Jennie Vine

Wooranna Park Primary School, VIC

Teaching Fellow

As Vice Principal at Wooranna Park Primary School – a school where most students are from disadvantaged backgrounds and behavioural issues loomed large, Jennie Vine realised that Year 10 students often struggled with making informed decisions, becoming frustrated and “displaced”.

This led her to search for fresh ways to unlock young people’s thinking potential before they reached that stage.

Inspired by David Thornburg’s ‘Knights of Knowledge’ video, Jennie’s idea for the Enigma Missions – a transformative, empowering tool for younger students – was born. This, combined with her own quest for educational change, led her to expand her thinking around what is possible.

The Enigma Missions initiative, where students carry out research projects on topics they choose themselves, has reignited a school-wide thirst for knowledge and transformed learning at the school. Families are also reengaged as students report back what they learn.

Her students research extensively, think deeply and present their findings to multi-aged audiences at Learning Symposiums. They also debate each other across year groups in Socratic Circles – another of her innovations.

Jennie’s work has attracted worldwide academic and media interest and her students have assisted Holocaust survivors and homeless people, worked alongside physicists, and even changed parliamentary law.