Breamore C of E Primary School
A foundation for life
Growth Mindset

Carol Dweck is one of the world’s leading researchers in the field of motivation. She focuses on why people succeed and how to foster this success in schools. In her research on motivation and achievement, Dweck introduces the idea of Mindset. Mindsets are beliefs about yourself and your basic qualities such as your intelligence, your talents and your personality.

The beliefs children have about intelligence, effort, and struggle impact the choices they make about learning. People tend to hold one of two different beliefs about intelligence:
  • Children with a growth mindset believe that intelligence can be developed. These pupils see school as a place to develop their abilities and think of challenges as opportunities to grow.
  • Children with a fixed mindset believe that intelligence is fixed at birth and doesn’t change or changes very little with practice. These pupils see school as a place where their abilities are evaluated, they focus on looking smart over learning, and they interpret mistakes are a sign that they lack talent.
​In school:
We launched the idea of ‘Growth Mindset’ in our school in September 2015 and are confident in the benefits for our children. We have been thinking closely about how we can develop growth mindsets. In assemblies and in class we have shared stories that help the children understand how their brain works and how and when learning happens. We have also explored stories about about how people have become successful - through hard work and practice! 
This growth mindset approach links with how we mark work and give feedback too: we always mark giving ‘prompts for improvement’ in writing and ‘next steps’ in maths so that all learning for all children is seen as a way to grow. If children have fixed mindsets they find it hard to cope with failure: we teach our children to see mistakes and failure as positive.  It  has a really positive effect on our ethos and on how children approach learning and support each other.​

How parents can help at home:
  •  Pay attention and verbally praise your children for skills that don’t sound predetermined: hard work, persistence, rising to a challenge, learning from a mistake, etc., rather than being “clever”, “brilliant” or “gifted”
  • Be a growth mindset role model. Be honest: how often do you say “I can’t - cook/sing/do maths” or “I’m terrible at - sports/spelling” as if there’s no hope for you? Make sure you’re sending the right message – maybe even take on something new!
Watch the videos below and click on the links for more information or talk to any of the class teachers. 
Cookies in Use