This much I know about…teaching students meta-cognition & self-regulation skills for the examination hall


I have been a teacher for 26 years, a Headteacher for 11 years and, at the age of 50, this much I know about teaching students meta-cognition & self-regulation skills for the examination hall.


Interventions to help students learn can be done for next to nothing. The now ubiquitous Sutton Trust-Education Endowment Foundation Learning Toolkit rates Meta-cognition & self-regulation as a cheap and highly effective strategy to improve students’ learning.

How do students learn how to train their brain to operate effectively during the 90 minutes of an AS level examination? Like many people, my students’ AS mock examination results were pretty disappointing. I know they know their economics theory, but under examination conditions they do not seem to have a sharp enough grasp of how to respond effectively to score as many marks as possible. Command words are ignored; diagrams are left unlabelled; answers are expressed carelessly. On the evidence within their…

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100% Attendance

Freeing the Angel

We’re sat in the outpatient ward of the children’s hospital. Fortunately for us, the reason we are here is not too serious (although it does mean fairly frequent days out of school). This time round, there has been an administrative error. Some paperwork was misplaced at the start of the day. And because of this, there is a two and a half hour delay before our consultant can see us. In that time, a series of children wait alongside us, some who clearly have complex medical problems. Most of them are in their school uniforms. And as I while away those two and a half hours I start to think, really think, about what it means when schools reward 100% attendance.

One little girl arrives who has obviously spent a lot of time in the children’s hospital. Several nurses pop out to say hello, and how is she doing…

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