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The EEF defines metacognition as “ways that learners monitor and purposely direct their learning.” It can simplistically be described as learning about how we learn and thinking about how we think, but this can hide the nuances of this approach. Metacognition happens when a learner steps back from their thinking and experience and adopts a “witness” position, much like an astronaut looking down from space on the changing surface of the earth. This creates a gap between the flow of learning/thinking and our awareness of it and then creates choice on how the learner monitors and controls their cognition e.g. which specific strategy may help them with a specific maths problem, or which thinking techniques will help them understand a specific concept or problem within the curriculum.


It is critical to design learning experiences and lessons, which create space and strategies for metacognition to happen. According to the EEF Teacher Toolkit when done well it can add 7 months of progress. An understanding of appropriate levels of challenge and cognitive load theory are also helpful in implementing an effective whole-school approach to metacognition.


Jonathan can provide the following INSET packages:


A general introduction to metacognition and cognitive load theory


A walk through what metagnition is and how to develop it in the classroom using a range or practical suggestions and examples.  They day will include thinking about setting an appropriate level of challenge, using recent research on cognitive load theory and dual coding.


Dialogue Works Thinking Moves A-Z  INSET package:


Our thinking ability is what makes us distinctively human.  Yet we have no generally accepted approach to teaching thinking – and no common vocabulary to describe different ways of thinking.  This, when you think about it, is extraordinary.  Imagine trying to teach or learn maths if we did not have commonly accepted terms such as add, subtract, multiply and divide. Thinking Moves A – Z  provides a vocabulary for thinking and uses the latest research into the power of metacognition to provide a school wide toolkit and language to develop students into skilful thinkers and apply it across the curriculum in a wide variety of lessons. This course can complement P4C training if a school has undertaken it or be taken as a stand alone training day independent of P4C. This course can be split into three 2 hour Zoom sessions or a conventional face-to-face INSET day.





A hugely informative course, which helped me better understand metacognition and how this can be used in and out of the classroom to support our pupils.  I am excited to get started.


Natasha Bellamy, Y6 teacher

Langstone Junior Academy

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Jonathan was very engaging and unlocked our thinking of metagognition, we cannot wait to implement this.


Year 4 Team Langstone Junior Academy

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The chance to step outside the norm, stop and think about thinking has been refreshing and thought provoking.


Julie Smith, Headteacher Weyford Nursery & Primary School

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Educational Consultant

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The training made a potentially difficult subject into something which was quite engaging, easy to digest and useful for my practice


Danny Shaw, Y6 teacher

Langstone Junior Academy

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Helping to empower leaders and learners to connect with the unique and evolving potential of who they are, where they are going and what they could be.