Staff and children at Sandringham have been learning about the psychologist Carol Dweck’s research on learning mindsets.
What is mindset?
People with a fixed mindset believe that their basic qualities, like their intelligence or talent are fixed and cannot be changed.
People with a growth mindset believe that their most basic abilities can be developed through dedication and hard work, that anyone and everyone can become better at something through effort.
Decades of research has shown that having a growth mindset leads to greater success in life.
As a school, we are committed to encouraging our pupils to have a growth mindset. This involves being able to persist in the face of difficulties and see mistakes as opportunities for learning. We encourage children to think of their brain as being like a muscle, which will get stronger the more they use it and the more they challenge themselves.
To encourage a growth mindset, we praise children for hard work and improvement rather than their results. We give children the opportunity to explore, debate, wrestle with difficult learning, get things wrong, adapt and try again. If work is completed quickly and easily, rather than praising the child, we provide something more challenging for them to do.
Our ethos is that children should strive to achieve their personal best rather than compare themselves with their peers and try to do better than other people. When we mark work, we tell children their next steps, so that all children have the opportunity to grow and improve.
We differentiate tasks by challenge, not by ability. We do not believe in ‘ability setting’ children, as our ethos is we should not place limits on children’s potential. Instead, we use flexible groupings which enable all children to be challenged and supported.