At Whittonstall and Broomley First School Federation, we know that pupils who have a positive attitude towards their learning will make good progress and be successful. Consequently, instilling all our pupils with ‘growth mindsets’ has become a key priority for the school and staff and pupils and are determined to embed its ideas within our school ethos. We have introduced the theories of Dr Carol Dweck, Professor of Psychology at Stanford University, who conducted a lifetime’s research into mindsets and concluded a difference between a fixed mindset (the belief that intelligence is fixed) and a growth mindset (the belief that intelligence can grow).
We want all our pupils to relish challenges, embrace their mistakes as part of the learning process, value the importance of effort, respond carefully to feedback and take inspiration from others. This will help them to achieve, not only with us, but also in their future lives as adults.
Encouraging children to become confident and resilient learners
Learn, explore and grow together. This is what we embed in all of our pupils here at Sacred Heart. We know that in order to fulfil the potential of our pupils and encourage them to become confident and resilient learners we, as a team of parents and staff, need to be modelling the mindset of a learner who is not afraid of making mistakes but who thrives upon them, knowing that this is all part of the learning process. The way in which we encourage children to learn and explore is vital to their success, not only at school but at home as well.
At Sacred Heart, we consistently endeavour to challenge and develop the attitudes of all pupils and staff towards learning by considering what makes a successful learner. We have dedicated sessions in class to address what kind of learners we want to be and how we can positively approach challenges inside and outside the classroom. The school is buzzing with talk of perseverance, challenge, risks and celebrating mistakes.
Central to this attitude and approach to learning, are the theories and proven evidence of Growth Mindset. This is a term coined by psychologist Carol Dweck and her research has identified the characteristics of learners with a fixed and a growth mindset.
The following video explains the concept in more detail: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KUWn_TJTrnU
Growth Mindset at Sacred Heart Catholic Primary School:
We are helping the children to develop a Growth Mindset through weekly discussions in class and assemblies and awarding good efforts despite setbacks and mistakes. As staff, our main aims are to:
- Help children understand that the brain is like a muscle that can be developed and grown.
- Explain that intelligence is not ‘fixed’ it can develop when you have the confidence to allow it.
- Remind children that it is not your ability to do something that matters, it is your belief about your ability and talents.
- Build resilience to help children tackle and overcome challenges
- ‘Give things a go’
- Encourage children to have a love for learning
- Sometimes take informed risks and learning from them
- To show a good example by staff showing resilience and positivity to challenges
For further information on how to encourage confident and resilient learners at home, have a look at some of the links below.