Young people exploring Arts Award

A group of young people have decided to go for the Arts Award this summer and have been using Room 13 in their own time to research, explore arty ideas and find our more about their Arts inspiration.

They are working with each other, without a tutor instructing them, to gather all their information and find interesting and creative ways to present and share it. They hope to achieve the Arts Award Bronze level.

Room 13 has been a really creative space for them to explore their interests and ideas independently.

Looking forward to seeing all the great work they come up with!

For more information about the Arts Award check out their website

Radio4 visit

It was very exciting to have a visit from Raoul from Radio 4 last week. He is working with Sugata to produce a half hour show going out in September and came to see us to hear how it’s going in Room13.

Raoul heard from the EngineHeads who were keen to tell him their experiences of SOLE and lots of their ideas they’ve got like the teacher CPD SOLE sessions they are running in September. The EngineHeads also worked with other young people doing SOLE that day and captured the sound bytes.

There were a number of SOLE sessions in Room 13 during Raoul’s visit.

A tutor group explored a question that Sugata suggested, ” Which country has done the most good for the world?”

This was followed by a GCSE Maths group who explored “What do the perfect face, nautilus shell, violins, Leonardo Da Vinci, Piet Mondrian, Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris, have in common?”

Both questions extremely big and curious questions!


Raoul also interviewed Miss Middleton about SOLE.
It was great to hear from both teacher and student perspectives.

Radio 4 are producing a show which includes our recordings and one of the schools in Calcutta, India. Raoul has offered to arrange an opportunity for us to Skype with them while he is over there recording. It will be wonderful to meet some of our School in the Cloud Ted Prize partners in India. Can’t wait!

So keep your ears out for the finished show on BBC Radio 4 in September.

A Note from the Head

So, it’s the end of the school term and we’ve been running our School in the Cloud TED Prize space since February…I can’t believe it! What a great first few months of exciting and engaging learning for everyone. Looking forward to building on this!

Thought it would be nice to hear from David, the Head Teacher to help us sum up our first term of SOLE in Room 13:


“The development of Room 13 has made a significant contribution to the whole school exploration of enquiry based approaches to teaching and learning here at Greenfield.

I have been delighted to see the collaboration between staff and students as shared approaches to learning grow. SOLE has focussed the increased desire to know, alongside an exciting exploration and development of skills, to create greater and deeper understanding.

As we analyse the influence of Room 13 on different groups in the school, I am excited about the potential for even further growth in the new academic year. I look forward to seeing the young people developing the skills and confidence of their teachers through student led SOLEs in Room 13.”

David Priestley
Executive Head Teacher

Summer SOLEs

What a successful 1st term of activity in Room 13!

It will be very interesting to see how the space is used during the summer too.


There have been over 490 young people in school had 1 or more SOLE sessions, plus 260 primary children locally and regionally, since we opened in February 2014. Some of these sessions have been out of school options or holiday sessions but the majority of these SOLEs have been in curriculum time and the teacher has usually decided when and at what point the students access Room 13. Recently we have had small groups of young people coming of their own accord to use Room 13 in their own time when there has been no session booked. This is interesting.

It will be fascinating to see how young people choose to access Room 13 during the Summer and what their motivation is.

We have put together some suggested drop in sessions too which have an Arts and languages element. Really looking forward to reporting back on how this goes without the role of the teacher …

Making connections

We are really excited to be linking up with lots of wonderful people through SOLE and through other enquiry work too. As well as us and our partners in the other UK lab at George Stephenson, it is clear that lots of people around us, and in fact across the globe, are using SOLE and are interested in the impact it can make!

It has been lovely to make connections with people locally, nationally and internationally to share ideas and findings together. So much learning!


This week we have been skyping with colleagues in Cambodia and have been making plans with more colleagues in Australia, Argentina and The Netherlands.

It was great to talk to Daisy and her colleague Sevi in Cambodia. They work for the Cambodian Children’s Trust. The school they are based in currently works with 2 year olds to 25 year olds! They are in the process of setting up their own SOLE space and were keen to find out how we set up our TED Prize School in the Cloud space and some of the areas of research we have been exploring. Although technology let his down a little during our meeting, it was so good to hear about their context and the power that SOLEs has there too. Daisy said it really helps in developing much needed critical thinking and independence skills.

Really looking forward to continuing these discussions with Cambodia and to learning from each other.

We are also hosting a youth international conference at the end of September and are really excited about it.

Also can’t wait to get working with our partners in The India ‘School in the Cloud’ labs very soon too!

Would be good to keep making connections….

The sky is not the limit, it’s just the view


Anything is possible…

Young people have been answering challenging questions and have been resolute in finding solutions to their curiosity.

Recently a group were set the challenging question ” can you represent circles using straight lines and/or the other way round?”

This really animated the group and there was a tremendous amount of discussion and debate across the room. We had our friend Christoph from design by Kiosk carrying out the role of ‘granny’ and the students were keen to show him their workings out as they went along. They were also keen to challenge him on the question and establish the boundaries of the question. Eg, can this be affected by light, what if we draw it from a different angle…Some students came out of the room to ask for round objects and additional resources to test out their ideas too.

There were so many theories tested and researched in the short time they had and lots of sketches and ideas mapped out. There was a real excitement in the room.

The math teacher was excited and enthused too and planned her next two lessons straight after this one while the questions and information the young people had provided was fresh in her mind. The group will continue with this work using this energy and enthusiasm to continue the topic.

The group will look into this further with curves of pursuit and string pictures, use multi-link cubes to make shapes and create plans and use elevations to create the 3D shapes. All this followed up with nets and surface area to boot!

Given a challenging and engaging question and the right environment and conditions in which to explore ideas things can really fly!