|Solefield Road, TN13 1PH, UK Sevenoaks|
+44 (0)1732 452142
It is my privilege to welcome you to Solefield School where small really is beautiful. We unashamedly focus on the individual, trying to get the most out of each and every boy, no matter what their talents or how deeply hidden! Our warm, cosy atmosphere is our hallmark as well as our pride and joy.
We place a great emphasis on the "three R's" for younger pupils, moving to a broader curriculum for those in the Upper School. Our record at 11+ and Common Entrance is excellent. All this is done within a spirit of adventure by outstanding staff who are constantly looking to give your son the opportunity to shine. Boys leave us confident, self reliant and with a respect for others.
My wife, Rosalind, and our two sons, Max and Alfie, are integral parts of this family school and we would be delighted to have the opportunity to show you around. If you wish to find out more, then please contact us or call for a full prospectus or to make an appointment for a visit.
I would also like to take this opportunity to welcome you to our new website. As you will see, there are still areas of the site which are under development and we will be regularly updating the site adding new articles and photos, however, whether you are a current parent, prospective parent, pupil or old boy, I hope you will find this site helpful and informative.
Headmaster, Dougal Philps
Solefield, founded in 1948, is situated in Solefields Road on the south side of Sevenoaks. It is a day-preparatory school for around 180 boys aged 4 to 13 years. The school is divided into two departments: a Junior Department for boys aged 4 to 7+ and the Senior Department for boys aged 8 to 13+. It has a caring, friendly atmosphere which can best be appreciated by actually visiting the school.
The ethos of the school is summarised in the Governors' Mission Statement which reads as follows:
Solefield seeks to provide the best possible all round education for boys aged 4-13. It promotes and expects high standards in every area of school life and desires the happiness and success of every child. Our aims are to instil an enthusiasm for life, a sense of belonging to the school community and a joy in learning.
We strive, through a balanced education, to produce well rounded, self-diciplined, confident boys who enjoy learning and have a desire to do their best. We aim to achieve this academically, physically and socially through a safe, friendly, structured yet flexible environment created by encouragement, motivation and by the setting of realistic, yet challenging goals.
Solefield is, and will remain, a small school and this enables us to focus on the individual child. As a school, we care greatly about our pupils and place a great store on pupils caring and being considerate towards each other.
Physically, the main building, a large town house, contains the library, several classrooms, staff room, kitchens and the school administrative offices. Over the years there have been important additions to the facilities providing a Science and Art Block, School Hall (with indoor cricket net), Dining Room and Junior Classrooms. A new Music School was completed in 2001. More recently a new Computer Room networked to additional machines in most classrooms has been added. The development plan includes a new building to be constructed in the coming months which will contain up to five new classrooms to be linked to the main building and allow for the updating and refurbishment of other, older parts of the school. In addition, there will be a completely new computer system installed throughout the school.
The grounds contain the main school buildings and a large floodlit playground (suitable for football, basketball, tennis and short tennis). The playing fields, comprising three full-sized pitches, are a short walk from the school.
In 1986 the school became a charitable non-profit-making Educational Trust, under the guidance of a Board of Governors. The governing body consists of people with considerable experience in business and academic life. Many of them are parents or ex-parents of boys at school. The Headmaster is a member of the Incorporated Association of Preparatory Schools (I.A.P.S.).
Feel free to browse but if you wish to find out more then please call us for a full prospectus or to make an appointment for a visit.
Between the ages of 4 and 7, boys are placed in unstreamed forms. Every boy's work is under the supervision of a Form Teacher who ensures that the '3Rs' are taught to a high standard. By the time a child reaches the age of 7+ he should know all his tables, the four rules of Arithmetic and be able to read, spell and write his own stories in joined-up handwriting.
While these important skills are developing, boys are also made aware of the exciting world around them. Specialist teachers from the Senior Department take each class for music, games and P.E. Music is introduced at an early age when songs are learnt alongside elementary dance with music and movement. Recorder lessons form part of the curriculum. Individual music lessons are taught as extras. In P.E. catching, throwing and kicking co-ordination are emphasised. There are two afternoons of Games when the boys will either go swimming or start to learn the elementary skills required for Soccer, Cricket and Rugby. Boys in the Years 3 and 4 also have Judo lessons.
Each Form Teacher takes his or her own class for painting and drawing. Various outings are made to local theatres, concerts and places of interest. As the children move up the Junior Department, Drama, History, Geography, Religious Education and Science are introduced. In the Christmas Term plays are produced for parents. Children progress smoothly into the Senior Department, having been fully prepared for its curriculum. Parents are encouraged to discuss any problems with their son's Form Teacher or the Headmaster. They are kept in close touch by written termly reports.
