At Templemoor, we know that children who have a positive attitude towards their learning will make good progress and be successful. Consequently, instilling all our children with 'growth mindsets' has become a key priority for the school for 2018 and beyond. We have introduced the theories of Dr Carol Dweck to staff and children and are determined to embed its ideas within our school ethos.
We want all our children 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.
We are very excited about the prospect of nurturing a growth mindset culture at Templemoor.
Your Fantastic Elastic Brain
All of our children have been learning about the brain, and have had lessons on Brainology using the book 'Your Fantastic Elastic Brain'. This innovative and timely picture book teaches children that they have the ability to stretch and grow their own brains. It also delivers the crucial message that mistakes are an essential part of learning. The book introduces children to the anatomy and various functions of the brain in a fun and engaging way.
This is what our children in reception thought about their brains:
You may have heard your children talking about how they have 'wobbled' at school! We want the children to understand that it is okay to be stuck, and that some of their best learning is done when they find things the hardest. Rather than simply praising success we praise effort and persistence.
We believe the best thing to do is to teach children to love challenges, be intrigued by mistakes, enjoy effort, and keep on learning. For children who find work easy we make sure they encounter more difficult tasks. Our children recognise that effort, persistence and good teaching are what help them improve.
Every class has been looking at and learning about the two types of mindsets that children and adults can have, a ‘fixed’ mindset and a ‘growth’ mindset. Below is an overview of the traits of each:
- I like my work to be easy
- I don’t like to try a challenge
- I want people to praise me for how clever I am
- I believe I cannot change how clever I am
- I don’t like to try new things because I won’t be very good at it
- I give up easily
- I never give up
- I like my work to be difficult – it means I am learning
- I love challenges
- I want people to praise me for the effort I put into my work
- I believe I can get more intelligent by working hard
- I feel clever when I’m learning something new
- I learn from my mistakes
It has been proven that having a Growth Mindset can improve children’s progress and attainment. As a result, we are teaching our children that by having a Growth Mindset they can grow their brains and intelligence and achieve anything they want!
The Power of YET!
We have been learning the importance of the word ‘ YET.’ It is about knowing that with grit, determination, perseverance, and practise we can turn ‘can’t’ into ‘can’t YET’ and then into ‘CAN!’
At Templemoor we are teaching the children about learning powers as part of our aim to develop independent learners with a growth mindset. Research suggests that there are four key learning dispositions that we need to develop in order to become successful lifelong learners:
These dispositions are inherent in us all. They are not fixed at birth, or when we leave school; they can be developed by everyone regardless of “ability”, social background or age. In fact...
there are NO limits to extending our learning power!
We are currently teaching the children about RESILIENCE. This learning power has been introduced through the character Tough Tortoise. Tough Tortoise NEVER GIVES UP!! Each of our classes have a Tough Tortoise learning hero to represent the attitude (resilience) and we are developing a language for learning which is used in all classrooms and areas across the school. This is ensuring that everyone understands and talks about ‘learning to learn’.
How you can help at home
- Praise the amount of effort your child is putting into things rather than how clever they are;
- Talk to your children about their brain being like a muscle - the more they use it, the stronger it gets;
- Encourage your children to not give up if they are finding something difficult;
- Challenge your children to try something new or challenging.
If you would like more information on Growth Mindsets, please speak to your child's class teacher or arrange an appointment with Mr Hodgson.
Throughout the year we will be sending home a Growth Mindset Newsletter. You can find copies of the newsletter below: