Headmaster's Blog

I want all children to lead highly successful lives and to be the best they can be, in all they do. At our school, we believe that children today should be taught a highly refined set of skills, alongside their academic learning, to be truly successful.

A vital component of this is our growth mindset approach to learning. This is critical to a child’s future success as there are two ways of looking at the world.

With a fixed mindset, a child believes that intelligence and talent are fixed at birth, often because they are told this by adults. Fixed mindset learners feel the need to look clever at all costs, as learning should come naturally. They constantly compare themselves to others and aim to hide mistakes, as these are seen as signs of weakness.
With a growth mindset, a child believes that intelligence and talent can go up or down – the thinker therefore learns at all costs, compares their progress to themselves and understands it will be hard work. Growth mindset learners see mistakes as learning opportunities.

Our feedback to children is critical in the process.

Every word and action from an adult to a child sends a message, so are we saying “you have permanent traits and I am judging them” or “you are a developing person and I’m interested in you.”?

Simply praising children’s intelligence or perceived talent (e.g. well done that is an excellent piece of writing) sends out a fixed mindset message, “I am judging the finished product”.

What if the child thought they could do better, or worse, stops writing altogether because they cannot better ‘excellent’?

By contrast, growth mindset feedback focuses on the process, the strategy, the amount of effort and choices instead (i.e. this piece of writing is much stronger than your last piece as I can see you have worked hard to improve your use of verbs and adjectives from the last piece).

With a growth mindset approach to learning, children start taking greater risks. This is encouraged and, in turn, leads them to ‘fail successfully’ more often – developing a ‘bounce-back’ ability and ultimately driving them to better themselves.

Our children understand that true success comes from relentless hard work and effort – this level of growth mindset thinking sets our children up for life.

To find out more about how we could inspire your child, come and visit us. Call 01909 537100 or email admissions@wsnl.co.uk – we’d love to meet you.