Nord Anglia Education
Nord Anglia
01 May, 2024

How we use metacognition in the classroom to prepare students for life


Metacognition is the process we all use to better understand our own thinking processes and problem-solving strategies. In the simplest terms it’s ‘thinking about thinking’ or being aware of how we best learn. Metacognitive skills are the techniques we use to learn and to understand ourselves as learners.

Why is this significant? Because it’s a learning superpower. Research shows that teaching children these skills in school can significantly enhance academic performance, helping prepare students for the next stage in life. In fact, The Education Endowment Fund estimates these skills can equate to at least seven months of additional progress. This is one of the many reasons why Nord Anglia’s schools are helping students develop their metacognitive skills.


Nord Anglia Education, the international schools group, is working with Dr Rose Luckin, professor of Learner Centred Design at the University College London (UCL) Knowledge Lab. The aim is to develop its approach to metacognition used by teachers and introduce metacognitive strategies into the classroom. It has developed a metacognitive framework of six ‘Learner Ambitions’ to help students develop the 6 Cs: to become critical, creative, committed and curious learners, working compassionately and collaboratively in the classroom and beyond.


To understand how metacognition works, there’s a three-step process that includes awareness, adaptation, and application:

  • Awareness: Initially, children learn to recognise their own thinking by pausing and reflecting on the type of thinking needed to solve a problem.
  • Adaptation: Next, students adapt their thinking based on their awareness of their learning processes. At The British School of Tashkent, we encourage children to try different thinking strategies and see which best help them make connections across topics, viewpoints, problems, or challenges.
  • Application: Lastly, students apply their thinking processes to new, unfamiliar, or more complex contexts. All along the way we have educators facilitating this by guiding reflections and inspiring students to find new ways to think creatively and thrive.


We know that by developing students’ metacognitive processes, with families also playing an active role in reinforcing metacognition at home, we can help them become more aware of their own learning and take more ownership of the strategies they use to improve how they learn.

The high-quality education provided at The British School of Tashkent means we don’t just prepare our students to pass exams, we take pride in preparing them for life. 

For more information on metacognition, read Nord Anglia Education’s recent article, Metacognition: Helping kids unlock the power of ‘thinking about thinking’.

Alternatively, come and meet first-hand our incredible educators at The British School of Tashkent by contacting our Admissions team to arrange a personalised tour of our school.