Text version - SOLE in Action

Journey summary

Self-Organised Learning Environment (SOLE) has been implemented following professional learning with staff, with it being embedded weekly units of learning.

Journey focus area

Students have improved their:

  • self-regulatory skills
  • use of the 4 C’s (collaboration, critical thinking, creativity and communication)
  • research skills in order to answer complex and involved questions
  • ability to create ‘Big Questions’ following lines of inquiry

Timeline and milestones

2014 milestones
  • Professional learning for teachers
  • SOLE trialled in classrooms and library
  • Protocols and common language developed
  • Anchor charts created
2015 milestones
  • Implemented the modelled, guided and independent approach to all Stage 2 and 3 staff
  • Lighthouse school established for local schools and others across networks
2016 milestones
  • Innovate Pockets of Practice (iPoP) was made available to all teachers in our community of schools following a trial
  • Presentation at Innovate and Inspire conference by school staff
  • Promotion of the school's journey and experience of the SOLE process
2017 milestones
  • Professional learning to current and new staff members
  • Collaborative planning of programs to create big questions
  • Presented at community of schools professional learning evening
2018 milestones
  • Further promotion of our strategy through DoE Scan
  • Staff supported through action research projects
  • Inducted and mentored new staff through the modelled, guided and independent approach.

Positive impact

  • Increased student engagement.
  • Student driven learning related to the curriculum and areas of interest.
  • Improved research skills.
  • Students are self-organising into productive, inclusive groups using their classroom space in innovative ways.
  • Challenged teachers to review their approaches and personal pedagogy.
  • Provided support to colleagues through ongoing mentoring and collaboration.
  • Students have improved their ability to articulate their thoughts and provide constructive feedback.
  • Improvement in students' ability to critically analyse information and summarise findings succinctly.


  • Excitement and interest amongst the majority of staff
  • Students enjoyed being challenged and taking ownership of their learning
  • Understanding that SOLE leads to a deeper understanding of concepts
  • Motivation to embrace change
  • Surprised about the capabilities of the students' abilities to direct their own learning.

Main challenges and solutions


  • Creating ‘Big Questions’ with staff and students.
  • Challenging teachers to reconsider their teaching styles and classroom design.


  • Integrated SOLE planning into stage planning days
  • Provided staff with a consistent proforma to program outcomes and questions
  • Storing programs and ideas on the school server for all staff to access
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