Promoting Metacognition

Why this is leading practice

We have been promoting metacognition at Rathfern for eight years since I became Head Teacher. We are leading this innovative practice and many schools are visiting us to learn about our work locally and from other parts of England.

Three decades of research demonstrate the potential of metacognition and more recently the Sutton Trust’s unequivocal endorsement of metacognition as having a very positive impact on pupil progress. However there is no prescribed model for promoting metacognition we have developed and refined our own.

We are leading practice in an area which increasingly recognised key to learners progress and achievement.


Impact to date

 Metacognition impacts every aspect of learning in the school. The school has been on a journey from special measures to outstanding (OFSTED December 2015) . Attendance for pupils is above average. Staff turnover is low. The school is oversubscribed. Attainment is above the national average with attainment of pupil premium children being the highest in the school.

Rationale / Start Point

I became head teacher in 2007  Ofsted deemed us Notice To improve.

We have been promoting metacognition in classrooms and across the school for the last eight years trialling different ideas
There has been modelling by myself in classrooms and the use of research evidence to encourage staff to develop metacognitive conversations in their classrooms.
Three years ago as a staff we identified attributes that promoted effective learning. Promoting metacognition has been a gradual strategy with myself modelling the language of learning and metacognitive dialogue in classrooms across the school.
We have just been rated as ‘Outstanding’ by Ofsted.



Key Strategies

 All staff when they join the school undertake an extensive programme of induction so that they are conversant in all the techniques that we use to support our children's learning. We run parent workshops so that they can support their children at home. Metacognition underpins every aspect of the child's learning experience at Rathfern, from structured lessons to assemblies and through play.

Sustainability and Further Development

This approach is built into the DNA of all adults work are employed at the school, parents and the children. Everyone is crystal clear about the approaches the school uses to develop self confident, resilient learners who have transferable learning skills. 

Lead Establishment

Rathfern Primary School
Rathfern Road
United Kingdom
Headteacher / Manager
Naheeda Maharasingam
DCSF Number
Local Authority
Phase of Education
Early Years, Primary
Type and Status of Provider
Local Authority
Awards and Initiatives
Expert Centre for Global Learning Centre of Excellence for Inclusion Rights Respecting School ROC

Published: 18 April 2016
Expires: 18 April 2019

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