Research and Development

George Stephenson Teaching School Alliance is committed to providing the very best environment for teaching and learning, for pupils and staff alike. We are actively involved in a range of research and development projects with our partners, driving innovation and embracing new ideas.

Self Organised Learning Environments (SOLEs) 

SOLE was developed by TED award winning Professor Sugata Mitra as a way to inspire curiosity in students and empower them to learn for themselves. Working with Sugata Mitra and SOLE Central based at Newcastle University, George Stephenson High School is leading the way in examining SOLEs as a transformative pedagogy, researching their impact within UK education. As part of this research a number of staff have been involved in the development of an app for evidencing the types of learning behaviours that might be evident in a SOLE and two members of staff published a peer-reviewed journal article sharing their research on the use of SOLE to learn subject content. You can access that paper here:                      

Find out more -


A research project to investigate the   use of technology to evaluate learning and teaching via observation. We are a   partner in the trial of the VEO App designed by Newcastle University, contributing to further developments of the resource with the aim of improve   the quality of education for our young people. Find out more - 

VEO   App - free on iTunes


Led by SOLE Central at Newcastle University, this three year project brings together educators from Finland, Ireland, Belgium and the UK to investigate whether the use of SOLE can impact on early school leaving across Europe. The project involves a range of educational approaches, from formal to informal learning environments, and George Stephenson High School represents a formal school setting within this range.  We are the leading partner for one of the project outcomes which aims to develop an internationally available database of Big Questions. You can read more about this outcome  in the press release [here] 

Further information can be found here:

Project Based Learning

George Stephenson High School is a partner in the Project Based Learning Consortium with staff from the Centre for Teaching and Learning at Newcastle University and other high schools in the area, including Park View School and Walbottle Campus.

We have developed our approach to project based learning over a number of years, starting with a focus on our Learning Habits through school projects, moving on to more involvement with High Tech High and the running of longer, deeper and more detailed projects involving cross-curricular activities. A particular highlight is our innovative ilearn initiative for Year 7, involving termly projects covering History and Geography. These projects are been further developed through excellent community links, for example with Arts organisations such as The Tyneside Cinema and The Great North Museum, culminating in a wide-ranging exhibition developed and designed by the Y7 students.