Once Solefield, always Solefield! With happy memories of a very special time in their life, many Solefield Alumni stay in touch long after leaving, often sending their children here to follow in their footsteps.
We have enjoyed many Alumni functions to celebrate our 75th anniversary throughout 2023!
- Friday 1st December 2023, 7-8.30pm - 'Carols around the Tree' at Solefield School - Final 75th Celebration.
- Saturday 30th September 2023, 6pm. Alumni Open Evening at Solefield School - with friends and teachers over a glass of wine and refreshments, wander throughout the school with no agenda, just an open house! **event added due to alumni feedback**
- Saturday 24th June - 75th Diamond Anniversary Ball in a stunning marquee on Solefield School playground with jazz band, welcome drinks, 3-course meal and DJ until late.
- Friday 9th June 2023 - Golf Day for 75th, including dinner
- May-June - Alumni Cricket: we welcomed Alumni to play in our Solefield Slumberers Cricket Team made up of staff and friends to play in the 'Smash' summer cricket season.
- Thursday 27th April 2023 - Alumni Table Tennis Tournament, 6.45pm.
- Wednesday 1st March 2023, 6pm - House Chess Challenge
- Saturday 4th February 2023, 6pm - Alumni launch event.
Join our Solefield School Alumni Facebook group here so that we can keep in touch. Please share with other Alumni, parents, partners and staff you know!
Alumnus Update - Matthew Diebel (SA 1966)
Hello! I am Matthew Diebel. I thought I would update anyone who might be interested to know since I was at Solefield from 1962 until 1966, when I went on to Sevenoaks School at age 11.
After Sevenoaks, I attended the University of East Anglia, where I studied European history, before pursuing a career in journalism. This started with three years at the Sevenoaks Chronicle before I went to work at the Birmingham Post and Mail. After a year or so there, I made a big decision: to go to America, which I had visited before and had come to like....At some stage I'd like to attend a Solefield reunion; meanwhile, I'd be happy to hear from fellow alumni and would be happy to meet up if one or more of them are in New York. Click here to read more about Matthew's fascinating journey through life after Solefield.
Family traditions for our Solefield library
Isaac in Year 6 is carrying on a family tradition of donating a book to the Solefield Library on leaving. Isaac's dad, Tom donated a book when he left in 1993 and Isaac is donating now as he leaves.
After a long discussion with Mrs Rogan, Isaac picked one of his favourites and one we do not have in the library!
Thank you to both dad and son for thinking of our Solefield Library!
Harry Goodwin Alumnus Rowing Success
It has been wonderful to hear about how our past pupils are getting on. Well done to Harry Goodwin, SA 2022, who writes: "I am loving life at King's Rochester and have made some lovely new friends. I am still enjoying my rowing and thought the pupils at Solefield would like to hear how I’m getting on after my year 8 assembly I did when at Solefield. Two weekends ago we traveled to Nottingham to compete in the British Rowing Junior Championship where I rowed in a double and we won a bronze medal. We were really delighted and are now aiming to take Gold when we get to the championship in Scotland in July!
Last weekend I competed at the British Junior Scullery Regatta at Eton. I rowed in a cox quad and we took 4th place, just missing out on 3rd by 1.5 seconds! I will keep you updated with my Rowing adventures."
Alumni Table Tennis Evening
On Thursday evening, the Solefield hall was transformed into an arena of skill, fun and excitement for our inaugural Solefield Alumni Table Tennis Tournament.
It was wonderful to see a mixture of past pupils, parents, and staff (both current and former) participating, whilst enjoying a refreshing beverage during breaks. We played mini tournaments, and a competitive and social league so it was both competitive and friendly and enjoyable for all. Thanks to Mr Henry for running the event.
Brothers visit after 30 years
We were delighted to welcome brothers, Alastair (SA 1986) and Daniel Collins (SA 1983) to Solefield, during their first visit to Sevenoaks in 30 years. The brothers were on a cycling tour around Kent and decided to stop in at Solefield to say hello! They were given a tour by Gap Student, Aria with some of their memories being, "the rivalry with New Beacon" and "playing the piece, 'London's Burning' on recorder in the OId Library." They thoroughly enjoyed seeing their names in the same old library.
