Welcome to the Growth Mindset page. We hope that this will help you to support positive attitudes towards learning and build high self-esteem in children at home, just as we are doing in school.
Over the last few years at Ballinderry Primary we have been learning about Growth Mindset. Growth Mindset has been extensively researched by world renowned American psychologist, Carol Dweck. The theory behind Growth Mindset is the premise that two types of mindset exist that children and adults may possess, a 'fixed' mindset and a 'growth' mindset. Below is an overview of the traits of each.
|Fixed Mindset||Growth Mindset|
|Believes ability is static||Believes ability can be developed|
|Avoids challenges||Embraces challenges|
|Gives up easily||Persists in overcoming obstacles|
|Sees effort as fruitless||Sees effort as necessary|
|Ignores useful feedback||Learns from feedback|
|Threatened by others' successes||Inspired by others' successes|
Your mindset plays a critical role in how you cope with life's challenges. When a child has a growth mindset, they tend to have a hunger for learning and a desire to work hard and discover new things. This often translates into academic achievement.
As adults, these same people are more likely to persevere in the face of setbacks. Instead of throwing in the towel, adults with a growth mindset view it as an opportunity to learn and grow. On the other hand, those with fixed mindsets are more likely to give up in the face of challenging circumstances.
Research has shown that by learning about mindsets children can become more resilient and better able to overcome the learning challenges that they are presented with. Learning about mindsets improves children's mental wellbeing and can increase their learning power. The following video helps to explain the concept in more detail.
We know that pupils who have a positive attitude towards their learning will make good progress and be successful in all that they do. Consequently, instilling all our pupils with 'growth mindsets' has become a priority for us and it is now very much part of the school ethos.
Pupils at Ballinderry Primary learn about Growth Mindset through a range of activities. They are taught about how their brain works and how new connections are formed when we try new things and practise them. We have assemblies and dedicated PD&MU lessons devoted to Growth Mindset to educate and inform pupils of how to develop positive mindsets. Most importantly, teachers and pupils have embraced the language and the way of thinking that promotes using a Growth Mindset in all lessons (e.g. Instead of saying, "I can't do this," say, "I can't do this yet."
We remember it's always OK to make mistakes - we can learn from them!
We recognise that pereverance is key. We never give up. We try a different strategy or different approach instead.
We challenge ourselves and take risks - we don't limit ourselves by taking the easy option.
We encourage and support our peers and learn from others.
We use feedback to help us improve.
We remember that our brain is making new connections and growing all the time.
We want all children at Ballinderry to become confident and resilient learners who value the importance of effort and never give up. Here are some ways in which you can help to encourage a Growth Mindset at home.
- Praise the amount of effort your child is putting into things rather than how clever they are.
- Remind your children that their brain is like a muscle - the more they use it, the stronger it gets.
- Encourage your children to not give up if they find something difficult.
- Encourage your children to try something new or challenging.
Below are some links to websites that provide further information on how you can help your child to develop a Growth Mindset at home.
In Year 1 we have a Growth Minsdset. We decorated some posters to illustrate this.