At Bridge of Weir Primary School, we believe that ‘mindset matters’ and having the right attitude towards learning has a hugely positive impact on progress and success. Encouraging our pupils to have the right mindset has become a key priority for the school.
We want all our pupils to take on challenges, embrace mistakes as part of the learning process, value the importance of effort, respond positively to feedback and take inspiration from others. These positive attitudes and habits will help them to achieve in school and beyond.
Encouraging children to learn and grow
Central to this attitude and approach to learning, are the theories of psychologist Professor Carol Dweck from Stanford University. We have introduced these to staff, pupils and parents and are working hard to embed these concepts within our school ethos.
Dweck’s research has identified the characteristics of learners with certain opposing mindsets which she terms ‘growth’ and ‘fixed’.
Having a fixed mindset means we believe our abilities are fixed and cannot be changed, we rely on a feeling of success and avoid criticism. Mistakes are seen as failure and an excuse to give up and effort is regarded as less important than ability.
Having a growth mindset means we relish challenges and are willing to ‘have a go’ even if we are not initially successful. We know that our brain is working hard when we make mistakes so we do not fear failure but see it as a springboard to success. Effort is valued as it is through perseverance and practice we see best progress. And we do not compare ourselves with others but use their successes to inspire ours.
Looking at this diagram will help us determine what kind of mindset we and our children have – and how far along the road to a growth mindset we are!
Learning and growing together
In order to fulfil the potential of our pupils and encourage them to become confident and resilient learners we must work together to promote these positive messages.
At school and at home, we can model the attitude of one who is not afraid to take on challenges or make mistakes.
We can also promote correct self-talk where we ‘change our words and change our mindset’. These words are displayed all around the school and, if used at home too, can be very powerful.
And we can encourage our children to give their best, persevere and practise, and always value effort (not forgetting the power of YET!).
At Bridge of Weir Primary, 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 assemblies 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 learning from mistakes.
Summary of how we learn and grow
- We challenge ourselves and take risks
- We make mistakes – and learn from them
- We don’t compare ourselves with others
- We learn from each other
- We remember that our brains are making new connections and growing all the time
- We never give up – perseverance is the key if we are to succeed
The following video explains the concept in more detail:
For further information on how to encourage confident and resilient learners at home, have a look at some of the links below.
We are very excited about the prospect of nurturing a growth mindset culture at Bridge of Weir Primary School. Together we can help all pupils learn and grow to achieve their best potential. MINDSET MATTERS.