“Solefield really understood our son and what made him tick. His fantastic academic results speak for themselves.” Parent
At Solefield, staff plan individualised programmes of work for every pupil, extending and developing each as appropriate. Smaller class sizes allow teachers to address the unique needs and learning style of each individual child. Pupils take part in learning activities that may not be possible with larger classes and are supported in these by specialist teachers, from as young as 4. Perhaps, most importantly, we track progress and attainment for each pupil to ensure that he is achieving his very best.
Our pupils learn to work in pairs, groups and individually and have the peace and space to concentrate. This is important not just for their academic progress but also for their mental wellbeing. Our average teaching group size is between 10 and 12. Our overall pupil to adult ratio is approximately 1:5. This is a key factor in our academic and pastoral success.
Staff work hard at implementing interesting, open-ended questions and flipped classrooms. In addition to French, boys have a chance to study Latin, Italian, Spanish and Greek.
All boys are included in many of our thinking skills and more able strategies such as our Monthly Mind Gyms and Take Away Menu. There are structured extension activities in class and additional extension cards/ boards in each classroom. We have whole school additional projects, chosen by the boys, every term, 40+ clubs (including languages, Music, Drama, Art, Chess, Philosophy, General Knowledge, Latin and PPE) and a You News board. Every year, the whole school enjoys a specially themed Enrichment Week, and bilingual days.
There are a variety of workshops, for example, solar power cars, K’nex Challenge and Thinking Allowed talks (which are aimed at both pupils and parents in Years 7 and 8), parliamentary elections and our Scholarship Path Programme classes specifically for Years 7 and 8.
Supplementing the boys’ class-based learning is a broader programme of enrichment designed to nurture and stimulate their developing intellect. As well as the ambitious and diverse range of trips and visits undertaken by every year group, our assembly programme attracts inspiring visitors from all walks of life. Recent talks have included an adventurer and climber of Mount Everest, a novelist, a master in Tae Kwando and the world’s fastest blind man, Steve Cunningham. Guests spend a great deal of time answering questions from the boys. Each of our Year 8 boys is also encouraged to deliver an assembly on a subject of his choice and these are highly popular amongst the younger boys as well as informative. Topics have included speed, dinosaurs, space and evolution.
Boys in all year groups are given the chance to attend subject-based academic clubs (e.g. Italian, extra classes for talented Mathematicians, Latin, Spanish, German, Debating, LAMDA and General Knowledge, amongst others). There are annual inter-house competitions in Spelling, Poetry Recital (Years 2 and upwards), General Knowledge and Debating. Many of these teams take part in a range of competitions outside school.
In recent years, groups from Solefield won numerous national academic competitions such as local debating trophies, the K’nex Challenge (DT and Engineering), 3 boys reached the top 3% of applicants in the BBC 500 Word Short Story Competition and a team of Year 4 boys won the Hazelwood Maths Challenge. A team of Year 4 and 5 pupils won the Hillview Language Challenge for French.
Boys from Year 6 and upwards study Politics, Philosophy and Ethics once a week, allowing for further intellectual stimulation as well as nurturing an interest in the world around them. This is complemented with debating to foster their oratory skills. Some boys opt to study Latin as part of the curriculum in Years 7 whilst others enjoy Supported Study Sessions to deepen their understanding of CE subjects.
We seek to enrich the boys educational experience on an almost daily basis. Whether it is enjoying a Sikh lunch in our own Langar, reading a book to younger pupils written just for them or coming to school dressed as an Egyptian or endangered animal, learning at Solefield is exciting and adventurous. We have regular ‘Enrichment Weeks’ where the whole school focusses on a particular theme.
Boys from Year 5 upwards go on residential trips as we believe that school should help boys to develop socially as well as academically and a great deal of our learning happens outside of the classroom. Our Year 8 Post-Exam Programme provides boys with the opportunity to enjoy a variety of exciting activities after their Common Entrance exams conclude. They have the opportunity to visit a recording studio, act as teaching assistants, make pizzas from scratch, a Solefield Bake Off and set up their own businesses and raise money for charity and a much-anticipated action-packed residential trip.