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Fulwood and Cadley Primary School

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Metacognitive Strategies


Metacognition and self-regulation approaches to teaching and learning support pupils to think about their own learning explicitly by teaching them specific strategies for planning, monitoring and evaluating their learning.

Metacognition is not simply 'thinking about thinking'. It is supporting our pupils to actively monitor their own learning and based on this monitoring, make changes to their own learning behaviours and strategies. 


Although the metacognitive process is designed for a learner to take control of their own learning, during the primary phase, the teacher plays an integral part in  developing metacognitive skills in younger pupils. 

For primary pupils to become metacognitive, self-regulated learners, our teachers:

  • Set clear learning objectives and steps to success 
  • Demonstrate and monitor pupils metacognitive strategies
  • Continually prompt and encourage pupils along the way



Self-regulation refers to what pupils do about learning and describes how pupils monitor and control their cognitive process. For example, if a strategy in a mathematics lesson is not working, we encourage our pupils to consider the effectiveness of the strategy and decide if they need to try a different strategy. At Fulwood and Cadley, we aspire to have self-regulated learners who are aware of their strengths and weaknesses and who can motivate themselves to engage in and improve their learning. 


The Metacognitive Cycle


P - Planning Stage

At this stage, our pupils are encouraged to think about the learning goal the teacher has set and consider how they will approach the task and which strategies they will use. 

Our pupils, prompted by the teacher, will consider: 

What am I being asked to do?

Which ways of working will I use?

Are there any ways of working that I have used before that might be useful?


M - Monitoring Stage

Pupils implement their plan and monitor the progress they are making towards their learning goal. Pupils might decide to make changes to their methods if they believe they are not working.

Our pupils, prompted by the teacher, will consider:

Is the way of working that I am using effective?

Do I need to try something different?


E - Evaluation Stage

Pupils determine how successful the way of working they have chosen has been in terms of helping them to achieve their learning goal. 

Our pupils, prompted by the teacher, will consider:

How well did I do?

What did not go well? What could I do differently next time?

What went well? What other types of problems can I use this method for? 


R - Reflection

At each stage of the process, our pupils are encouraged to reflect and self-question their approaches to learning. Our staffing team use a bank of questions within lessons to scaffold the metacognitive process. 


Metacognitive Questioning