Every school places high value on learners who set high standards for themselves, are goal-orientated, motivated and who take the lead in monitoring, directing and evaluating their own progress and development.

We are pleased to offer a brand-new conference for Autumn 2018, which brings together leading experts to immerse delegates in the most current research, resources and strategies that will enable them to create a climate for self-directed teaching and learning in their schools.

Thinking Skills and Metacognition are powerful and readily implementable conduits for improving classroom standards. The benefits offered are potentially huge for schools looking to improve levels of progress, engagement, classroom challenge and pupil motivation. The key is to empower pupils by purposefully bringing them into the cognitive space where deep learning takes place.

Offering real solutions for teachers wishing to develop truly metacognitive learners who actively participate in their own progress, our conference includes keynote contributions from Professor Rachel Lofthouse, Leeds Beckett University, and coauthors of ‘Uncharted Territories: Adventures into Learning’, Hywel Roberts and Dr Debra Kidd. The event will be chaired by Jo McShane, global teacher educator and writer, and will feature a range of expert workshops offering effective solutions to all aspects of this issue and feature practical workshops delivered by outstanding practitioners, authors and international speakers.

The conference will bring together educators from all phases and sectors wishing to explore the benefits of this unique approach to deep and sustained pupil learning by providing real, tested and varied classroom strategies schools can use for rapid implementation.

“Too often, we teach students what to think, but not how to think.”


  • Co-create powerful approaches to enhancing pupil progress
  • Discover and respond to the latest research about powerful teaching and learning themes
  • Gain access to instant strategies for the creation of metacognitive classrooms
  • Re-invent teaching and learning to explicitly develop independent and reflective learners who take responsibility for their own progress
  • Uncover new ways to improve pupil behaviour, engagement, motivation, progress and assessment
DATE London Thursday 22 November 2018
  • Secondary and primary Headteachers
  • Teaching and Learning Coordinators
  • Heads of Departments
  • Secondary and primary teachers
  • Educational Research Professionals
  • Policy Makers
  • Curriculum Managers
  • A specially prepared folder of 50+ pages full of detailed notes, practical advice and guidance
  • Notes prepared by the educational experts leading the course
  • Expert produced PowerPoint presentations
  • CPD Certificate of attendance
  • Two course restaurant lunch
  • Refreshments throughout the day
  • Guaranteed high quality venues



9.50 – 10.00am: Introduction & Welcome

Jo McShane – Teacher Development Consultant


10.00 – 10.50am: Metacognition and Self-Regulation - Reframing learners as thinkers

Professor Rachel Lofthouse – Professor of Teacher Education, Carnegie School of Education, Leeds Beckett University

  • Making sense of metacognition and its impact on learning
  • Getting the balance right; the roles of interventions, pedagogies and curriculum

10.50 – 11.10am: Morning Refreshments


11.10 – 12.00pm: Inspiring Teachers to Develop Metacognition and Self-Regulation

Jo McShane (Chair) – Teacher Development Consultant

  • Research informed practical pedagogy for thinking and feeling classrooms
  • The role of emotion, activity and autonomy on wellbeing and achievement

12.00 – 1.00pm: OPTION STRAND 1

Either Option 1A: Evidence into action: putting teacher development at the heart of thinking classrooms

  • How teachers can co-construct metacognitive teaching in action
  • Starting points, tools and strategies

Professor Rachel Lofthouse – Professor of Teacher Education, Carnegie School of Education, Leeds Beckett University

Or Option 1B: Developing Pupils’ Metacognitive Knowledge & Skills

  • Practical ideas and strategies to develop pupils’ metacognitive knowledge and understand how they learn
  • How to use classroom dialogue and questions to develop metacognitive skills
  • How to help pupils plan, monitor and evaluate their learning

Alex Fairlamb – Associate Assistant Headteacher, St Wilfrid’s RC College, international speaker


1.00 – 2.00pm: Lunch


2.00 – 3.00pm: OPTION STRAND 2

Either Option 2A: Generating the Thirst for Mastery in Learners

  • The what? Self-regulation as a route to mastery in learning
  • The so what? Evaluating the impact of self-regulation on learning
  • The what now? How do you get students to self-regulate? Three powerful methods

Jo McShane – Teacher development consultant

Or Option 2B: Thinking Through Modelling

  • How to model your own thinking to help pupils develop their thinking
  • The importance of making the implicit explicit to secure progress
  • Setting appropriate challenge to develop pupils’ engagement with problem solving

Alex Fairlamb – Associate Assistant Headteacher, St Wilfrid’s RC College, international speaker


3.00 – 3.50pm: Into the Woods; Renewing Optimism in the Thinking Curriculum

Hywel Roberts – Author, international educational speaker
Dr. Debra Kidd – Author, international educational speaker

  • How to protect children’s rights to engaging and adventurous learning experiences
  • Embedding rich opportunities for reflecting on learning and thinking about big questions
  • How to get engaging and exciting curriculum coverage using little resource but plenty of imagination

Jo McShane – is writer, speaker and director who delivers both national and global educational services, leadership support and research development in Education. In addition to 23 years’ service in the teaching profession, Jo has enjoyed 12 years of success in university and school senior leadership. As an established teacher development expert, Jo has led the on thinking and metacognitive approaches to classroom practice in both school and university settings and delivers on innovative pedagogy in international contexts.

Professor Rachel Lofthouse – is Professor of Teacher Education at the Carnegie School of Education, Leeds Beckett University. She has a specific research interest in professional learning, exploring how teachers learn and how they can be supported to put that learning into practice. She is a practising teaching educator, as well as a researcher. Her interest extends to teachers and educators at all career stages and in all sectors. She has a particular interest in how teachers learn through approaches such as coaching, lesson study, professional enquiry and interprofessional practice. She marries these interests with a concern for the development of innovative thinking pedagogies and curriculum design.

Hywel Roberts – has been a teacher for over twenty-five years. He is an experienced teacher in Special, Primary and Secondary settings, nationally and internationally. He is also a well-respected author. ‘Oops! Getting Children to Learn Accidentally’ has proved very popular with educators around the world. ‘Uncharted Territories’ co-written with Dr Debra Kidd was published in 2018. He writes a regular column for the TES. Hywel leads PGCE Drama at Huddersfield University and has an MA in Poverty, Education and Achievement from Leeds Beckett University. He was recently described as ‘…a world leader in enthusiasm’.

Debra Kidd – has worked in education for twenty five years, teaching children from the age of 4 right through to post-graduate Master’s students in both mainstream and special settings. She is the author of two books: ‘Teaching: Notes from the Frontline’ and ‘Becoming Mobius’ and co-authored a “Uncharted Territories: Great Adventures in Learning.” She is a regular writer for Teach Secondary and a columnist for Teach Primary and is the co-founder and organiser of Northern Rocks – one of the largest teaching and learning conferences in the UK. Her teacher training on developing exciting learning contexts for pupils has taken her all over the world. She is also an Artistic Director with the International Schools Theatre Association, working across five continents.

Alex Fairlamb – is an Associate Assistant Headteacher and Specialist Leader in Education (SLE), working in the North East of England. Her Masters in Education specialised in immersive learning and innovative change. Her specialisms are creativity and thinking in the classroom. She is developing an international profile by sharing her classroom techniques overseas. During her career, she has worked in the Education department of a living museum as a Community Learning Coordinator, where she focused on the impact of immersive learning.