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Metacognitive Tools

We offer a range of tools that help schools to explicitly develop metacognitive learners to plan, monitor, evaluate and action growth in their:

1. Cognitive Processes - via our Thinking Frames
2. Learning Behaviours - via our Dispositions MetaWheel
3. Motivation - via our Motivational Maps

Thinking Frames - Cognitive Processes

Thinking Frames are a dual coding tool (words combined with distinct images) that offer learners a way to improve both knowledge recall and explicitly develop their own cognitive processes. These processes (of which there are eight including sequencing, categorising and comparing) sit at the heart of almost all exam questions and are fundamental scaffolds for any form of problem solving and ‘higher order’ thinking. 

Example of a Defining Frame with an Effect Frame


The frames, a form of graphic organiser, are suitable for use by all age groups and across all subject areas. They provide a superb visual record of thinking for both learner and teacher and as such are an excellent planning and revision tool as well as being a helpful vehicle for those who find writing difficult, to communicate their thoughts.


The children really like the guidance of the Thinking Frames. They can view their ideas more clearly and they enjoy using them. It's fascinating to see how the Frames enable the children to make links to other curriculum areas and show real evidence of higher order thinking.
Broughton Primary School

To enable a whole school approach to embedding metacognition, we train school staff to use Thinking Frames and work with a school’s thinking and learning ‘Drive Team’ in how to embed them as part of a common language of learning in each year group and subject across the school. 

Find out more about the transformative effects of using Thinking Frames


Dispositions MetaWheel - Learning Behaviours

Our ‘MetaWheel’ software offers schools an easy way to show inspectorate bodies their intent, implementation and impact in developing learner skills. More importantly it allows learners the ability to visualise and explicitly reflect on the dispositions they are seeking to develop.

The MetaWheel provides teachers (and parents should the school wish) with a clear framework to monitor and coach dispositional growth in each of their students. 

Dispositions Metawheel
Example of the dispositions metawheel

Each school can have its own bespoke, school branded MetaWheel by:

  1. Selecting the dispositions they are specifically seeking to develop in their learners
  2. Selecting the rubric around each level of learner progress

We work with you to design your school’s MetaWheel and offer support for its implementation. 

Find out more about the MetaWheel


Motivational Maps - Motivation

We also offer a tool that enables learners and staff to look below the Behaviour Iceberg water line at what makes them ‘tick’.


Motivational Maps allow pupils insights into what it is that motivates them. This critical but typically under explored element of learner metacognition enables students to consider how they best engage with their learning and practice as well as providing a better understanding of 'self' during the transition years. It also provides the learner’s teachers with an excellent framework for conversations, enabling them to get to know their pupils much faster than they otherwise might. The benefits of the motivational maps can be seen in student performance and well-being as well as in the time saving it offers teachers.  

An example of a pupils 'motivators'


Schools use the Maps (created for each student by completing a 10 minute online questionnaire):

  • As a framework for teacher-pupil conversations around how best to access learning.
  • To offer students a better understanding of 'self' when going through transitions, choosing exam subjects, university courses and careers.
Find out more about using Motivational Maps with your students