SOLEs for self reflection

One of my amazing members of our SOLEs staff enquiry group has been interested in how SOLEs can empower young people to reflect on their own learning and their behaviour through it’s nature of being self organised. 

We are in the process of testing this out over a period of time with some young people who have had some incidents of challenging behaviour. 

We had our first session the other day and asked the group “what makes us likeable?” 

It was interesting to notice the interactions that took place with students who may not ordinarily work together and the way in which they seemed to settle into exploring the question quite quickly. 

The groups came up with a number of responses that included being yourself, thinking about others, smiling, not hurting people, being genuine and wanting to hear from others. 

We reflected on the session with a really quick questionnaire that included asking how the session had made them think differently and in what way. A number of the students said it had made them reflect on themselves.  

We will follow this up with another reflection in a week’s time to see if any of the thoughts or information they discovered for themselves has affected them beyond the session in any way. 

This is only one SOLE session so far and it is obviously not the only way to support these students to consider how they interact with others but it was fascinating to investigate how they responded to an opportunity to discover their own way of negotiating change, self reflection and personal development. Watch this space…

The Friday 5 – 5

The last of our 5 week Friday 5’s!  See some more of our big questions below. What do you wonder about?

1. What causes attraction?

2. Do we recognise and reward positive behaviour in society?

3. Why do we have eyebrows?

4. What is the next step in technology?

5. What is anxiety?

For more of our big questions you can visit our page at the school in the cloud website and find out more information about SOLEs and Professor Sugata Mitra’s TED prize “School in the Cloud”.


Last week was full of highlights…one of which was the NorthernEcho Schools awards. 

It was an honour to be nominated for the ‘innovation award’ and to get through to the final. It was also a joy to see my Engine Heads through to the final for ‘class of the year’. 

The Awards ceremony was a lovely afternoon featuring lots of worthy winners from across the whole of the North East. 

We were thrilled that the engine heads were winners in their category! So proud. They were nominated for the work they have developed in Room 13 and SOLEs. The group have done so much to support the development of teaching and learning in our school but also with other schools and partners nationally and internationally. 

The wonderful Engine Heads have inspired, shared their understanding and experiences of SOLEs and learning. They have shared professor Sugata Mitra’s SOLE work with staff, students and educators. 

Amongst many other things they have delivered staff SOLE sessions, spoken in keynote speeches, developed the use of Room13, encouraged independent learning and a desire to be curious and ask questions.

I couldn’t be prouder. 

Nice one Engine Heads!

Northern Echo Schools Awards

I was surprised and honoured to find that I had been nominated for the Innovation Award for the Northern Echo Schools Award this year!  What a lovely thing.  The award is for the work I develop and the contribution this makes to Greenfield and I was shortlisted to the final! Wow! Thank you to David and Chris for their nomination. It was so kind to be considered for this and for them to take the time to complete the application.  

I was thrilled to bits to see that the Engine Heads, who I nominated for Class of the Year, were also in the final! They completely deserve any recognition they get.  They have developed the practice of teaching and learning in our school and influenced the way in which staff and students explore learning.

We are really looking forward to the final award ceremony on the 10th March but are just so touched to be nominated, in the final and appreciated for the work we do.

Thank you

Uni visit

It was a delight to work with Petia and her colleagues from Northumbria University recently to explore SOLEs with final year university students. 

It was a very interesting experience. This is the first time for me that we have worked with students of this age with SOLE.  I was very keen to see how they responded and if and how this is different to independent work they may already do.

They were asked two different questions.

1. Why do couples ‘fall out’ of love even when they try so hard not too?

2. Why do many new companies collapse shortly after successful growth?

The module the students were completing for their Business Information Management course was ‘systems thinking and organisational learning’.  They explained that they do a lot of independent learning outside of seminars and can often work in a social context like this, however they described that the first question allowed them to work differently to that because the question lended itself to more discussion and personal input.

We had a  ‘granny’ for the second session, who due to technology was only able to join us part way through the discussion. The group on the whole found the granny role a distraction and they wondered if the granny could be there observing the session, only near the end make an observation about they way they had chosen to focus on something or reject an area of information for example, whether that might be a useful way to interact with that role.  It’s definitely something I’d like to explore further. 

The answers to both questions were fascinating and very involved and considered. There was so much covered in both sessions in such a short space of time. 
The group said they’d enjoyed the experience and it was really useful for us as discussion about the learning process which we had add the end highlighted a number of areas to explore and consider. 
What a lovely bunch and a great afternoon. Hope we can work together again. Thank you.