During the Autumn Term Years 7 to 11 (with help from a few of the Upper Sixth) took part in our first SOLE experience.

But, what is a SOLE and how does it work?
SOLE stands for Self-Organised Learning Environment. A SOLE session begins with a
BIG question, and is fuelled by self discovery, sharing, and spontaneity.

In a SOLE session, girls are asked an interesting and relevant question that fires their imaginations and curiosity, a question that does not have an easy answer. BIG questions are often open and difficult; they may even be unanswerable. The aim of them
is to encourage deep and long conversations, rather than finding easy
answers. These questions encourage children to offer theories, work collaboratively,
use reason and think critically.

Tormead’s first BIG question was: How do we remember and why do we forget?
With limited access to the internet to promote collaboration, discussion and
debate, small groups of girls spent the afternoon tackling the BIG question. They
were given complete freedom as to how they answered the question, allowing them the
opportunity to explore in any direction they wanted. Their task was simply to try to
answer the question and to present their group’s answer to the rest of the class at the
end of the session.

For many girls this was the opportunity to experience a completely new way of working,
and they rose to the challenge admirably! There was a real buzz across the school during an afternoon filled with curiosity, debate, engagement and enthusiasm, with girls showing us how very capable they are.

At the end of the afternoon we were presented with a great variety of answers,
much knowledge was gained and an impressive range of styles of presentation shown, including a rap, and some excellent posters and iMovies.