Metacognition. It sounds quite intimidating but it really isn’t and by using it we can be become better learners. The word ‘metacognition’ is actually comes from two different languages – ‘meta’ comes from Greek, meaning ‘beyond’ and ‘cognoscere’ comes from Latin, meaning ‘getting to know’. When put together, you get the idea of going beyond thinking, or THINKING ABOUT THINKING.


Metacognition is part of our Thinking Schools approach and underpins how we are approaching our teaching and learning at Sacred Heart. We approach any learning task or opportunity with some metacognitive knowledge about:

  • our own abilities and attitudes (knowledge of ourselves as a learner);
  • what strategies are effective and available (knowledge of strategies); and
  • this particular type of activity (knowledge of the task).


There are 7 questions that can help to promote metacognition:

  1. What should I do first?
  2. Is anything confusing me?
  3. Can I explain what I’ve learnt?
  4. Should I ask for extra help?
  5. Why did I get this answer wrong?
  6. Can I apply this in different contexts?
  7. How can I do better next time?


If you’d like to do more reading on metacognition, here are some excellent books which we would recommend:



We also recommend reading the Education Endowment Foundation guidance report: Metacognition and Self-Regulated Learning.