At Appleton we support every child in being the best they can be for themelselves and the good of others by encouraging a Growth Mindset. We believe that having a Growth Mindset is the key to success. Hard work, effort, and persistence are all important, but Growth Mindset helps the children to believe in themselves and to recognise they are in control of their own destiny.

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’ 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 ‘Must Do Mole’.

We want our pupils to be committed to their learning.

The children even choose to dress as their favourite animal attitudes on our non-uniform days! Here are a Bold Badger and a Fearless Fox from year 2:


Below is some further information about Growth Mindset:


Your Fantastic Elastic Brain

This innovative and timely picture book teaches children that they have the ability to stretch and grow their own brains. It also delivers the crucial message that mistakes are an essential part of learning. Something we tell the children every day. The book introduces children to the anatomy and various functions of the brain in a fun and engaging way.


Mindset in the classroom: Building a culture of Success and Student achievement in Schools. By Mary Cay Ricci

Mindset: The New Psychology of Success by Carol Dweck

Mindset: Drive the Power of Habit from A Fixed Mindset to A Growth Mindset [Kindle Edition]

Anna L. Matthews

Mindset: How You Can Fulfil Your Potential by Dweck, Carol (2012)

Your Fantastic Elastic Brain Hardcover – December 13, 2010, by JoAnn Deak Ph.D. (Author), Sarah Ackerley(Illustrator)


Carol Dweck: The Effect of Praise on Mindsets

An interview and overview of Fixed and Growth Mindset.

Growth Mindset – Carol Dweck’s website


How are we doing this at Appleton?

Language choice

Risks, Mistakes and Failure

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