When we first saw the research trial for metacognition in the EEF, we were very excited to get involved. The reason being; that we knew our children and we knew that risk taking was something that we had really been focusing on. We had begun working on children being effective risk takers, being resilient, reciprocal, resourceful and reflective for several years but with staff changes we needed to focus and start afresh.
We are an infant school in Sheffield, who are a recently designated teaching school. We are a three form entry school which is heavily oversubscribed. We are involved in several research projects that will benefit our children both at school and locally.
The first step of our journey was to go down to London and meet the “metacognition team” who further inspired us. It was great to see metacognition in action and hear how it had made a difference at Rosendale. We were eager to get started and in February this year we began our journey.
Our Year Ones began to tie themselves (and us at times) in knots learning to tie shoelaces and our Year 2s began to learn how to use chopsticks. The staff learnt very quickly the term growth mindset as these are not easy skills to manage! Along the way, we met juggling dinosaurs and read some fantastic books, like Beautiful Oops. It was quite an eye opener for myself as a Year 1 teacher to realise that I had 17 driving instructors (blue coaches) in my class!
As the school terms went on the children realised that it was okay to be yellow at the end of the lesson and this was not a problem. They became honest in their lesson feedback and teachers were able to really gauge where the learning was and how confident the children were. At the beginning of a numeracy/literacy topic the Y1 children would circle a colour to show how they felt about their learning and at the end of the topic they would circle again.
One lesson that we learnt from the metacognition project is that it is adaptable and can be tailored to suit any school. We felt that some of our children struggled with the finer motor aspects of chopsticks and they did not make progress. Due to this we have taken a KS2 skill this year and the Year 2s are learning sign language this academic year!
We are loving our metacognition journey and we are learning with the children at every step. We look forward to what the future holds.