arts & culture initiatives
- BGS ArtsFest
- BGS ArtsMark
- BGS Stone of Remembrance
- Culture in Quarantine
- D-Day 75 Boot Print
- Design Technology PPE Visors
- Exploded Earth
- Fallen Swans
- Geometric Abstraction - Maths and Art
- Heads Up - Biology and Art
- Key Memories
- Last Letters
- Manchester Bees
- Mental Health through Art - MFL and Art
- Posting Positivity
- R21 - Remembrance Day
- 'Thanks for the Laughs' - Victoria Wood
- There But Not There
- This Kid Can
- Wall of Telegrams
- When the World Stood Still
On Thursday 24th June, Bury Grammar School was delighted to welcome guests and supporters into the Rose Garden for a socially distanced event entitled Preserve. Record. Inspire.
The event celebrated several commemorative activities that we were unable to complete in 2020 as part of our 450th Anniversary, and which will become part of the historical archive of the School.
Pupils from the Infants and Kindergarten created two time capsules which they buried under the new Memorial Cherry Tree. These were filled with documents, pictures, and memorabilia from School today.
The pupils from both the Boys’ and the Girls‘ Junior Schools also sang beautifully.
Miss Kiri Gore, BGS Director of Arts and Culture, who created the Reflect art installation, spoke about the 1300+ mirrored markers all containing moments of reflection from the whole BGS community. Headmaster Mr Devin Cassidy spoke poignantly about the past BGS pupils who had given the ultimate sacrifice in conflict, and officially opened the new BGS Stone of Remembrance which is now installed, to be preserved in our Rose Garden.
The Corps of Drums also played, and the Honour Guard presented arms, followed by a wreath-laying by the Headmaster and Major David Newbury, BGS Contingent Commander. The Last Post sounded and a minute’s silence held.
Mr Devin Cassidy said:
'It was a great honour to formally open the Stone of Remembrance on behalf of the School. It is a fitting, dignified and permanent tribute to our fallen swans who paid the ultimate sacrifice. The Stone demonstrates our commitment and the generations that come after us, to never forget.
We will remember them.'
An enjoyable lunch was followed by a touching farewell speech on behalf of the School by Bursar, Mrs Jane Stevens, who thanked outgoing Head of Development Mrs Alison Holland for her hard work in fundraising over £4 million for bursaries and capital projects.
It was a hugely enjoyable day, and it was delightful to welcome guests back to a ‘live’ event at School. The event was repeated in the afternoon with a further set of guests, to comply with Government regulations.
Principal, Mrs Jo Anderson, remarked,
‘I would like to thank everyone involved for a number of captivating projects and a moving day of celebration which reflect the history, dignity, talent and unique nature of our School. Bringing the community together through shared experiences, memories and a collective sense of gratitude meant a lot, I know, to everyone who took part. We are immensely grateful to all our BGS pupils, staff, parents, and friends who supported ‘Preserve – Record – Inspire.’
The first of many joint cross-curricular projects, the Biology and Art Departments worked alongside ceramist Phillip Garrett in designing and learning the facial features within the human head. All these sculptures have a full skeletal detail underneath the layers of clay, which are anatomically correct.
At BGS we strongly believed that art brings people together, and certainly at our school, it unites us as a family of schools.
There has never been a more poignant time where we should take stock of what we are truly grateful for in life. These past 12 months of the global pandemic has made every single one of us realise what is most important to us.
This March 2021, we are launching the Whole-School initiative titled Reflect and this project lends a shared experience to all pupils and staff at Bury Grammar School. Every member of our community will receive a wooden mirrored marker which was designed and produced in-house. We are asking pupils and staff to write their reflections of gratitude onto the wooden marker, which will then be displayed amongst the 450 daffodils which were planted in the Autumn.
Imagine the scene when everything is in full bloom and hundreds of personal reflections will be displayed humbly in front of the BGS Stone of Remembrance which is to commemorate all lives lost at war from within our School community.
We invite you stop for a moment, watch our video and REFLECT.
What are you grateful for?
Ensuring a positive and inclusive experience.
Develop belonging and ownership.
In March 2020, normal day-to-day life as we knew it at Bury Grammar School, suddenly stopped as the pandemic took hold. We are currently living through history, and in the future when we look back, we will be incredibly proud of ourselves for working together and staying strong. Look how much we have achieved as a nation, and of course, as a school.
