Hollybush Primary School

Your new design will be uploaded in:
Please contact Delivery Team on
0113 3200 750 if you have any queries.

Metacognition at Hollybush Primary School


What is metacognition?

Meatcognition is the ability to monitor, direct and review learning. In a nutshell, it can be defined as 'Thinking about Thinking' but it is not just limited to thinking and planning tasks. Metacognition also encompasses self-regulation and growth mindset. It is not something that is learnt separately from subject knowledge. To improve metacognition, pupils need to have subject knowledge to build upon.

Without cognition there is no metacognition. 



Studies involving primary school children have shown the potential impact of using metacognitive strategies is around 7 months. The potential impact for disadvantaged pupils can be even higher. 



Building children's growth mindset and resilience build their 'thinking skills.'

The Hollybush Approach

Building growth mindset and resilience is integral to our approach at Hollybush. Encouraging children to take risks in their learning and and modelling that mistakes help us to learn allows us to develop pupils learning skills. 

In order to build foundations for pupils to start thinking about their thinking, we introduced 6 core thinking skills. These were decided by staff as 6 skills that would feed into all learning opportunities and provide a good foundation for pupils to build on. 

These are introduced one at a time to children. They are taught explicitly as a skill on their own before being applied into learning. 

15th January 2024 - Thinking about Thinking Week.



This week the children are developing their noticing and making links skills. 

What does this look like in the classroom?


  • Growth mindset display
  • Thinking skills on display

As well as engaging in 'Thinking about Thinking' weeks through the year, there should be regular opportunities provided for children to use their thinking skills.

Logos could be displayed on lesson slides to prompt thinking, added to lesson resources and teachers should model applying these skills into lessons as often as possible. Thinking skills can be revisited in explicit sessions if children are struggling with the skill. 

  • Choosing a strategy.
  • Choosing the right tool for the task. 
  • Choosing good vocabulary
  • Identifying features
  • Spotting patterns
  • Proofreading errors 

  • Problem solving
  • Tring different methods
  • Using a growth mindset. 

  • Building on prior learning
  • Remembering which strategies to use
  • Remembering phonics sounds

  • Linking different lessons together
  • Making inferences
  • Linking prior learning
  • Making predictions
  • Thinking out loud
  • Considering possibilities