children’s Fiction Award, attended by 700 pupils – as well as 10,000 hours of volunteering by sixth formers – helped cement the school’s place in its community.
Other winners on the night were:
Special services to independent education award: John Weitzel, Loughborough Grammar School
Senior leadership team of the year: The Holmewood School
Whole-school community initiative of the year: Norwich School
Independent-state school partnership award: Lichfield Cathedral School
Special needs initiative of the year: The Holmewood School
Marketing campaign of the year: Woldingham School
Wellbeing initiative of the year: Reigate Grammar School
Creativity award: Wilds Lodge School
Strategic education initiative of the year: Sandroyd
International school of the year: Cranleigh Abu Dhabi, UAE
Sports award: Surbiton High School
Best use of technology award: Aberdour School
Pre-prep/prep school of the year: St Faith’s
Boarding school of the year: Cottesmore School
Senior school of the year: Bolton School
Independent school of the year: Bolton School
Lead judge, Dr Helen Wright, said Bolton was chosen because of “their impressive outreach and the way in which they involve the whole community in a plethora of enriching events”.
“It was a wonderful evening, and we were incredibly proud to pick up our awards on behalf of everyone who is part of the Bolton School family,” said Sue Hincks, headmistress of the girls’ division. “Aside from strong academic results, we were delighted that both our extracurricular provision and work in – and with – the local community was recognised, as these are areas that are very important to us.”
Headmaster of the boys’ division, Philip Britton, said: “It was a very special night and a pleasing affirmation of all the time, energy and initiative that boys, girls and colleagues put into their work, and how well that is supported by parents and alumni. The evening also recognised how we – and many other independent schools – work hard to progress learning across our region, and enjoy mutually beneficial relationships with a wide variety of local schools and their pupils. The award also touched on how we endeavour to provide an education for all through our generous bursary provision, with one in five of our pupils receiving fee assistance.”
The awards follow other recent accolades, including being named Independent School of the Year by the Independent School Parent, becoming the first school to earn Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service status, winning last year’s TES Community Initiative Award, and the MEN Active Community Award. The girls’ division was highly commended in the Independent School Parent Girls’ School of the Year Award, and the boys’ division won the Boys’ School of the Year Award. The boys’ division was also recently re-awarded Apple Distinguished School status and a Platinum Artsmark.