Rolling out Growth Mindset in Schools

Growth mindset

There are many fads in education. At the moment teachers are being bombarded by AFL (Assessment for Learning), WALTS (What are we Learning Today) and WILFS (What I’m Looking For) or my favourite at the moment DIRT (Directed Improvement Reflection Time) All this is fine and I’m sure it does have some impact on learning, however it neglects one key issue – If the kids who are sat down in front of you are not motivated to learn, all your efforts in following teaching guidelines from up above (ofsted, estyn) are fruitless.

We need to start approaching education from a different angle. We need to get our kids motivated to learn. We need to look at the psychology of learning. I strongly believe that the Growth Mindset work carried out by Carol Dweck is the foundation of any learning. The reason I believe it is because I have seen it with my own eyes. Not just in the learners in front of me but also in my own learning. Deploying a Growth Mindset in my life has opened many doors and is probably the reason why you are reading this blog  – I hope you are enjoying it so far!

The reason you are reading this blog is to find out what I am doing to roll out Growth Mindset across the school. Here are the steps that I have taken to date:

  • I asked all students in the school (1600) to fill in a questionnaire to find out if they have a Growth or Fixed Mindset. The results proved my initial thoughts – 90% of students had a fixed mindset. Truly worrying.
  • I set up a Growth Mindset working party. We had 5 staff who got together to try and thrash out a plan. This is what we came up with.
  • We invited 50 students (and their parents) out of the 1600 students questioned to attend four 1 hour workshops. The four workshops were titled:
  1. Introduction
  2. What is a Growth Mindset
  3. The Power of Myelin
  4. Become more Gritty

The first meeting was called and we expected the hoards to come through the door. We waited and then waited and then waited…5 parents turned up with their children. Talk about being deflated. Talk about nearly listening to my fixed mindset (which incidentally, I battle against everyday) and sending them home and writing everything off as a bad idea. However, we stayed with it and delivered workshop 1. The following week the parents turned up again and were keen to know more about what a Growth Mindset was. The story told in workshop 1 definitely resinated with them. The group stayed and went through the full course. They found it extremely inspiring and it made them look at the way they were leading their life. The parents certainly began to look at the way they were speaking to their children. Perhaps the most satisfying comment came from a dad, who I had the vibes was fairly pessimistic to begin with. He said he felt very lucky that he and his daughter had been chosen and was dumbfounded that this is being taught in school. He had found a significant impact in his life since adopting a Growth Mindset. This really blew me away and I knew we were on to something

The task is now to carry out the same workshops. With a few little tweaks)we are going  to invite as many students and parents as we possibly can over the next year. It will be a huge challenge but it is one that can be overcome.

As a group we will also be going into assemblies and doing workshops for teachers through the year. Giving them vocab that can be used and ideas how Growth Mindset can be woven into their teaching.

I hope you can follow our journey. If you want to get updated then subscribe to this blog.

Please feel free to comment and share on social media – As I now have Growth Mindset, I would love your feedback.



5 Ways to Trick Your Mindset

Growth mindset, life hacks, lifestyle, tricks

If, like me, your learning experience through school developed a fixed mindset  i.e. you believed that your intelligence was a fixed trait with a ceiling that couldn’t be broken then it is sometimes difficult to break in to the growth mindset.

Here are 5 techniques that I use daily to break into a Growth Mindset:

  1. Listen to yourself – Is your self talk, talking in a fixed mindset way? Are you saying things like “I can’t do it” or “This is just too hard for me”. If you are then you need to change your self talk – add “Yet” to the above sentences and notice an immediate change in motivation

2 Stickability – (Not a word but I use it) When you are working on something that you can’t solve or it seems difficult, keep working on it after your fixed  mindset tells you to give up.

3. Practice it – You’re not going to learn something in one day. Tell yourself it takes time. Return to the problem or the skill day after day and in 30 days you will have noticed a huge difference since day one.

4. Just do it – To coin a phrase from the Nike advertising campaign “Just do it!” Many people with a fixed mindset will put off and put off because their fixed mindset is telling them that they may fail or it will take effort in order to complete.

5. Enjoy struggle – Many fixed mindets will turn off if they think something will take time. Enjoy the struggle of learning something. Its a great feeling when you accomplish something your fixed mindset has told you it was impossible

Take these 5 steps with you throughout your day and notice the impact it has on your life.


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