“Surface to Deep” on Friday was a remarkable day of teachers sharing their professional practice.

Teachers from the Kahukura Community of Learning – Christchurch South Intermediate School, Sacred Heart School, Thorrington School, Addington Primary, Sommerfield School, West Spreydon and Cashmere Primary School – gathered together for a day focused on shifting from surface to deep learning outcomes.

It was a fabulous demonstration of the depth of teacher expertise in SOLO based pedagogies for deep learning in the cluster and the wider Christchurch community.

We started the day learning about the most recent New Pedagogies for Deep Learning networking event in Vancouver from the Kahukura cluster leaders.

Christchurch to Vancouver and Back – ‘Where to from here for Kahukura?’
(Jared Fretwell, Cade Englefield , Chris Panther and Ross Hastings)

The follow up teacher workshops provided very practical description and analysis of the SOLO strategies that create shift.

Check out the teacher workshop descriptors below

SOLO Workshops

Round 1 – 11.30 a.m. – 12.10 p.m.

a.) Moving from Surface to Deep Sustainability Learning
Libby Aitken and Kelly McIntosh – Christchurch South Intermediate
Participants will develop an understanding of how SOLO Taxonomy has been used to deepen and make visible students learning inside the deep learning theme of Sustainability. This process could be replicated across any deep learning experience and practical takeaway resources will be provided.

b.) Moving through the pivot point from multistructual to relational and extended abstract thinking
Melody McCombe – Christchurch South Intermediate
Participants will be provided with practical examples of how to shift students past multistructural learning and thinking across the curriculum. Pedagogical approaches demonstrated could be replicated across any deep learning experience and practical takeaway resources will be provided.

c.) Connecting the dots – getting relational with SOLO
Susan Pageot – Waimairi School
How to draw out deeper connections using maps, rubrics and reflective tools in the senior primary classroom. There will be a focus on constructive alignment and manipulating the tools for literacy.

Round 2 – 12.15 – 12.55 p.m.

a.) Getting started – from theory to practice
Lynley Cummack – Waimairi School

Practical and actual examples and ideas to get kids using SOLO maps and rubrics
How we have gotten the students using the maps and rubrics to deepen their learning
Making learning visible for students, parents and teachers
It doesn’t matter where you are, it only matters that you don’t stay there!

b.) Going SOLO: an intentional approach to teaching and learning across the curriculum
Joy Williams – Waitākiri Primary School

How can using SOLO and the SOLO HOT Maps help students make shifts from surface (Unistructural/Multistructural) to deeper (Relational) and conceptual (Extended Abstract) levels of understanding? Practical examples of the positive effects of using the SOLO HOT maps with Year 0 – 4 students.

c.) Successful SOLO: Tips and Tales from the Roydvale Rookies
Anke Beckers-Yu – Roydvale School

Our journey 0-2 years in SOLO: The process we have taken to get SOLO up and running school wide, including what it now looks like for us.
Small but steady steps: Ensuring progress and success.
Simplifying the tricky parts to make it work for you.
Examples of how it can look in the classroom.

Reflection on the day was very upbeat

Reflecting on the powerful examples of student learning using SOLO shared during my visit to Hong Kong last week

Fractions explored through SOLO Hexagons thinking and student co-construction of SOLO rubrics – just fabulous 🙂




Great two days in conversation with thoughtful educators inquiring into the effectiveness of using an explicit model of surface and deep outcomes in the IB PYP program.

Learning how to put my face in the water

May 19, 2018

Or Chapter 4. “How do you design rubrics to accompany the authentic assessment?” Pam Hook There can be no more authentic task for a five year old than putting your face in the water when learning to swim. The indispensable conditions for improvement are that the student comes to hold a concept of quality roughly […]

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Extended abstract in Melbourne

March 23, 2018

Working with the Department of Education in Victoria has presented a number of adventures over the past three years. I used to think that nothing could trump the DET workshop with “Shrek” attending. Imagine pedagogical content knowledge required when Shrek is wkshop participant. #SOLOTaxonomy #Melbourne #forgetandragogy #embraceogregogy — Pam Hook (@arti_choke) November 7, 2017 […]

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Tobias and those Danish verbs

March 6, 2018

One of the best things about revisiting a place is the opportunity for extended conversation to deepen friendships. Life as a #SOLOTaxonomy jongleur never lacks excitement but its itinerant nature precludes many opportunities for the deeply textured conversations that happen when you sit down with people at the end of each day. Returning to Denmark […]

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Master classes in Melbourne

February 22, 2018

Surface to deep learning with SOLO Taxonomy. “The SOLO Taxonomy (Biggs & Collis 1982) has provided a valuable vehicle to identify and support deep learning opportunities in many NPDL schools. It has shown the relationship between surface and deep learning and the importance of scaffolding learning for both.” I am excited to be returning to […]

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Time to Tag a Teacher

November 18, 2017

Do you know any creative and critical thinkers at your school? Essential Resources are running a “Tag a teacher” competition on their Facebook page. Surprise a colleague with some great professional reading for the summer break.

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Shrek and SOLO Taxonomy

October 26, 2017

    When you run a SOLO workshop at Pakenham Hills Primary School on Tuesday 31st October 2017 you must be open to new adventure.         A reminder that whilst teachers might register for the workshop it is not until they arrive that you have any clear idea of their prior knowledge […]

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A Partridge in a Pear Tree Year

October 5, 2017

Embed from Getty Images Perching in the HookED 2017 Pear Tree 2017 is proving to be a great year for progress in the classroom based use of SOLO Taxonomy. Work has taken me to schools across New Zealand and Australia, and to Denmark and Tonga. My efforts to create meaning with others has resulted in […]

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How to use SOLO Maps

October 2, 2017

I am doubly chuffed to report that the ever fabulous architect and designer Nick Denton has finished the last seven SOLO maps in the “How to … series” – of HookED SOLO Map animations. You can view the 14 SOLO Map animations playlist on my YouTube Channel . This body of work matters – is […]

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