It is possible to have different ‘mindsets’ – different ways of thinking about things, and different beliefs about our abilities. These beliefs fall into two main categories.
A fixed one – ‘I am rubbish at maths’ and therefore will always be rubbish at maths – or a growth mindset – ‘I can train my brain to be able to do maths’.
Children quickly form strong opinions of their own abilities, and this will either support them in their learning making them enthusiastic and engaged learners, or it will create a barrier to their learning.
At St Martin’s we are working hard to develop a growth mindset in all our learners – adults and children alike.
Across the school you will see ‘Learning Flowers’ displayed which encourage children in three discreet areas linked to our Learning Narratives. The areas of ‘active learning’ ‘creating and thinking critically’ and ‘playing and exploring’ all have at their heart the idea of being open to all possibilities, being willing to take risks and have a go, and being willing to be wrong and change our minds. All of these reflect a ‘growth mindset’.
As children or adults demonstrate their skills in any of these areas their name will be attached to the flower, and we celebrate their ‘growth mindset’. We know that if we can develop greater ‘growth mindsets’ for ourselves and our children we will develop greater resilience for the challenges that we face in life. Hence our children will often talk about how important failing is – ‘it makes our brain grow’, and as teachers we will always be looking to encouraging children to take on greater challenges in their learning.