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News > School News > Highlights of Academic Year 2022-2023

Highlights of Academic Year 2022-2023

What a phenomenal year! Thank you to our brilliant pupils and students, teachers and support staff, volunteers, supporters and community for making 2022-23 a very special year. Please see just a few of our highlights below.

Primary Division and The Courthouse opening ceremonies

We were delighted to hold the official opening ceremonies for our vibrant new co-educational Primary Division and The Courthouse, a new Academic Centre for Sixth Form.

Whole School and Sixth Form Open Events

It was a pleasure to welcome visitors to school in record numbers and to meet the next generation of Bury Grammar pupils and parents.

School Trips

There have been so many school trips this year and we’d like to thank pupils for their exemplary behaviour, parents for their support and our teachers and support teams for making these trips so successful. Pupils have participated in the Norway expedition, Battlefields Tour in Belgium, Sports Tour in Spain, Ski Trip to the USA, the many residentials, zoo and museum trips to name a few and a Kindergarten trip to Pizza Express! And finally, the World Challenge Morocco trip which departs on Friday morning! More information on our trips can be found here: School Trips - Bury Grammar School.

We look forward to the many more trips and opportunities planned for 2023-2024.

Bury-Cologne German Exchange

Bury Grammar School is privileged to have one of the longest-standing pupil exchange programmes in the UK, the Bury-Cologne German Exchange.

After a three-year break, Bury Grammar School was delighted to host ten German pupils and two of their English teachers from the Deutzer Gymnasium Köln in the Autumn term. German pupils visited ten BGS families and two staff for a busy six-day experience. This was the 67th year of our Exchange and we are proud to be involved in celebrating and nurturing this historic partnership.

We look forward to taking part in the school partnership, again, next year.

School Productions

It was fantastic to see a return to normality for the school production this year and what a great choice of Matilda Jr. to welcome us back. The get-up-and-go attitude from pupils and students paid off making it thoroughly enjoyable for everyone involved and of course for the audience. The cast and crew certainly put on a dazzling performance!

We also enjoyed the Primary Division’s production of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang – a superb performance by all! We were so proud of our Junior pupils.

We all look forward to the next school production in December.

A Growing School

With record numbers of pupils applying for September 2023, teachers, Pupil Ambassadors and Student Prefects welcomed prospective families into school for the Year 7 Entrance Examination and interviews – a very exciting day for all involved in the Admissions process!

We are most excited to welcome our new Year 7 cohort into school for their Induction Day on 4th September 2023!

Founders’ Day 2023

On Founders’ Day Bury Grammar School celebrates the re-founding of our School and give thanks to our benefactors and donors. Founders’ Day has many long-standing traditions dating back many generations to 1730. This year, the School celebrated 453 years of history. The cadets who paraded in their ceremonial blues uniform playing in the Corps of Drums were outstanding as they led the whole school from Tenterden Street to the Bury Parish Church. However, Founders’ Day is not just about the Friday which sees the parade and services; there is, in fact, a whole week of events.

Five Years. One School.

After centuries of being separate schools, Bury Grammar School officially became one school in May 2018. This year, we celebrated five years of Bury Grammar School as one school and reflected on how BGS has progressed and developed since the joining of all seven schools!

There are in effect now five small schools within one big School at BGS, which means we know every child well. At the same time, each child benefits from the fact that we have so many expert teachers on site, with many of them teaching in more than one area of the School.

We look forward to celebrating many more years of development as one school!

BGS receives the IQM (Inclusive School Award)

We were incredibly proud to share the news that Bury Grammar School received the IQM Inclusive School Award and to have been recommended as a Centre of Excellence!

The Inclusion Quality Mark Award provides UK schools with a nationally recognised validation of their inclusive practice and ongoing commitment to developing educational inclusion. The IQM team visited Bury Grammar School to evaluate and measure how we are performing; helping us to learn and grow. The report read “Pupil behaviour and attitudes are excellent throughout the school day. Pupils are polite, welcoming and accepting of others. The meeting with pupils was the highlight of the assessment process. They are a real credit to the School and their parents and carers.”

This award, alongside our recent LGBTQ Gold Standard Centre for Inclusion in Education award, make us enormously proud and validates the views and values within our school community.

