Staff attend festival focused on innovative ideas to support pupils to think about their thinking

Educationalists from across the UK who are passionate about developing metacognitive and self-regulating learners came together for an event in Birmingham earlier this week.

Staff from the Thinking Schools Academy Trust (TSAT) joined hundreds of others for the Festival of Metacognition which provides insights from cutting edge researchers and thought leaders, classroom strategies from expert practitioners, and opportunities to network with like-minded people across the Thinking School Network.

Metacognition is the process of encouraging individuals to think about their own thinking and learning.

Laura Gladstone, the Lead for Teaching, Thinking and Learning at TSAT, said: “It was lovely to have members of the TSAT Teaching and Learning Team come together to attend the festival to hear some of the latest ideas around metacognition and self-regulated learning.

“Sessions included Neil Mercer from Cambridge University talking about oracy and metacognition, as well as Iroise Dumontheil from Birkbeck discussing current research into self-regulation and harnessing control.”

As well as keynote speakers, there were various practical workshops throughout the day with a metacognitive focus presented by experts in their fields.

“The highlights of the event were the engaging and inspirational sessions delivered by our very own Rachel Grey and Ella Martin, which were well-informed, passionate and practical, and very well-received. The day gave us all some new ideas to bring back to our brilliant schools.”

Ella Martin, the Lead for Teaching, Thinking and Learning for Strood, said: “I led a discussion focused on ‘Metacognitive Learners – A Reflective Culture’ which was all about the science of memory, highlighting the importance of including children in the discussion around memories, creating a culture of reflection within the classroom and shared practical strategies and suggestions for how to help children with their meta-cognitive thinking. It was a hugely successful session with plenty of discussions around this topic afterwards.”

There was a bustle of activity at the event as primary and secondary schools of all types, including some accredited Thinking Schools, shared experiences and techniques of enabling their pupils to be metacognitive learners.

Other members of staff from TSAT in attendance were Polly Turner from Plympton Academy, Claire Thompson from Furzeham Primary School and Nursery, Sophie Venables of Thinking Horizons, and Lisa Redfern from Brixham College. Thank you and well done to all involved.