7 Top Tips for Introducing Metacognition into your Primary School


Teaching children metacognitive skills has been found to increase attainment by up to seven months according to research by the Education Endowment Fund's Teacher's Toolkit. The EEF has since published its latest guidance report, designed to support teachers in changing their classroom practice to improve their pupils’ metacognitive skills. It draws on the best available evidence regarding the development of metacognition and self-regulated learning and offers seven practical, evidence-based recommendations to support teachers to develop metacognitive knowledge in their pupils. Within its first week of publication, this report was accessed over 20,000 times.


What is metacognition?


Metacognition involves the ability to plan, monitor and evaluate your own academic progress in order to become better at learning and studying. For example, as the EEF report explains:

“having decided that a particular cognitive strategy for memorisation is likely to be successful, a pupil then monitors whether it has indeed been successful and then deliberately changes (or not) their memorisation method based on that evidence.”


The EEF’s 7 key recommendations:

1. Skills: Teachers should acquire the professional understanding and skills to develop their pupils’ metacognitive knowledge

2. Monitor: Explicitly teach pupils metacognitive strategies, including how to plan, monitor, and evaluate their learning

3. Model: Model your own thinking to help pupils develop their metacognitive and cognitive skills

4. Challenge: Set an appropriate level of challenge to develop pupils’ self-regulation and metacognition

5. Talk: Promote and develop metacognitive talk in the classroom

6. Organise: Explicitly teach pupils how to organise, and effectively manage, their learning independently

7. Support: Schools should support teachers to develop their knowledge of these approaches and expect them to be applied appropriately

Download a free poster summarising the seven top tips here.
Interested in exploring this further? We’re publishing a brand new teacher handbook which will give you really clear and practical ways of developing your children’s metacognition. It’s also full of CPD to help you and your colleagues get to grips with it, and only £30.99! You can pre order here.

You can also order a free inspection copy by calling Bookpoint at 01325 400 555. Inspection Copies allow you to review texts for up to 60 days. Purchase 15+ copies and keep the Inspection Copy FREE OF CHARGE.


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