Pupils and staff at Bolton School were delighted to welcome Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex, in the Foundation’s Centenary Year to learn more about the School’s Duke of Edinburgh and volunteering work.
His Royal Highness The Earl of Wessex was received by the Lord-Lieutenant of Greater Manchester, Mr Warren J Smith and The Clerk to the Lieutenancy, Canon Paul Denby. There the Lord Lieutenant introduced Prince Edward to The High Sheriff of Greater Manchester, The Mayor of Bolton Councillor Carole Swarbrick, and to the Headmistress of the Girls’ Division, Sue Hincks, the Headmaster of the Boys’ Division, Philip Britton, and the Chairman of Governors, Michael Griffiths.
Sue Hincks guided the Prince around a Duke of Edinburgh display in the Sports Hall, where he spoke with pupils about their adventures and took an interest in each group’s plans for gaining their Bronze, Silver or Gold-level awards.
Duke of Edinburgh participants talking to the Royal guest about their adventures
Duke of Edinburgh Coordinator, Sarah Waters, said: “We have a big Duke of Edinburgh tradition at our school and I was delighted for the pupils that met the Earl of Wessex as they put so much effort into their volunteering, developing skills, undertaking physical activities and this was a great reward for them. I think the enduring appeal of the Award is the wide variety of activities that pupils can become involved in as they develop their independence and team-working skills.”
After meeting with Duke of Edinburgh participants, Prince Edward was taken to the Arts Centre. There, he was introduced to School Captain Chris Pantelides, Head Girl Sarah Ibberson, and eight other students from the Senior Schools. Each year, students at Bolton School offer over 10,000 hours of voluntary work, and this gave him an idea of the wide range of activities and areas in which pupils make a difference.
Michael Griffiths took the podium to thank Prince Edward for his visit during the Centenary Year, and explained a little more about the school and the debt it owes to Lord Leverhulme. He then invited the Prince to unveil a plaque, commemorating his visit one hundred years after the Bolton School Foundation formally came into existence.
Junior Girls’ School pupils wave to Prince Edward as he arrives at School
Sue Hincks said: “It has been a great pleasure to welcome HRH The Earl of Wessex, the Lord Lieutenant of Greater Manchester, The High Sheriff of Greater Manchester and the Mayor of Bolton to Bolton School. Prince Edward was genuinely interested in our work and asked a good deal of thoughtful questions; he particularly liked meeting pupils who talked to him about the challenges and fun they have whilst learning new skills and helping others as they undertake the Duke of Edinburgh Award.”
Philip Britton added: “The Earl was also very eager to learn about all the hours of work that our pupils, particularly the Sixth Form students, commit to helping out others in the local community. He spent time talking with students and learnt a little more about our School before unveiling a plaque celebrating 100 years of the Bolton School Foundation, Girls’ Division and Boys’ Division.”
The School’s Head of Community Action, Mrs Sophie Entwistle, summed up the visit, saying, “We were delighted to tell the Earl of Wessex how we are carrying on the tradition of our pupils working in the local community; something which Lord Leverhulme instilled in our ethos when he founded The Bolton School Foundation one hundred years ago. It is important that our students, who enjoy such great teachers and resources here, understand how and what they can give back to society.”