METACOGNITION & THINKING SKILLS
At Basildon C.E. Primary, we believe that in order to fulfil their potential, children should be taught thinking skills and metacognitive strategies to enable them to both understand how they learn and to use these strategies to learn more effectively.
Children are encouraged to be aware of their strengths and weaknesses and reflect on the strategies they use to learn. Children are constantly encouraged to plan, monitor and reflect on their learning throughout the school.
At Basildon, we use Guy Claxton’s Building learning Power as our language of learning. The children explore the meaning of the 17 learning powers and reflect on when each power is needed to support their learning. Children are encouraged to plan which powers they need for a task then to reflect at the end how effectively they used them to support their learning.
Teachers have been trained in cognitive load theory. Key learning points are identified for each lesson. Presentation styles are adapted to manage cognitive load for example presentations and documents are streamlined. Dual coding (attaching images to key words) is used to support children to learn key facts and vocabulary.
Teachers ensure that lessons are appropriately challenging to ensure children develop and progress their knowledge of tasks, strategies and themselves as learners alongside developing their learning resilience. Teachers use a range of strategies including: pre-unit assessments, questioning, retrieval quizzes and proof of progress tasks to ensure that lessons are suitably challenging for all.
Talk forms a key part of learning at Basildon. Through our oracy curriculum children both learn through talk and learn to talk. Teachers will use a range of strategies including: Asking challenging questions, providing oral feedback, prompting dialogue, scaffolding exploratory talk, narrating their own though process especially when modelling a concept. Children will explore learning through a range of talk strategies including: paired talk, formal presentations, group discussion, debating including Philosophy for children-based approach.
Using Mind mapping and Thinking maps regularly as part of the curriculum allows children to organise their thoughts, ideas and effectively plan their learnings. Through regular exposure to these strategies’ children become able to self-select a structure suitable for a given task.