Home Page

Growth Mindset

At Great Binfields Primary School; children, parents, staff and governors are all learning about Growth Mindset. Welcome to the pit!

You may have heard your children talking about how they've been into "the pit" at school! Above is the picture that is displayed in all classrooms throughout the school and is a visual aid for the children to describe their learning journeys throughout the day. We want the children to understand that it is okay to be stuck, and that some of their best learning is done when they find things the hardest. Rather than simply praising success we praise effort and persistence.


We believe the best thing to do is to teach children to love challenges, be intrigued by mistakes, enjoy effort, and keep on learning. For children who find work easy we make sure they encounter more difficult tasks. Our children recognise that effort, persistence and good teaching are what help them improve.


Every class has been looking at and learning about the two types of mindsets that children and adults can have, a ‘fixed’ mindset and a ‘growth’ mindset. Below is an overview of the traits of each: 

Fixed Mindset 
  • I like my work to be easy 
  • I don’t like to try a challenge 
  • I want people to praise me for how clever I am 
  • I believe I cannot change how clever I am 
  • I don’t like to try new things because I won’t be very good at it 
  • I give up easily
Growth Mindset 
  • I never give up 
  • I like my work to be difficult – it means I am learning 
  • I love challenges 
  • I want people to praise me for the effort I put into my work 
  • I believe I can get more intelligent by working hard 
  • I feel clever when I’m learning something new 
  • I learn from my mistakes 
It has been proven that having a Growth Mindset can improve children’s progress and attainment. As a result, we are teaching our children that by having a Growth Mindset they can grow their brains and intelligence and achieve anything they want! 
This approach links with how we mark work and give feedback too: we always mark giving ‘prompts for improvement’ in writing and ‘next steps’ in maths so that all learning for all children, even the very brightest, is seen as a way to grow. If children have fixed mindsets they find it hard to cope with failure: we teach our children to see mistakes and failure as positive. This makes for a very energetic and inclusive culture. It also has a really positive effect on our ethos and on how children approach learning and support each other. Children strive to improve their PB (personal best) at GBP rather than seeing coming top as the goal.


A quote from Carol Dweck:

"In a fixed mindset students believe their basic abilities, their intelligence, their talents, are just fixed traits. They have a certain amount and that's that, and then their goal becomes to look smart all the time and never look dumb. In a growth mindset students understand that their talents and abilities can be developed through effort, good teaching and persistence. They don't necessarily think everyone's the same or anyone can be Einstein, but they believe everyone can get smarter if they work at it."

This is important because (1) individuals with a "growth" theory are more likely to continue working hard despite setbacks and (2) individuals' theories of intelligence can be affected by subtle environmental cues. For example, children given praise such as "good job, you're very smart" are much more likely to develop a fixed mindset, whereas if given compliments like "good job, you worked very hard" they are likely to develop a growth mindset. In other words, it is possible to encourage students, for example, to persist despite failure by encouraging them to think about learning in a certain way.”


How you can help at home 
  • Praise the amount of effort your child is putting into things rather than how clever they are; 
  • Talk to your children about their brain being like a muscle - the more they use it, the stronger it gets; 
  • Encourage your children to not give up if they are finding something difficult; 
  • Challenge your children to try something new or challenging.
If you would like more information on Growth Mindsets, please speak to your child's class teacher or arrange an appointment with Miss Rogers.

Below is some further information about Growth Mindset and what it means to us at Great Binfields, including some examples of motivational quotes displayed around school. We have also included the Presentation from the Parents' Expectation Evening on Growth Mindset. There is also a response to the feedback that we received from these parents' meetings, as well as some further reading on the subject.

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. The book introduces children to the anatomy and various functions of the brain in a fun and engaging way.

The Girl Who NEVER Made Mistakes!

Book list:

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 over view of Fixed and Growth Mindset.

Growth Mindset – Carol Dweck’s website

Growth Mindset Presentation Shared with Parents during the Expectation Meetings

Growth Mindset Research for Parents

Growth Mindset Praise Phrases To Use

As part of our on-going work on Growth Mindset, we lead assemblies based around the concept. One such example was an assembly based on 'There is no such word as can't'. A small number of our pupils who were tiring at the end of term, had been showing signs of a fixed mind set and had said 'They can't' when embarking on everyday challenges set ...not just in lessons but also during their social time too.

As part of the assembly, our Headteacher shared the following 2 clips (see links below) which the children were absolutely astonished by and both generated a lot of discussion. At the end, many children asked if they could be sent the links home so they could share how wonderful the 2 different people here are the links for you all.  Anything is possible if we pop our mind to it!