The Solefield Diploma - ‘Sharp’ Skills for Life

Mrs McClure, Headmistress

25th June 2021

The World Economic Forum claims that the top ten skills employees will need in 2020 are cognitive flexibility, negotiation, service-orientation, judgement and decision-making, emotional intelligence, coordinating with others, people management, creativity, critical thinking and complex problem-solving. 

At Solefield, we ensure that all pupils develop both soft and 'sharp' skills. We prepare pupils for their future lives, not just to pass exams. Solefield pupils learn to collaborate, listen, take turns and speak in public from a very young age. They are encouraged to think critically and question. Thinking skills and PPE lessons (Philosophy, Politics and Ethics) run throughout our curriculum for children as young as 7. Our Scholarship Path Programme and excellent debating provision also ensure that children hone their ability to listen, reason, enquire and deduce. 

All our pupils in Year 7 & 8 spend two years completing our Solefield School Diploma. Here is a list of the skills our boys need to show by the time they leave us. These must be evidenced by the pupils and signed off by teachers. 

  • Independent learning 
  • Leadership (meeting, assembly, teaching a lesson) 
  • Creativity through Music, Art, Drama, ICT, writing an article for the Acorn or similar 
  • Social responsibility (ie charity work, commitments outside of school) 
  • Collaboration 
  • Self-awareness (reflection, target-setting) 
  • Life skills (ie cookery, First Aid) 
  • Awareness of careers and the world of work 
  • International understanding 
  • Academic excellence (progress or achievement) - evidenced in at least 5 pieces 

Upon completion of this, boys are rewarded with their Diploma and an inscribed book. But much more than this, they leave us with a wide array of skills for life. The term ‘soft skills’ does not do these skills justice. They are ‘sharp skills’; critical thinking, self-confidence, teamwork and communication skills that are instilled in all our boys and crucial to their success ahead. 

Mrs Helen McClure