Pupil Premium Strategies #1 – What Is Metacognition?

This is the first in a series of blogs giving an overview of research-proven strategies that schools can adopt when budgeting their pupil premium – and how we can help.

It’s likely that almost everyone reading this will know what the pupil premium is. Introduced in 2011, this is a government bursary given to schools with the express purpose of investing in strategies to address the attainment gap. The amount is fixed, and is determined per pupil in the school that is eligible for free school meals (FSM). There are no official releases on how schools should be spending the pupil premium; only guidelines.

As such, there are an array of research documents out there with supporting evidence designed to make things as clear as possible for schools in lieu of structured framework.

To sift through all of the findings would naturally take a significant amount of time, which is why we’ve summarised some of the lower-cost strategies that still provide value in their effectiveness.

What is metacognition

If we were to stop and examine how we process and retain information during education, we would be using metacognition. In an increasingly target-driven sector, metacognition can be argued as a means to put children in the driving seat of their own education.

Education blogger David Didau wrote with insight on the topic of metacognition in 2013, highlighting some real-life examples that underline the effectiveness of metacognitive learning when it is understood and implemented in a meaningful way. Didau states that the students are ‘engaged in their own learning’, and it’s this fundamental idea that makes metacognition a widely popular approach in the classroom – and the fact it is relatively low-cost is appealing for schools looking to adopt a sound strategy as part of their pupil premium spending.

Image a) is an example of how a metacognitive journal page might look in a school planner in its most simple form. Remember that we can create pages for you from scratch, so if you’d prefer a completely tailored learning journal template, just let us know.

Images b) and c) are pages from our ideas library. By keeping it simple with icons, students are encouraged to assess how they feel they are progressing as they complete their homework.