CPD Toolkit | Metacognition: learning to learn

Metacognition: learning to learn


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Do pupils at your school know how to plan, monitor and evaluate their own learning? Metacognition and self-regulation (learning to learn) aim to help pupils to think about their own learning more explicitly. This course will improve participants’ understanding of how to develop pupils’ metacognitive and self-regulation skills. It begins by looking at how metacognition can be used to support learning across the curriculum, before placing an explicit focus on using metacognition to improve reading comprehension and independent writing.


This training course is suitable for teachers from primary to secondary education.

Course outline

Authors: This training course was developed in partnership with Elina Lam and JJ Primrose. Elina is the programme manager of the KS3 catch-up literacy programme – the LIT Programme – at Hackney Learning Trust (HLT). JJ Primrose is an associate deputy headteacher and a primary teaching and learning consultant at HLT. 

Session 1 - What is metacognition?


  • Develop understanding of what metacognition is and why it is important for learning
  • Encourage reflection on how metacognition is already used in the classroom
  • Consider how to improve pupils’ use of metacognition and self-regulation
Session 2 - How is metacognition used in practice?

  • Reflect on how self-aware learners are
  • Guide pupils through the ‘meta walk’ using key questions and language stems
  • Understand how to use the ‘I do – we do – you do’ strategy to support the meta walk
Session 3 - Using metacognition to support reading
  • Develop an understanding of how metacognition and self-regulation can be used to help pupils to read for meaning
  • Understand how the meta walk can be adapted to support reading comprehension (the reading walk)
  • Develop practical strategies, key questions and language stems to support pupils at each stage of the reading walk 
Session 4 - Using metacognition to support writing
  • Reflect on how the meta walk can support writing
  • Develop an understanding of how metacognitive strategies support the writing process
  • Consider how the I do, We do, You do approach can be used to facilitate independent writing
  • Explore how writing tasks can be opened up once pupils have become skilled writers
  • Create a learning agenda for a writing task


Courses include:
  • Facilitator notes providing step-by-step guidance with discussion prompts, activity instructions and links to further reading
  • A facilitator log including a checklist to support session planning and evaluation, and to help you identify next steps 
  • A diagnostic audit to assess participants’ prior knowledge so that you can tailor the content and target areas for improvement
  • Presentation slides outlining key concepts and guidance
  • Videos to support activities and to explain complex ideas
  • A learning log enabling participants to reflect upon their learning against the course objectives
  • A feedback form enabling participants to evaluate the subject content and activities in the session
  • A certificate to certify participation in the training course

How it works

  1. Download high-quality materials created in partnership with subject specialists, and quality assured for your peace of mind
  2. Adapt the resources to meet the needs of your school and staff
  3. Deliver engaging training with confidence, with the support of comprehensive facilitator guidance 
  4. Evaluate the impact of your training to identify areas where staff need further support