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Small schools are defined by the DfE as fewer than 100 pupils (DfE, 2019) with mixed aged classes being part and parcel of their uniqueness. Reception and Key Stage 1 are often learning together and some Key Stage 2 classes include all 4 year groups.

The challenges of mixed-aged classes are widely known across the teaching profession such as supporting and challenging all pupils, and mixed year group planning (Berry, 2004). However, the benefits of mixed-aged classes are often overlooked and less considered. One such benefit is that they create the perfect learning conditions for developing and supporting metacognitive regulation.

Recommendation 1 of the EEF’s Metacognition and Self-Regulated Learning guidance report states metacognitive regulation ​is about planning how to undertake a task, working on it while monitoring the strategy to check progress, then evaluating the overall success.’

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