SOLO Taxonomy

This week’s whole school CPD session was led by the teaching and learning group who are researching and developing the use of SOLO Taxonomy in lessons.  Starting with a diamond 9 of statements from Pam Hook’s flyer (, Pam Hook on Twitter), staff were asked to arrange the text in order of importance to them as a classroom teacher.

We then delivered a quick overview of SOLO, providing staff with a description of each of the five stages of the Taxonomy.

In order to demonstrate these stages, staff broke out from their home groups into specialist groups, each one led by a member of the SOLO teaching and learning group.  Using Black Friday as our theme, we enabled staff to experience one of five different SOLO activities: a compare and contrast concept map focusing on two Black Friday adverts; a dice-based question game featuring questions at all SOLO levels; a self-assessment rubric and Black Friday article to support progress through the stages; a SOLO placemat looking at Asda’s decision not to take part; a cause and effect concept map focusing on MP’s urging businesses not to take part in the sales.

Staff then returned to their home group and were given a few minutes to share what they’d worked on in their specialist groups, before planning a SOLO lesson to teach within the next week.  Copies of all concept maps and the SOLO Taxonomy verbs were made available to support this process; in addition, the SOLO teaching and learning group members circulated and offer advice and support.

The first item on the agenda for departmental CPD next week is a review of the SOLO tried during the week.  Initial feedback has been overwhelmingly positive.  Staff have been so keen to share what they’ve come up with that the first completed resource was emailed to me within 50 minutes of the session ending, the second one came within 70 minutes, and it’s just spiraled since then.  I’ve seen photos on Twitter and lost count of the number of times I’ve spotted resources featuring the SOLO icons coming off the printers!