Evelyn CommunityPrimary School

‘Inspiring minds, nurturing dreams, learning for life’

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Changing Mindsets

Developing a Growth Mindset


Shirley Clarke writes, ‘People with a fixed mindset believe that they are born with a certain amount of intelligence and that it is fixed for the rest of their lives. People with a growth mindset, however, know that intelligence is not fixed and that you can, in effect, ‘grow’ your intelligence.’


At Evelyn CP School we promote a growth mindset culture, encouraging every child to believe that they can learn and achieve.


How do we promote a growth mindset?


  • We praise the effort taken to achieve a task, rather than purely the outcome of the task. For example, “ I like the way you have persevered at using the right method.”


  • Weekly Merit Winners, Star Readers and Math-a-magicians are selected based on the effort they have demonstrated


  • Children are supported in their ability to be resilient through different classroom displays and helpdesk strategies


  • An ideal example is shared with children to give clarity an further promote a can-do attitude


  • Each class have a set of Effort Indicators which exemplify degrees of ‘stuckness’. This encourages each child to reflect on the level of effort they have applied and what more they could do next time, to improve.


For example:


Excellent Effort – I am working as hard as I can. I am working as hard as I do when I am doing my most enjoyable pastime.


Satisfactory Effort – I generally participate in learning activities and I do what I am expected to do by my Teacher. I do not go beyond anything that I am asked to do either in class or for home work. I use the minimum amount of effort to get by.


Poor Effort – I make no effort at all in lessons. I never arrive on time or have equipment with me.


To communicate these effort indicators effectively to children, classes use visual representations.

For example: In Year 4 children use Superheroes to see progress from The Flash —> Cat Woman —> Spider Man —>Super Man —> Iron Man


Do you have a fixed or growth mindset?

Parents often pass on their own insecurities to children. Remember – the brain is a muscle that can be trained to grow and learn.


Here are some ‘Famous Failures’ that show you can grow your intelligence:


He wasn’t able to speak until he was 4 years old and his teachers said he would never amount to much (Albert Einstein)


He was fired from a newspaper for lacking imagination and having no original ideas (Walt Disney)


Here are some tips…


Instead of saying    …………………..      Try thinking


‘I just can’t do this’   ……….    I am going to try a different strategy’


I’m not clever enough to do this’   ….. ‘ I will learn how to do this’


‘I’m rubbish at this’ ……….  What can I do to improve?’


‘This will do’  ……….  Is this my best work?’


‘I’ll never do it, it’s too hard’This may take some time and effort’


‘How come my friend can do it?’ ……. I will learn from them’