Historacle, a school magazine written and edited by students from Bolton School Boys’ Division, has won the Historical Association’s top prize for Best School History Magazine.
Head of History Miss Burgess said: “The Historacle is now in its tenth year and will be publishing its 21st edition in the Spring. We first entered it into the Historical Association Young Historian competition in 2009 and since then it has won the award for Best School History magazine seven times. When they join the Sixth Form, as part of an informal contract with the History Department all of our History students agree to write at least one article for the magazine during their A level studies; in practice, many of the boys choose to write more than one. They are encouraged to write about any aspect of history at all in which they are interested and to explore historical topics beyond their experience of the subject of school. This has led to a fascinating range of topics over the years. Each edition has a core theme on which boys can focus their articles if they choose. We try to decide on themes that are topical and relevant: First World War commemorations, the centenary of the Russian Revolution and the enfranchisement of women have generated some very interesting articles. There are two editions a year and each magazine is edited by a team of Year 12 boys, usually one from each A level set. Editors collect in the articles, proof read them, write the editorial, design the cover and create additional features such as quizzes. Producing the Historacle gives the boys valuable additional experience in research and formal writing and allows them opportunities for creativity beyond the curriculum. The magazine has now become a firm feature of the A Level History experience at Bolton School and every year the boys are justly proud of it.”
Across the year groups and academic disciplines, boys produce a wide range of publications. The termly Bolt carries an eclectic range of articles of interest to boys including academic, topical and school news. The Newtonian features scientific writing from Sixth Form students and boys’ work regularly appears in the Young Scientists Journal. Talking about how pupils are encouraged to write, English Teacher Ms Lord said: "We are keen to support the boys' interests and find written modes to match. As an example, Able, Gifted and Talented writers drew together an edition of CreativesNow with a political focus including dystopian fiction, poetry reflecting on current world leaders and articles on expressive freedoms. Boys in Lower School, via our Arts Award programme, are carrying out independent projects focused on diverse written forms including performance poetry, graphic novels and music journalism." A Y8 class recently produced an anthology focusing on exile. The narratives explored exile in its many forms and were inspired by the class book 'The Book Thief' by Markus Zukak.
“It is good for boys to write and here they are doing so across many subjects. It stimulates their wider academic grasp of a subject and their creative powers,” said Headmaster Philip Britton “as well as helps them finesse their research, writing and persuasive skills.”