Charity and Fundraising

Bury Grammar pupils and staff are committed to fundraising and volunteering to support the local and wider community. This year, BGS has raised funds through a number of school events for Bury Hospice, Porch Boxes, Cyclists Fighting Cancer, Young Lives vs Cancer, The World Wildlife Fund (WWF) and Sal’s Shoes.

Our Reverse Advent Collection raised donations for Porch Boxes, a local food bank and our Christmas bike collection was a chance for families to donate outgrown and unused bikes of all shapes, makes and sizes to the charity Cyclists Fighting Cancer.

At the end of the academic year, we are now overwhelmed by the amazing donation of shoes for our annual Sal's Shoes appeal. All shoes collected will be dropped off at the Emmaus Centre in Salford and will then move through the Sal's Shoes collection system to support children in education around the world.  

The Senior Tenner Challenge Market was once again a great success. The atmosphere in the hall was a joy to be part of. It was fabulous to see our enterprising pupils from all year groups selling their products and making money from their £10 initial investment. The final total from both the market and the total charitable giving for this year will be announced in September!

Super Curriculum

We have watched many of our pupils and students from Years 7 to 13 become inspired by the range of activities and lectures available in each subject as part of our Super Curriculum. We were thrilled to see so many self-motivated pupils taking part in extra-curricular activities in their favourite subjects and the number of students that attended lectures. This year, we have seen lectures delivered by our Geography, Computing, Music, Physics, English, MFL and Sports departments, along with Alumni careers talks from experts in fields including Finance, Management, Marketing, Legal and Media. Education at Bury Grammar School is not limited to what is learned in the classroom and there is something for everyone, no matter what their interests are in our Super Curriculum Programme.

Sporting successes

Sport at Bury Grammar School embodies the core aims of participation, performance, enjoyment, health and partnerships. This year, the School has seen success through our Football, Netball, Basketball, Cricket, Rugby and Hockey teams to name a few!

Alumni

The BGS alumni community are connected and engaged in the life of the School. We are in touch with thousands of alumni all over the world and remain supportive through their life achievements. This year, we have celebrated Old Boys’ and Old Girls’ dinners, Katie Bishop in Year 13 being awarded the Dorothy Lester Travel Scholarship and lots of personal achievements, including Old Girl Gemma Paolucci (Class of 1999) being awarded an MBE in Birthday Honours for services to British Foreign Policy and British Nationals Overseas.

Enrichment

Bury Grammar School offers outstanding personal development through our enrichment programme. This year, our Senior School had 162 different activities available to pupils. It would take a pupil 32 weeks and 2 days to do them all! This year, we have celebrated pupil success with the Year 12 and 13 completions of the Duke of Edinburgh Gold Award, the CCF RAF Flying camp and Katie Bishop’s (Year 13) recent success of receiving the highest accolade from the Royal Air Force Air Cadets. Katie is the Sir John Thomson Memorial Sword winner, this honour is awarded to the top CCF(RAF) cadet in the country, chosen from approximately 10,000 cadets nationwide.

We are delighted that last weekend 25 Year 12 students completed their Gold Duke of Edinburgh's Award Assessed Expedition in the Yorkshire Dales National Park.

In four expedition groups, students hiked through the Yorkshire Dales taking in the landmarks of Ingleborough and Whernside (two of the three peaks in the Yorkshire three peaks challenge) and the beautiful area around Malham cove, all the time carrying full expedition rucksacks with tents, sleeping bags, stoves and food to see them through four consecutive days of hiking.  This is a culmination of training and preparation that has been taking place throughout the spring and summer terms.

Even at the toughest times, with reduced sleep, aching shoulders and a few blisters, they were always a delight and were a credit to themselves, their families and the School.

Well done and congratulations to all our participants.  They now move on to completing the other sections of the award to complete their Gold journey – best of luck!

Competitions

Bury Grammar pupils participate in a range of competitions which take place across many subject areas. Sahar in Year 8 secured a place in the National Final of the Translation Bee and Alyssa in the Year 8 finished 3rd place in the National Final of the French Spelling Bee which was held at Cambridge University. Our Primary Division have participated in various sports, choral and quiz competitions as part of the Association of Junior Independent Schools (AJIS) which have been very successful, and the School’s Robot Team recently participated in the Lego League Robotics National Final after developing a prototype for a device to generate electricity from rainfall using the piezoelectric effect. Fantastic achievements from all!

