Friday Gem #27 – start of term reflection on prior learning

Autumn Focus: Metacognition – students driving their own learning through reflection

Teaching and learning Gem #27 – start of term reflection on prior learning


This comes from Mary and Yvonne in Chemistry, who used digital RAG forms at the start of this term to help students reflect on their learning. This is such a great method to develop metacognition. Whilst we have done a Friday Gem on RAG forms before, I thought it would be useful to share how colleagues are using them to great effect with the current T&L focus.


  • In creating the Microsoft Form, Mary and Yvonne used statements from the specification to break down the topic (great for helping students’ mental schema about the topic)
  • They asked the students to complete the form after a holiday, allowing students to realise what has stuck in the long-term memory, and what has not.
  • This drew the students’ attention to the nature of memory, and the need for regular, spaced practice.
  • In rating their knowledge Red, Amber, Green, students were having to recall ideas and concepts and reflect on their own confidence.
  • As well as being a great metacognitive task for students, it also allowed for Mary and Yvonne to get really quick feedback about the class at a snapshot, but they could also zoom into the detail to see the confidence of individuals.
  • It has helped them plan for revision/interleaving/revisiting areas.


What did the students think of this?

“The girls said they found it really useful. They particularly liked it at the end of a topic with the spec statements as it really helped breakdown the content of the units and identify what they felt uncertain about when they had time to think about it. They advised me that they want me to do more and definitely at the end of units.”