Growth Mindset and Wellbeing

 

At St Cuthbert’s Catholic Primary School, we know that pupils who have a positive attitude towards their learning will make good progress and be successful. Consequently, instilling all our pupils with 'growth mindsets' has become a key priority for the school. We have introduced the theories of Dr Carol Dweck to staff and pupils and feel these principles align with our school values. 

We want all our pupils 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 working with families to nurture a growth mindset culture at St Cuthbert’s Catholic Primary School. Please see the Growth Mindset presentation for families. 

Encouraging children to become confident and resilient learners

‘Live, learn and pray to grow in the St Cuthbert’s way’ is our school mission statement and it’s at the heart of all we do here at St Cuthbert’s Catholic Primary School. We know that in order to fulfil the potential of our pupils and encourage them to grow as confident and resilient learners we, as a team of parents, carers and staff, need to be modelling wellbeing and the mindset of a learner who is not afraid of making mistakes but who thrives upon them, knowing that this is all part of the learning process. The way in which we encourage children to live, learn and explore is vital to their success, not only at school but at home as well.

Wellbeing is paramount not only for happiness and good health but also to maximise learning potential and success:  It is therefore nurtured within our school culture and daily life.  We seek to support staff, children and families on their own wellbeing journey.  Our EYFS team are currently involved in ‘The Wellbeing Approach’ and use ‘Connected Kids’ strategies to embed habits for wellbeing from an early age.  As children progress through school, mindfulness and wellbeing strategies are further enhanced to develop lifelong habits. 

At St Cuthbert’s, 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 to address what kind of learners we want to be and how we can positively approach challenges not only within the classroom but all areas of life.   The children are rewarded for effort not outcome. There is no ceiling for their learning and all children are encouraged to try, even when they feel stuck. Indeed, being 'stuck' is seen as an important part of the learning process and is called the 'learning pit'. The challenge is working to get out of the 'learning pit' by actively seeking solutions, working with others and responding positively to feedback from the teacher. Making a mistake is seen as something positive and with useful feedback children are encouraged to learn from their errors and keep trying: Resilience and self-belief are actively nurtured.  The school is buzzing with talk of perseverance, challenge, risks and celebrating mistakes.

Central to this attitude and approach to learning, are the theories and proven evidence of ‘Growth Mindset’. This is a term coined by psychologist Carol Dweck and her research has identified the characteristics of learners with a fixed and a growth mindset.

Key aspects of growth mindset at St Cuthbert’s Catholic Primary School:

  • We remember that it’s okay to say, “I can’t do it yet” because our brains are making new connections and growing all the time
  • We know that success is the product of hard work and effort
  • We celebrate making mistakes – we can learn from them;
  • We never give up on our goals – perseverance is the key if we are to succeed;
  • We learn from each other;
  • We don’t compare ourselves with others;
  • We challenge ourselves and take informed risks

This approach helps the children to:

  • develop high expectations
  • build confidence and self esteem
  • take responsibility for choosing their own learning tasks and level of challenge
  • be less fearful of mistakes and failure, accepting these as a natural part of learning
  • learn to use feedback in a positive way

Useful Links and Documents

The following video explains the concept in more detail: 

Growth Mindset Slideshow for Families