Welcome to Meta Prep, where metacognition comes first​

Frequently Asked Questions


Metacognition, put simply, is thinking about one’s thinking. We teach our pupils to approach every learning task with metacognitive knowledge of themselves as a learner, strategies to use and understanding of the task.

This pedagogical approach is rooted and informed by the science of learning. It draws together the evidence of what works to develop cognitive processes and high-order thinking skills, meta-cognition, and translates into practical ways to teach.

The impact of the meta-cognitive approach is incredibly powerful. Recent research by Exeter University shows that pupils at schools which adopt this approach to teaching achieve an additional grade and half at GCSE; significantly above their predicted grades from entering secondary school. Whilst studies haven’t yet been done on the impact of 11+ scores we anticipate that the approach, particularly when applied in group and small group settings, will be highly significant.

We are not trying to replicate the work of your teachers or school and are there to provide supplementary support for children who are seeking to go to the most selective senior schools and require the additional stretch and challenge.

Our approach draws everything you’ll need for successful 11+ entry under one roof at a fraction of the cost of prep school fees: access to a head teacher who knows the schools and their entry requirements, expert 11+ teachers, mock exams, interviews and technology that offers you ‘on demand’ insights into your child’s progress.

No. Our school is there to supplement your child’s existing schooling, NOT replace it. Our approach has a very specific focus on preparing pupils for selective senior school entry assessments. It is not designed to cover the national KS2 curriculum. We work in partnership with schools to build on their curriculum foundations.

Our approach draws together everything you’ll need for successfully supporting your students to become expert learners and take ownership of their educational journey at a fraction of the cost of other training providers and with the certainty that all of our coaches are qualified teachers who have been certified as Thinking Matters’ cognitive coaches.

Yes. We accept pupils in Year 4: curriculum focus will be on the development of core thinking skills via metacognitive visual tools in preparation for our Year 5 courses.

No. Though we will soon be introducing a curriculum that targets 10+. Our current curriculum prepares our pupils for assessments they take in Year 6 – the 11+ and common pre-tests.

Almost universally, offers for 13+ entry are now made, either conditionally or unconditionally, after sitting the ISEB Common pre-test in Year 6 (and sometimes Year 7). Schools then invite pupils for an interview. Our curriculum, including its focus on developing the all important thinking and communication skills required for the interviews, is designed with a focus towards the 11+ and ISEB common pre-test.

Yes, Meta Prep is absolutely for your child. We hope it will be the ideal solution for you, marrying the advisory service and 11+ preparation. Our ability to advise you on the complexities of what is required and which schools are appropriate for your child while also preparing them and supporting you throughout the journey, all under one roof, is a rare service. We offer classes to accommodate different time zones across the world.

If you would like your child to encounter more than what is currently on offer at their existing school, then yes. Parents typically choose to supplement their children’s traditional prep school education with ours in order to benefit from the smaller class sizes, metacognitive tools and our evidence based approach towards fulfilling their child’s potential.

Our curriculum, including its focus on developing the all important thinking and communication skills required for the interviews, is designed with a focus towards secondary school interviews. Through our partner, Moxams, we offer Mock Interview sessions.

Our teaching practice is evidence based and a class of six is fundamental to our approach, making learning more fun, building camaraderie and increasing pupil motivation. It enables teachers to tailor their lessons and give personalised focus and help to individuals. The lively and stimulating atmosphere enables extra learning via group interaction: it is less intense and more varied so pupils are able to remain focused for longer.

Crucially, working with peers is key to developing the oracy, communication skills and emotional intelligence to attain the high order thinking skills and prepare interview skills.

Through our conversations with you, our detailed diagnostic assessments and our technology we get an unparalleled overview of your child across all the relevant subject areas. This enables our teaching team, all of whom are dedicated, full time professionals with years of experience and outstanding track records in successfully preparing pupils for the Year 6 assessments to identify exactly where to focus their efforts. You can feel totally confident your child will be covering the key topics, practising the right questions and learning in a way that will set them up to thrive far beyond the exam room with Meta Prep.

Yes, as we have designed a termly curriculum that covers, through the weekly sessions: Maths, English, Reasoning (VR & NVR) and Thinking & Interview skills.

Anytime, we offer courses for children in Year 4, Year 5 and Year 6.

All of our teachers must be subject specialists, have worked in schools that prepare for the 11+ exams and experts at inspiring children to learn online. Additionally, after joining, they are accredited as Thinking Matters ‘Cognitive Coaches’. This pedagogical approach is rooted and informed by the science of learning. It draws together the evidence of ‘what works’ to develop cognitive processes and high-order thinking skills, meta-cognition, and translates into practical ways to teach.

This is a question to ask your child’s school. However, the remit of state primary schools is to ensure their pupil’s have covered the key elements of the statutory curriculum. Primary schools are, amongst other things, judged by their pupil’s performance in KS2 SATs – this affects their Ofsted rating. Primary schools are not formally judged on how many of their pupils gain places at selective senior schools. Not surprisingly, they therefore focus on preparing their pupils for the KS2 SAT exams to show the progress made from KS1 SATS. Whilst there is some crossover in material between the SATs and selective school assessments there is also a significant difference in both the content being tested for, level of difficulty, timing and style of question being asked. Preparing pupils for these assessments is our area of expertise.

On rare occasions, there are times when a pupil’s behaviour is having a negative impact on the group. In such situations we reserve the right to remove a pupil from the session. We also reserve the right to prevent a pupil from joining any future sessions – such decisions will be taken following discussion with the pupil in question’s parent(s) and/or guardian(s).

We considered the use of Zoom very carefully before choosing to deploy it as a key part of our Online Learning system – not least in the light of media reports of phenomena such as ‘Zoom-bombing’. We were clear that Zoom offered the best functionality for remote learning. Within meetings we are able to mute, unmute, allow entry, remove entirely, share a wide range of content, restrict access and more. Additionally, we can see all our students at once.

All of our teachers are Enhanced DBS checked. To ensure the safety of pupils, all our Zoom meeting links sit behind a password-protected wall. These links are inaccessible to anyone but pre-authorised, registered user accounts. We have complete and unilateral control over these accounts. Meta Prep has a Safeguarding Policy available for all staff and parents to read.

Meta Prep draws on the expertise of both Moxams and My Learning Accelerator. Moxams is an 11+ focused provider of exam and interview familiarisation materials and experiences. Its large bank of 11+ questions ‘mimics’ the questions which schools use to assess pupils, whichever of the major examination boards (CEM, ISEB, GL, CAT4) they base their assessments on. With access to those questions, Meta Prep also has access to the ‘intelligent’ learning platform developed by Moxams. The algorithms identify which specific topics pupils need to focus on. My Learning Accelerator, provides 1:1 11+ tutors who are trained as cognitive coaches. Where we feel there is a specific requirement for one to one provision we often recommend My Learning Accelerator tutors.

Our partners