Classroom tips and ideas: Metacognition & self-regulation

Written by: Pete Henshaw | Published:

Practical examples and teaching tips for using metacognition and self-regulated learning in the classroom will be on offer at Headteacher Update's inaugural Metacognition Conference.

Taking place on September 23 in London, the event features 15 practical sessions focusing on teaching, learning and pedagogy and offering ideas and strategies for your classroom and school.

Metacognition and self-regulated learning approaches have been rated as “high impact for very low cost, based on extensive evidence” by the Education Endowment Foundation.

But these can be elusive concepts. They extend beyond the most commonly used definitions such as “thinking about thinking” or “learning to learn”.

This one-day conference will describe what metacognition actually looks like and means in the classroom, and across your primary or secondary school.

Relevant to all staff involved with leading, planning or delivering teaching and learning in schools, it will offer practical examples, insights and case studies to help you discover, select, and implement effective techniques.

The event is being hosted jointly by Headteacher Update and SecEd and offers sessions relevant to primary and secondary colleagues.

Three keynote presentations: Definitions, practical tips and teaching strategies

The event will feature three keynote presentations.

  • Education Endowment Foundation: The EEF will open the day with a session that will draw on the lessons from its recent research review and guidance report into metacognition and self-regulated learning. The review yielded seven practical recommendations for schools as well as clear definitions of these approaches. The EEF will explain what all this means in practice.
  • Jackie Beere: Renowned metacognition expert Jackie Beere will join the event via video to offer us some “quickfire tips” to getting started with metacognition in our teaching and lesson preparation. This practical session seeks to inspire delegates before they head into the day's workshops. Jackie will show us how to use metacognitive language to frame questions and give us some teaching techniques and modelling methods to embed the habits of metacognition in our students. This will include advice on how to help students “maximise their brainpower” by showing them that becoming conscious of their thinking can positively impact their learning, memory and wellbeing.
  • Matt Bromley: The afternoon keynote will see SecEd’s resident teaching and learning expert Matt Bromley, a renowned education author and thinker – and a former teacher and school leader – offer specific, practical teaching strategies for the classroom to help teach, model and promote pupils’ metacognition and self-regulation skills. His session will include the metacognitive cycle – a useful four-stage process for thinking about metacognition in practice and some questions pupils could ask to promote a metacognitive approach to tasks. He will also offer us six strategies for developing metacognition in the classroom.

Twelve workshops: case studies and practical insights from primary and secondary schools

As well as an exhibition and networking space, the conference offers 12 practical workshops – the majority of which will be led by practising classroom professionals – aimed at primary, secondary or indeed relevant to both phases.

It means that both primary and secondary colleagues attending the event will have a choice of at least seven different practical workshops each.

Many of the workshops are case studies of schools’ work in this area and will offer practical insights into metacognitive approaches being used in schools, the lessons learned, achievements seen, and tips for success.

Primary workshop topics include:

  • Practical ideas for embedding metacognition in the primary classroom.
  • Improving Digital independence: A case study using digital tools to develop independent learners’ metacognition skills using IT.
  • A case study of cooperative learning in the primary school.
  • A balancing act: Independent learning while avoiding fear of failure.
  • Supporting teaching assistants to support metacognition.

Secondary workshop topics include:

  • Models of Metacognition: Adapting lesson design to challenge all learners according to the phase of learning.
  • Planning for metacognition: Using CPD to support teaching staff.
  • Metacognitive approaches in practice in the secondary classroom – a case study.
  • How to leverage the performance gains of metacognition in the classroom.
  • Plan, monitor & evaluate: Ideas for encouraging metacognition.

Cross-phase workshop topics include:

  • Before we talk metacognition, we need to talk memory.
  • A takeaway menu of metacognition techniques for your classroom.

Attendance at the event costs £299. An early bird rate of £269 is available until July 22. For more details and to book, visit

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