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The value of making mistakes

Bissy Groom
Bissy Groom (8 posts) Deputy Head of Primary, PYP Coordinator, Assessment Coordinator and WASC Coordinator View Profile

Northbridge is proud to be an IB Continuum school and we value all of the learner profile attributes. These attributes are our school-wide learning outcomes and are the ways of thinking, feeling and being that we aim to develop in all of our students.

Nord Anglia STEAM Festival Southeast Asia 2018

All ten learner profile attributes are important in building a strong, internationally minded person who will go forward to take their place in the world, but today I would like to focus on just one - Risk-takers.

According to the IB, Risk-takers “... approach uncertainty with forethought and determination; we work independently and cooperatively to explore new ideas and innovative strategies. We are resourceful and resilient in the face of challenges and change.” from the IB.

I've missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I've lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I've been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I've failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed Michael Jordan
Nord Anglia STEAM Festival Southeast Asia 2018

Where there is risk and challenge there will be mistakes and failure. What is important is what happens when we make mistakes.

Successful people accept that failure and mistakes will happen along the way and they do not let the fear of failure hold them back from trying new things or taking a risk.

It is important for our students to build resilience so that they do not give up the as soon as things get difficult.

Of course we value success, and we love to see our students achieving in all areas, but as teachers and parents we should be praising the effort and the resilience that led to the outcome, rather than praising just the results.

If parents want to give their children a gift, the best thing they can do is to teach their children to love challenges, be intrigued by mistakes, enjoy effort, and keep on learning. That way, their children don’t have to be slaves of praise. They will have a lifelong way to build and repair their own confidence Carol Dweck

Further reading for you

Mistakes Grow Your Brain Jo Boaler

NISC Growth Mindset Blog from Kohulan


To watch or read with your children

Class Dojo - Growth Mindset clips from the Big ideas series


‘The Girl Who Never Made Mistakes’ by Mark Pett and Gary Rubenstein

Find out more about the IB Learner Profile