Former notable staff and Telegraph Journalist Tim Stanley recounts time at Solefield
Tim Stanley, British historian and journalist for the Telegraph was a gap student at Solefield School during the 1990s. In a recent Daily Telegraph article, Tim writes about his take on the, "sensitivity audit of Roald Dahl books, to make them more palatable, I guess, to snobs, bores and maiden aunts. It is a crime against good taste..."
In his article, dated 19 February 2023, Tim refers to when he worked in a prep school, which of course is our very own Solefield School! He writes, "Once upon a time, I worked in a prep school, and one of my happiest memories was book day. The other teachers read aloud from dusty classics, I chose "Little Red Riding Hood" from the Revolting Rhymes. In this version of the fairy tale, when Red finds her grandma eaten by a wolf, "One eyelid flickers/She whips a pistol from her knickers" - and shoots the doggy dead. The children howled with laughter; an air of mutiny engulfed the classroom. My poor colleagues had to spend the rest of the week trying to persuade the children not to say "knickers" in front of their parents - for the saucy, subversive genius of Dahl was that he wrote what kids think and adults don't want to hear."
The full article can be accessed on the Telegraph website here.
Solefield 75th Alumni Launch - Saturday 4th February
What a wonderful alumni launch reunion we had on Saturday to kick off our 75th anniversary celebrations. We loved welcoming back former pupils, parents, former teachers and staff from throughout the decades, 70s, 80s, 90s and 2000s right through to current!
Alumni enjoyed reminiscing with each other on their time at Solefield School; they searched for their names on the leavers' boards, wandered around each area of the school and enjoyed our stunning whole school art exhibition. Headmistress, Helen McClure welcomed everyone and raised a glass to 'Solefield'!
Be sure to book our next Alumni House Chess Match on Wednesday 1st March, 6pm, with legendary Judo coach, Mr Malcolm Burkett in attendance (1979-current). Click here to book.
First Alumni Association Meeting
It was wonderful to welcome a small group of Alumni to our inaugural 'Solefield Alumni Association' Meeting. We welcomed Tom Mitchell (Solefield Alumnus - SA 1988), former SPA Chair and parent, Marina Press (SA 2014) and Julian Spurling (SA 1971). A lot of great ideas were discussed and strategies for finding our former pupils, including providing a student ticket at our events. Secure your place at our events and share the links with any other Solefield alumni.
1971 Alumni writes as a returning Gap Student
It was fascinating to discover the writings of one of our alumni, Julian Spurling (SA 1971), written in 1981, when he returned to Solefield as one of our Gap Year Students. Here is the excerpt from a school magazine (dated July 1981).
Can you help us build our alumni?
We are looking for people within our alumni or current network (former pupils, current or former parents, former staff) to help with doing some research for our alumni network, finding information, planning functions and building our database. If this sound like you, we would love to hear from you! Please contact Mrs Henry (Marketing and Alumni) [email protected]
You can also click here to join our alumni mailing list
Founded in 1948, Solefield School turns 75 in 2023. To read more about our Solefield History, please visit our dedicated Solefield History page here.
For further information, please email us at [email protected] or phone 01732 452 142.
Solefield School Bursary & Development Fund
Transformational bursaries have a lifelong impact on students and their families. We are offering the opportunity to contribute to our bursary and development fund to have more children enjoy a Solefield School education and continue to develop the school. Please click here if you felt you wanted to donate.
Gifts in Will
A gift in your will to us is your opportunity to support future generations of Solefield pupils, helping to make a Solefield education available to as many children as possible.
Thank you for considering remembering Solefield in your will. We appreciate that this is a very personal decision, and we are here to help you with any questions you may have so that you can feel confident in your choice.
Supporters choose to remember Solefield for many reasons, whether to express gratitude for the education they received, help future generations to access a Solefield education or to honour a loved one. Whatever your reason, your gift will enable Solefield to continue shaping lives for the better.
We recommend that you make contact with us so that we can work with you to make your desired impact.
If you would like to learn more about remembering Solefield in your will, you can contact Jacqueline Crowley, Finance Manager or phone 01732 452 142.