What is Growth Mindset?

Growth Mindset is the way we think about our abilities and talents which have been proven to have a crucial impact on our success as learners.

The work of Professor Carol Dweck has resulted in the development of the terms ‘fixed’ and ‘growth’ mindsets. Those with a fixed mindset believe their qualities are pre-determined and can’t be changed. Those with a ‘growth’ mindset believe that their basic qualities can be cultivated and developed through concerted and focused effort.


Fixed Mindset Growth Mindset
Intelligence is static – leads to a desire to look smart and therefore a tendency to: Intelligence can be developed – leads to a desire to learn and therefore a tendency to:
Avoid challenges Embrace challenges
Give up easily due to obstacles Persist despite obstacles
See effort as fruitless See effort as a pathway to mastery


The mindset we adopt has a significant impact on our learning capacity. Research has proven that we can change an individual’s mindset and therefore their attitude to learning.

Follow the link to ‘Ron Berger’s Austin’s Butterfly’  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hqh1MRWZjms to see how a 6 year old boy embraces challenge, persists in his work and makes significant improvements to his picture after receiving specific and purposeful feedback.


Each term, we focus on developing and celebrating one of our Animal Attitudes.


This term our growth mindset focus is the ‘Steadfast Squirrel’.

We want our pupils to persist in their efforts and not give up when they reach an obstacle.


How can you help your children to be a ‘Steadfast squirrel’?

Encourage your child to try new things, adjusting the level of challenge as appropriate and sharing challenges you have faced. Tell them about times you have had to show perseverance. How did it feel when you succeeded? How did it feel when you failed? What did you do when you failed?

Be there for them when they struggle or fail. Use growth mindset language and encourage them to be a ‘Bounce back bunny’ and try again.  By doing this, you will help your child to be better prepared to deal with challenges, to overcome obstacles, and to persevere.

This week’s steadfast squirrels are:

Foundation Stage Name
Year 1
Year 2
Year 3
Year 4
Year 5
Year 6


How are we doing this at Appleton?

Language choice

Risks, Mistakes and Failure

How can you help?