The school day begins with registration at 8:30 a.m. (Reception Class at 9:00 a.m.). Morning Assembly is at 8:40 a.m. and consists of a hymn, a reading and prayers. Solefield welcomes boys of all denominations. Lessons start at 9:00 a.m. with a break at 10:10 a.m. The Juniors have lunch at 12:20 p.m. which is a substantial meal prepared by our own staff in the school kitchens.
After lunch the boys have another break. This can be used for extra curricular activities, schoolwork games practice or just play. Afternoon school begins at 2:10 p.m.. In the Reception Class school finishes at 3:00 p.m., Years 1 and 2 at 3:15 p.m. and Year 3 at 3:30 p.m.. In order to help families plan in advance a school calendar is issued to all parents at the beginning of every term.
Year 4 to Year 8
At the age of 8 a boy moves into his first Senior form (Year 4) - a transition class under the general care of a Form Teacher. In preparation for their next step, the boys are introduced to other teachers for Science, History, Geography, French, Latin, Religious Education, I.C.T, Art and Music. It is at this stage that all subjects necessary for the Common Entrance examination to Independent Schools begin.
A boy's curriculum is designed to move naturally towards the Common Entrance exam which is taken when a boy is aged 13 in year 8. The exam consists of two Maths papers, three English papers, separate Science papers in Chemistry, Physics and Biology and one each for French (plus an oral), History, Geography, Latin and Religious Education. Greek and German are taught to a few boys in the top form as options. In addition, classes have Music, P.E., Art and Current Affairs lessons plus two afternoons of Games each week.
Upon entering the Senior School boys are divided into two classes per year with approximately fourteen boys in each class. In Year 6 classes are streamed to allow boys to progress at a pace to achieve their full potential. There is always latitude for movement between classes.
Although boys may sit the Kent Selection tests (11+), the curriculum is directed towards the Common Entrance examination or, in the case of boys whose work shows exceptional ability, to Open Scholarships.
The Headmaster is always pleased to discuss the question of transfer to Secondary School. The majority of our boys continue as day boys following the Common Entrance examination at thirteen. Many go on to Sevenoaks School, Tonbridge School, and other local independent schools. A few may progress to various independent boarding schools. A few go on to Grammar schools by means of entry at 11+. We feel that the selection of the next school is critically important as it must be a school where your son will thrive.
Some children experience difficulty with spelling, reading and writing. A trained individual needs teacher is available to help with individual lessons and give advice as necessary.
The school has a well- stocked library with a range of excellent fiction and reference books. Use of the school library is encouraged and a member of staff and librarians 'open' the library for the withdrawal and return of books. Each boy has a reading list of suitable books for his age in order to guide him in his choice. Daily newspapers and suitable magazines are also provided in the library.
Meetings and Reports
At least once, but often twice, a year there is a Parent/Teacher evening for each class as well as evenings where the parents can meet staff informally. Parents are welcome to come and see, or phone, a particular member of staff whenever they feel that it is necessary. Parents are actively encouraged to keep an open dialogue with the teachers and the Headmaster. Twice a year a detailed report folder is sent to each parent. A regular information bulletin (The Acorn) is sent to parents.
The school day begins with registration at 8:30 a.m.. Morning Assembly is at 8:40 a.m. and consists of a hymn, a reading and prayers. Solefield welcomes boys of all denominations. Lessons start at 9:00 a.m. with a break at 10:45 a.m. The Seniors have lunch at 12:55 p.m. Lunch is a substantial meal prepared by our own staff in the school kitchens.
After lunch the boys have another break. This can be used for extra curricular activities, schoolwork games practice or just play. Afternoon school begins at 2:10 p.m.
In the senior part of the school every one finishes at 4:00 p.m., subject to their school commitments such as matches. Boys in Year 8 are expected to remain at school until 5:20 p.m. to complete their prep although any boy in Year 6 and above may do so. Clubs for Year 5 and above are also available at this time.
On Saturday there is school for Year 8 from 9:00 a.m. until 11:00 p.m. Very occasionally there are school matches on Saturdays, all boys selected are expected to represent the school. In order to help families plan in advance a school calendar is issued to all parents at the beginning of every term.
To register a boy, an entry form, available on request, should be completed and returned with the registration fee. This ensures that, subject to availability of places and the completion of a successful test where required, a boy's name is entered for a particular term.
Boys may be registered for entry into the Reception Class (normally for September) from the age of 4. This entry is non-selective. There are occasionally vacancies for boys to enter higher up the school and in this case admissions are subject to the successful completion of an entry test and interview.
Please feel free to contact the Registrar, Mrs Osborn on 01732 452142, who will be happy to discuss your family's requirements. The Headmaster would welcome the opportunity to show you and son around when you visit us.
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