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Learning for Life

Growth Mindset

What is ‘Growth Mindset’?

Growth mindset refers to a learning theory developed by Dr Carol Dweck.

It is based around the belief that you can improve intelligence, ability and performance whereas the opposite, a fixed mindset, refers to the belief that a person’s talents are set in stone .  It is based on the science of neuroplasticity that proves our brains can develop new pathways with practice, hence everyone can learn new things and improve their skills if they try! 

The key beliefs developed by a person with a growth mindset are:

  • mistakes are essential for learning (and should be celebrated not avoided)
  • failure is useful (it should not be feared) and it’s good to take risks
  • there’s no such thing as being ‘naturally bad or good’ at something – everyone gets good at things through hard work, practice and perseverance (intelligence is not fixed)
  • if you’re not good, you’re just not good ‘yet’: watch this TED talk Believe You Can Improve

How do we teach Growth Mindset?

We teach children about growth mindset through a series of evidence-based lessons developed by Shirley Clarke, including sharing and discussing stories that are kept on our special book shelves. You can learn more about Shirley Clarke's books here.

Staff ensure that the language they use, and promote children to use, supports a growth mindset approach to learning, especially in the delivery of feedback, and perseverance is a key part of our school vision and values.  There are visuals in every classroom including thinking prompts about how to switch from a fixed to a growth mindset. 

 Please chat to a member of staff if you’d like to know more about how you can support the development of a growth mindset approach at home.  There is a section for parents (and thinking about your own mindset) in Carol Dweck’s book: ‘Mindset, Changing the Way You Think to Fulfil Your Potential’, updated Jan 2017.

For more info see:

Mindset Works