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What says..

We were shown a beautiful stained glass window, designed by some of the girls, which has pride of place and of which they are justifiably proud. Pupils are introduced early on to the 16 habits of mind. These habits, such as finding humour, striving for accuracy and thinking flexibly, are designed to enable the girls think intelligently in all aspects of their lives. The habits are depicted by a gorgeously painted, bright and colourful mural along the main corridor and then constantly reinforced by teachers in lessons, assemblies and classroom displays. 'These habits of mind are terrific,' said one dad...

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What the school says...

The Junior School delivers an education which combines the best of tradition and innovation. There is a friendly and supportive atmosphere within school and this underpins much of the pupils' successes in the fields of academic study, sport and music. Girls are offered a wide range of opportunities and outstanding facilities in which they can realise their full potential.

Underlying everything that the school does is a set of simple but far-reaching values: an understanding and respect for others, a sense of responsibility, the importance of self-belief and a realisation that we all depend on each other.
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What the parents say...

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What The Good Schools Guide says

Headteacher

Since January 2016, Mrs Carol Laverick BSc PGCE, previously headteacher of Westholme Junior School. Local girl (educated Turton High School, followed by maths degree at Edinburgh). First teaching job was as class teacher at St Nicholas’ School, Fleet, Hampshire before moving to Bolton School (Girls’ Division) initially in similar role and, in final two years, as second mistress of the Junior School, before moving to Westholme in September 1999.

Entrance

Two-form entry with a maximum of 25 in a class. Most children come from Beech House, Bolton Schools Infant Department, and entry is automatic. External candidates take formal tests in English, maths, verbal and non-verbal reasoning in the January of the year of entry. However, mid-stream enquiries are catered for when places arise.

Exit

Almost everyone (99 per cent) to Bolton School Girls' Division, with a few leaving for local state secondaries or other independent schools. All girls must sit the entrance test and those unlikely to make it are informed in year 5 with guidance and support offered to the girl and her family.

Our view

Housed in a modern building where everything the girls could possibly want or need has been catered for (including an iPad for each pupil from 7 to 18). The school boasts its own music rooms, science labs, library, dining hall, ICT suite, sensory garden, art room, netball courts and a playground with amphitheatre seating.

A member of staff coordinates SEN provision and support is given where required within the classroom, though the school can only cope with limited special needs. Lift access to all floors.

The teaching of maths and English is traditional and rigorous, but a more creative approach is taken with other subjects. Languages are important here. French is taught right the way through the school, Spanish to years 3, 4 and 5 and Latin to year 6. There are also Italian and German language extracurricular clubs, and the school holds regular international days where the girls are taken off timetable to learn about the cultures of other countries.

Art is popular with pupils. We were shown a beautiful stained glass window, designed by some of the girls, which has pride of place and of which they are justifiably proud. All children partake in the varied sporting programme which includes netball, athletics, lacrosse and swimming in the senior school's 25m pool, with tag rugby and badminton among the extracurricular activities offered.

Pupils are introduced early on to the 16 habits of mind. These habits, such as finding humour, striving for accuracy and thinking flexibly, are designed to enable the girls think intelligently in all aspects of their lives. The habits are depicted by a gorgeously painted, bright and colourful mural along the main corridor and then constantly reinforced by teachers in lessons, assemblies and classroom displays. 'These habits of mind are terrific,' said one dad. 'My daughter applies them to everything, even the things she does out of school like ballet'.

Children are well-mannered and purposeful and seemed more than happy to talk to visitors. Year 6 girls excitedly showed us the totem poles they had drawn in art, and a group of year 3 girls eagerly told us how much they loved the new summer dresses the school has introduced.

A mix of modern and traditional, Hesketh House is an academically successful environment where many mothers commented they wished they had gone themselves.

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