News Archive - 3


Our Senior Brass Band and its conductor Mr Wormald have once again begun their annual, marathon programme of December fundraising and concert performances by playing on both Saturday and Sunday afternoons outside the town centre’s main Marks & Spencer store (December 3rd and 4th respectively).


With kind support from Mrs Elliott and Miss Masters, together with the usual huge team of parent chaperone collectors, lead as ever by Mrs Dunlevy, Mr and Mrs Stranks, Mr and Mrs Colderley, Mr Patel, Mrs Griffiths, Mr Russell and Mrs Seddon, our Senior Brass Band entertained town centre shoppers with high quality Christmas and seasonal music for over four hours this weekend, providing the usual best possible publicity for Smithills in the process.


The Senior Brass Band 2016 Marks & Spencer outdoor performances continue next Saturday and Sunday (December 10th and 11th; 11.30pm to 2pm both days) and the following weekend (December 17th and 18th; 11.30pm to 2pm both days) in addition to the many indoor concerts and performances as always throughout the month and many days of bag packing at Morrison’s right up to 4pm on Christmas Eve.


On Wednesday 30th November 12 local primary schools came to Smithills to take part in a 5 a-side football tournament.  The event was run by Staff from the PE dept and 16 Year 10 newly appointed  sports leaders who were leading a big event for the first time. 


After all teams had played two matches each we were left with semi finals between The Oaks and Bolton School and Gaskell and Egerton.  Bolton School scored in extra time to set up a final with Egerton.  The final was won by Egerton.  Well done to all the players from all the schools who came along it was very competitive and very enjoyable to watch. 


We look forward to seeing you all at the next primary event in early 2017 which is sports hall athletics. 


On 30th November 2016 Smithills students were invited to attend a Creative futures event at Bolton University.

On arrival at the university they were welcomed by the creative arts team and attended a series of workshops exploring animation and illustration; lighting for film and television; and photographic portraits.

The students had an amazing experience starting with creating a design and series of pictures that could be seen on a Zoetrobe to create some animation. They learned about the history of animation and began to appreciate how far we have come in using different forms of animation today, made possible by the increasing developments in technology. Students were encouraged to experiment with creating animation in their own time to develop their skills further.


In their second workshop they designed lighting for a scene on the TV screen using green screen, and experimented with lighting techniques to show differences between a moonlit evening scene and a sunlit beach scene. They were also asked to make decisions about which sound effects to use and changed the colours used in the lighting to create different feeling in temperature.


In their third workshops students had an opportunity to use a variety of props to dress up and take photographs. They took photographs using different angles and light, gave direction to those being photographed and created fashion shots using glow sticks to create an explosion of colour in their photographs. It was great to appreciate the range of uses of photography to create such things as music covers, advertisements, screen savers and many other forms. 


Students and staff thoroughly appreciated the experiences provided on the day and listened to the advice given by the lecturers at the university. They began to realise the vast opportunities available to enter a profession within a creative industry which is currently the second largest employment sector second to finance.


Thank you to Ben, Meladie, Mike, Jim & the team, and Danielle for organising the event.


The University of Manchester, School of Mechanical, Aerospace and Civil Engineering

Engineering students from Smithills School were invited to attend an engineering event organised by the University of Manchester. The event was planned to provide students with information about ‘what is engineering and its importance’. It was an opportunity to meet current engineering students and staff and take part in an engineering workshop. It also provided an opportunity for students to explore possible future careers within this sector and learn more about the different types of engineering.


On arrival at the School of Mechanical, Aerospace and Civil Engineering at the University of Manchester students were given a bottle challenge and asked to find the quickest method in which to transfer the water from one bottle to another using a mechanism devised by students at the university. The challenge was to break the water surface tension and create air in the opposite chamber so it created a vortex and the water would transfer quickly. Students were impressive in completing this challenge.


Students learned about the types of projects engineers would be involved including; designing apps; computer games; helping minimise the effects  of earthquakes; designing and making new sports technology for athletes; researching and developing lifesaving equipment; and enabling space exploration and designing satellites and space stations. They also saw the importance of engineering technologies and principles in action to prevent bridges from collapsing and helicopters from disintegrating on take-off!


Students learned about the subjects linked with engineering and the importance of maths, physics and design technology; the procedures involved including practical experiments, testing and modelling as well as the key skills needed to be a successful engineer ; communication, problem solving and presentation skills.


It was a great opportunity to see the university and have support from current engineering students. Thanks to Dr Jose Guillermo Puello, Asad and the engineer students for inviting us to take part in this event.



On Wednesday 23rd November Smithills were visited by ESSA for a formal debating competition. The event, which was held in our school library, involved pupils from both schools arguing for and against the sale of fireworks in the UK. The pupils made some emotive and intelligent arguments which made judging very tough.

For the second debate, which was a deliberate surprise, the pupils worked in mixed school teams to decide whether the UK police should carry guns whilst on patrol. Despite having only fifteen minutes to prepare their arguments the pupils performed strongly, raising many valid 'points of information' along the way.

Congratulations to Nico Price, Blake Lessells, Caitlyn Whittle and Harrison Mort for taking part.


