Growth Mindset

Today’s Growth Mindset Day was a fantastic success. The children all really enjoyed themselves while stretching their minds! The teachers and I are all very proud of how enthusiastic the pupils were. Thank you to the large numbers of parents and carers who took the time to come and find out all about Growth Mindset. I hope that you found it informative.

A huge thank you to Mrs Cross, Mrs Davey, Mrs Davenport, Mrs Marzola and Mrs Pratt for all their hard work in organising the Growth Mindset Day.

So just what is a Growth Mindset?

  • Growth Mindset is choosing the difficult and challenging task and persisting despite setbacks.
  • Eminent psychologist Carol Dweck says “successful individuals love learning, value effort and persist in the face of obstacles”.
  • Research tells us that “if you face children with intellectual challenges and then help them talk through the problems towards a solution, then you almost literally stretch their minds.  They become cleverer, not only in the particular topic, but across the curriculum” – Professor Philip Adey
  • The Lea believes that everyone, with effort and guidance, can increase their learning and thinking abilities.

We will be designing curriculum activities to promote the use of a growth mindset and assessing the impact on our children’s learning.

You can support us on this journey by doing the following:-

  • Praise effort not achievement
  • Encourage tackling a challenge
  • Develop resilience and persistence
  • Encourage acceptance of mistakes and learn from them
  • Encourage a love of learning rather than seeking success and praise for getting things right.

What makes a good learner

Praise EFFORT not outcome

DO: Use words that encourage

  • Wow!
  • Look at that!
  • Tell me about it.
  • Show me more.
  • How did you do that?
  • Let’s see what you did.
  • How do you feel about it?
  • How did you work that out?
  • I see that you ______ (be specific)
  • That looks like it took a lot of effort.
  • How many ways did you try it before it turned out the way you wanted it?
  • What do you plan to do next?
  • That looks like it took so much work.
  • Are you pleased with what you did?

DON’T: Use labels that judge

  • Smart.
  • Pretty.
  • Cute.
  • Good.
  • Great.
  • Fast.
  • Best.
  • Quick.
  • Clever.
  • Beautiful.
  • Lovely.
  • Intelligent.
  • Right.
  • Amazing.
  • The best.
  • Better than __________ (another person)

DO: Use mindset growing conversations

  • “What did you struggle with today?”
  • “This is hard, but this is fun, what should we do next?”
  • “You can grow your intelligence”
  • “You can learn. You can stretch. You can keep mastering new things”
  • I don’t think there’s anything better in the world than a child hearing from their peers, a parent or teacher the words, “You’ll get there”
  • In studies praising kids’ ability lowered their IQ scores!
  • Do you label your kids? E.g. “This one is the artist and that one is the scientist.” Next time, remember that you’re not helping them – even though you may be praising them.


“When do you feel smart?”

(from Carol Dweck’s book, Mindset: The New Psychology of Success, pg 22)

We asked people, ranging from grade schoolers to young adults, “When do you feel smart?”  The differences were striking.

People with the growth mindset said:

  • “When it’s really hard, and I try really hard, and I can do something I couldn’t do before.”
  • “When I work on something a long time and I start to figure it out.”

For people with a growth mindset it’s not about immediate perfection. It’s about learning something over time – confronting a challenge and making progress. People with a growth mindset thrive when they’re stretching themselves.

People with the fixed mindset said:

  • “It’s when I don’t make any mistakes.”
  • “When I finish something fast and it’s perfect.”
  • “When something is easy for me but other people can’t do it.”

It’s about being perfect right now. In the fixed mindset it’s not enough just to succeed. It’s not enough just to look smart or talented. You have to be pretty much flawless. And you have to be flawless right away. When do people with a fixed mindset thrive? When things are safely within their grasp. If things get too challenging when they’re not feeling smart or talented – they lose interest.

The Learning Pit


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