6 March 2022

Image of Spring Term - 7th March 2022

Whole School CPD Focus:

Purposeful Writing (Explaining and Modelling)

Walkthru Cluster:

Explaining and Modelling



Metacognitive Talk: Narrate the Thinking (pg. 82)




This Walkthru underpins the other Walkthrus in this cluster: Explaining and Modelling.  Metacognition is well-evidenced as having significant impact on students’ learning: Evidence suggests the use of ‚Äčmetacognitive strategies’ – which get pupils to think about their own learning – can be worth the equivalent of an additional +7 months’ progress when used well(EEF). If students are able to plan, monitor and evaluate their progress through a task; to think strategically about how to solve a problem and to articulate their thought processes; they will be using metacognitive strategies successfully. Teachers can support students in developing their metacognitive skills by using metacognitive talk in lessons.  Sherrington summarises this as, ‘narrating thought processes and making them explicit.’ As with many of the Walkthrus in this cluster, a visualiser is an essential piece of kit, here.


So what are the five stages of Sherrington’s Walkthru?


Stage One: Set a Problem and Explore It

As a class, read through the question that has been asked.  Focus on establishing what the question is and PREDICT (reading skill) what the answer might entail. Externalise the dialogue that is happening in your head here and see what it is possible to determine from the phrasing of the question. Establish what ‘problem type’ it is. Together, draw on relevant past experience and prior knowledge.


Stage Two: What Do We Already Know?

Talk through the information that is available in the question and supporting resources.  What do we already know from the question?  Active reading skills will be important here (highlighting, annotation, clarification of key vocabulary, etc).  What do we also know from previous learning that might be relevant?  Make a list of notes so that this becomes explicit.


Stage Three: Where Do We Start?

Talk through the first steps in solving the problem or completing the task.  If it is a standard approach, then stress this so that the routine is established.  If there are several possible starting points, then talk through the process of choosing one; explore why you are choosing this particular option in this case.  Discuss every decision that you are making and every mark that you make on the page.  Aim to demystify the whole process.


Stage Four: Make a Plan and Monitor

Make the plan for answering the question explicit, here.  Model the process of setting out the plan - for example the sequence of set so in solving a maths problem, or the paragraph structure for an essay in History or English.  It is important to be as explicit as possible about every step and to provide a clear reason for each being positioned so.  As you progress through the task, narrate your progress through each of the steps. Model the significance of checking your progress against each stage and also to manage time where this is relevant.


Stage Five: Have We Been Successful?

Once the task has been completed or the problem solved, model the process of self-review.  Students should be shown how to check back over their work to see if it is accurate or correct.  The teacher will need to provide guidance here to enable students to know if an answer is correct within the context of the subject.  Checking mechanisms may need to be taught as part of the curriculum.


Over the years, schools have attempted to instil a ‘growth mindset’ approach into students, with the phrase ‘not yet’ being over-used to encourage students to be determined, resolute and resilient. Metacognition is a much more effective approach. The EEF suggests the following recommendations:

These approaches are interwoven into our Brilliant Teaching and Learning Toolkit and also into our day-to-day approaches to curriculum and lesson planning. If we make them explicit, this will benefit the students.


Previous blogs and Walkthrus in this cluster:

  • Deliberate Vocabulary Development
  • Worked Examples
  • Dual Coding
  • Big Picture, Small Picture
  • Abstract Models, Concrete Examples
  • Live Modelling
  • Scaffolding


CPD Cascade

National College

Remember that there are subject-specific watchlists available in National College.


Free Sessions – VSH



 Wednesday 9th March 3.30pm

Building Better Relationships Through Understanding Attachment

 Friday 11th March 9.30am

Communicating with Children in Distress

Wednesday 16th March 3.30pm

Understanding and Promoting Resilience in Children and Young People

Wednesday 23rd March  9.30am

Trauma-informed Working in Schools

Wednesday 23rd March 3.30pm

Supporting Children and Young People with Low Mood and Depression

Friday 25th March 9.30am

Supporting Children Following Loss and Bereavement





Posted by Rachel Long

Category: Teaching and Learning Digests

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