I've often wondered, in the future when we look back at reports and photographs of this time when it is commonplace to see staggered queues at supermarkets, one way systems in shops and hand sanitisers strategically placed for all to use - that we are living through history. When we see photographs of children and adults wearing gasmasks in boxes slung around their shoulders, of them sitting in air raid shelters waiting out an attack – we know these are from WWII. They’re recognisable. Captured imagery is powerful. In ten, fifteen or even twenty years’ time will we look back at the photographs in the media of people in face masks and instantly know that they were taken during the COVID-19 pandemic?
How would you capture lockdown? How would you depict the world we are currently living in? Can you portray this in a still image? So much has happened over the last 10 months and 21 days… Queen Elizabeth II addressed the entire nation at 8:00 PM on Sunday the 5th of April, shortly after this the Prime Minister was admitted to hospital himself with COVID-19 and then moved to ICU. Limited numbers of people were allowed inside supermarkets, therefore queuing outside at two metres apart. Once inside there was tape on the floor signalling a one way system and other factors to help distance shoppers from each other. Petrol prices dropped to £1.03 per litre because no one was travelling, entire sports seasons were cancelled. No Wimbledon, no end of the football Premiership, no boat race, no London Marathon and a virtual Grand National was held on the 4th of April 2020. The Olympics were postponed, concerts and festivals all cancelled. People became creative and singers played live music on their driveways and on their balconies for all to hear. Communities came together and supported one another.
We launched our own photography exhibition and competition, titled When The World Stood Still. This was open to the entire community of BGS; pupils, families and staff, to capture moments of lockdown.
Thank you for all our entries which are now on show in our school art gallery, The Gallery@BGS, and congratulations to our winners:
- Annabel (Y8) for A Silent School
- Ms Carey for 'the beauty of a snowflake'
- Ellis (Y8) for 'Leisurely Days' and 'I Won't Let Go'
- Ben Y9 for 'Untitled'
- Amelia Y4 for 'Still Nature is Beautiful'
- Sophia (Y1) for 'No Entry' and 'Out with the Old...'
When The World Stood Still – the culmination of a 20 month art project opens with a show-stopping Private View and a place in Bury’s Town of Culture Open Day.
Back in May 2020, you may remember we launched a photography competition entitled When The World Stood Still where we asked our School community to submit photographs of their visual interpretations of Lockdown. This very moving and emotional exhibition is now installed in the gallery@bgs and was officially opened for a private viewing on Thursday 18th November with a subsequent public viewing as part of Bury’s Town of Culture Open Day.
With over 160 entries ranging from deserted shopping centres, empty beaches and discarded face masks to Zoom screens, walks with family and snapshots of the day-to-day realities of home learning, this was clearly a subject which resonated deeply.
Director of Arts and Culture, Kiri Gore, says
" It has been an absolute honour and pleasure to curate this exhibition. It’s events like these that unite people together for moments of reflection, promoting empathy and understanding.”
Given such a high standard of work, the unenviable task of judging fell to Sculptor and Photographer Chloe Harrison and Textile Artist and teacher Alison Harle. The photographs were judged in a digital format focussing on the project brief, composition and narrative being told.
We are delighted to announce that the winner of the competition is Annabel Bailey in Year 8 for their outstanding composition and attention to detail in terms of the project brief. Highly commended entries also go to Ellis (Senior Boys), Leanne and Sophia (Infants), Benjamin (Senior Boys) and Miss Carey (BGS Staff).
Annabel tells us about her winning entry in a little more detail:
“Through Lockdown my mum was still working as a Keyworker so it was only me, my sister and my dad at home each day. We would always try to eat lunch together and at the end of the day sit down and watch the TV for daily updates. When this photo competition was announced, I asked my dad if he could take me down to School because I’d had an idea for how I wanted my photo to look. I told him where to stand and how to take my photo but despite this he still managed to take the wrong shot! We decided that the best approach was to take lots of pictures and we would pick out our top three. We ended up having five potential images which we then edited, cropped and experimented on with filters. Once we added the black and white filter this one photo stood out to us. Before sending it in we made sure we liked its focal point, the detail and the overall look.
When I walked into the School’s gallery on Saturday I was so surprised to see my photo so large and with so much detail. My family were equally shocked – I only took this photo on my mobile phone and the fact that the detail was still there even after it was blown up was incredible.”
Every photograph included in the exhibition will be available in a hard-back book. Please follow our social media for further publication details.