A group of 36 intrepid staff and students returned from a trip of a lifetime to Morocco at the weekend.  The group, all MFL students were led by the redoubtable Mr Hussain (doing his best Lawrence of Arabia impression) and ably assisted by Mrs Yousuf, Miss Bibby and Mr Fagan.

The explorers all flew to the exotic city of Marrakech last week to explore the sights and sounds of the North African country.  The students got involved in many activities including a hair raising trip through the Atlas mountains on one of Top Gear’s world’s best driving routes to the stunning sand dunes of the Sahara desert.  Once there, the students enjoyed an exhilarating session of quad biking and then were led on camels into the heart of desert to spend a night in a Bedouin tent where they ate with and were entertained by the local desert Berbers.  Before bed, the group settled down to watch the sky and were mesmerised by the crystal clear night and the many shooting stars.  Magical!

The group then returned to the city of Marrakech to haggle their way through the amazing souks and markets in order to pick up a bargain or two.  The city itself felt very safe and the thriving busy, noisy metropolis will surely be returned to in the future.  The students particularly enjoyed seeing the many snake charmers and loved the process of haggling.  A particular mention for Nabeel Adam here, who became the group’s chief negotiator who struck up bargain after bargain.


The trip itself was gruelling and we clocked up over 1300kms in 5 days, which is the equivalent of travelling the length of Britain twice.  We had an amazing time and made many memories and each and every student was a brilliant ambassador for Smithills School.  Well done everybody!


On Friday 11 November staff and pupils of Smithills School observed a two minute silence as an act of remembrance. Pupils  involved in the Sea, Army and Navy cadets wore their cadet uniforms. (Charlie Whelan, Jack  Ellison, Scott Wilson, Reece Luke). Principal Mr Cottrill led a short service of reflection around the flag pole and commemorative plaque at the front of the school. During the service, Mr Wormald performed the Last Post and Reveille as the flag was lowered. The flag pole and commemorative plaque were erected in 2014 to mark the centenary of the start of World War I.


Pupils from Smithills school performed at Scarefest, Alton Towers on Sunday 23rd October in association with Dream Maker Events Ltd and Alton Towers. Since September, the pupils have been devising and rehearsing extensively to produce a professional piece of dance suitable for a live audience.  On the day the pupils had an opportunity to perform their pieces of dance and meet some of the scarefest crew.


All pupils thoroughly enjoyed the day that encompassed learning and exploring key aspects of the performing arts industry and the opportunity to explore the theme park.


On Wednesday 2nd November Smithills visited Bolton University's court room with Miss Osten and Miss Oakes in order to form part of a jury in a mock trial event.


The pupils started the evening by examining some unusual laws and were challenged to decide if they were still in force. After learning a range of interesting facts about the English legal system, pupils listened to the sixth form students present their legal cases and they were invited to pass a judgement as to whether the defendant, accused of a grisly assault, was guilty or not guilty.


It was certainly and insightful and inspiring evening, helping pupils learn more about court room procedure and also where studying A level or degree level law can lead. We now look forward to a Spring visit from the sixth form pupils who have kindly offered to help coach our own mock trial team.


On Saturday night, October 29th, our senior musicians, singers and community musicians and singers, conducted as ever by Mr Wormald, attracted another huge audience to the Victoria Hall in a special concert in front of The Mayor of Bolton to raise money to try and help keep the Victoria Hall from closing down.


Our Senior Brass Band, Senior Big Band, Senior Concert Band, Community Big Band and Community Choir all performed as superbly as ever in front of the many hundreds of people who came to support the concert and the evening concluded with a very special, massed performance of ‘The Phantom Of The Opera’ highlights which featured every single instrumentalist and singer who had participated in the main part of the concert.


The finale drew a standing ovation from many members of the audience and another, very special Smithills musical evening came to a close at exactly 9.45pm.


With a Senior Big Band concert in the Victoria Hall on the Friday evening and a full Senior Brass Band concert in Farnworth the night after on the Saturday evening, this mid-October 2016 weekend was already going to be a busy and very special one, but in addition to both concerts, the members of the Senior Brass together with Mr Wormald and a number of hugely supportive parents led by Mrs Dunlevy, gave their entire weekends up to bag pack at the Morrison’s Atlas Mills store on Chorley Old Road on both Saturday and Sunday.


Unfortunately for our Smithills musicians and Mr Wormald, the October bag packing dates at Morrison’s were the only ones available prior to December, when Smithills musicians and Mr Wormald are to return on a number of days to perform carols and bag pack once again, even though the dates were booked many months in advance. The October Senior Big Band and Senior Brass Band concert dates could not be moved either and so a hectic weekend of total commitment and complex logistics was undertaken with great success, both musically and financially.


With transport organised as ever by long-time principal band sponsor Mr Gerry Russell, the whole weekend of loading and unloading percussion, Big Band instruments, mutes, amplifiers, Tubas and music stands passed as ever without a hitch and the bag packing raised over £1,050 on the Saturday and £900 on the Sunday, all of which will go towards the July 2017 USA concert tour.

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