The Bury Grammar School Quiz Team took part in the National Finals of the annual 'Schools Challenge' general knowledge quiz competition, held at the Hall School in Belsize Park, London. 'Schools Challenge' is the leading inter-school quiz competition in the country and has been running since 1977.

Teams of four, consisting of two 'seniors' and two 'juniors' take on their opponents in half-hour games with rules similar to those of TV's 'University Challenge'.  Reaching the Finals via the earlier knock out stages is a considerable feat in itself; we have only managed to do so on three previous occasions in the last 30 years, the most recent being 2010.

New Prefect Announcement

It was with great pride that we announced the new Bury Grammar School’s Student Leadership Team for the forthcoming academic year 2023 to 2024. Our Sixth Form Prefect team are role models for the entire school and exemplify the Bury Grammar School Aims of Scholarship, Character, Enrichment and Partnership. Congratulations to our School Captains, Amélie and Jake, who will be supported by Martha and Tom as Vice Captains. We wish all our Year 12s a wonderful and successful year ahead as they take on the mantel of being the most senior pupils at Bury Grammar School.

Examinations

Fantastic academic work and progress has continued this year. Our pupils were truly fabulous and still as determined with their exams as ever. Well done on completion of formal examinations and internal assessments!

A fond farewell from BGS

This summer, we bid a fond farewell to three of our long-serving teachers as they take on their next challenge: retirement!

History teacher Mr Mark Hone, who has been with the School for 33 years, many of those years spent as Head of History and Politics.  In the 33 years,  Mr Hone has made valuable contributions to the Bury Grammar School community and has enriched the lives of our pupils. Over the years he led the School’s Challenge Quiz Team, this year to the final in London. He has expertly organised and led the annual Battlefields Tour, the first of which took place in 1994, making it one of the longest running school trips of its kind in the world. His research into the 98 Old Boys who were killed in both world wars, has ensured that the stories of the ‘Fallen Swans’ will never be forgotten. We will certainly miss his seemingly limitless knowledge on a vast array of subjects, ‘if Mr Hone doesn’t know, it is probably not worth knowing’, is certainly a phrase often heard around the corridors of Bury Grammar School. Thank you, Mr Hone, we will miss you!

Mr Robert Rylance, has been at BGS for 34 years, since 1989 in various roles, including Services Manager and most recently CCF Contingent Commander. We will certainly miss his impressive, booming voice at the Founders’ Day parade in future years! We would like to thank Bob for all he has done for the CCF and Bury Grammar School as a whole.

Mrs Maggie Eady, Teacher of PE, has been at BGS for 23 years and, in more recent years, has become a valued and respected Head of Year, rotating between Year 9 and 10. Reilly (Year 12), presented Mrs Eady with a farewell message in the end-of-year assembly. Reilly said

“I can honestly stand here today and say that Mrs Eady has been much more than a PE teacher here at Bury Grammar School. She has been a mentor and guiding light for many pupils over her 23 years’ service at the school. As she embarks on her next exciting chapter, it is only fitting to express our gratitude and appreciation for the incredible impact that she has had on the school, for athletes and pupils past and present, and her utter devotion to all things netball over the years… Your enthusiasm, and unwavering belief in all our potential has left an incredible mark on all of us- so on behalf of all the pupils, we thank you and we wish you all the best for the future.”

Mrs Dawn Evans, Teacher of Religious Studies and History, has been at BGS for 5 years and retires this year. When asked what her fondest memories of Bury Grammar School were, Mrs Evans said

“I have enjoyed five fabulous years at the School, and every day something has happened that I will remember fondly. I did particularly love my first end of term Christmas House Music morning though. I had never experienced anything like it and the fun the staff and pupils had was tremendous and the talent and joy on display was spectacular. An everyday memory I will cherish though is that of the pupils who wave and say hello to me as they walk past the window of my classroom. It has been lovely exchanging hellos with pupils from the whole school, including those I have never taught. I have been so happy at here and whilst I am happy to be retiring, I shall miss the staff and pupils of BGS very much.”

Final thoughts…

The stars of our academic year have, of course, been the Bury Grammar pupils! Upbeat, resilient, aspirational, good company and well-balanced young people: thank you for being positive and making 2022-23 such a great year overall.

Your generation has so much potential, and we are right behind you! Thank you for a great year, everyone!

Sanctas clavis fores aperit


 

 

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