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How can we develop a growth mindset?

This week’s Dining Table Discussion – launching an initiative to get our young people delving, debating and discussing - a topic from the week’s learning.

Global mindset tree

Growth Mindset. What is it and how can we develop it? Can we develop it?

Over 30 years ago, Carol Dweck and her colleagues became interested in students' attitudes about failure. They noticed that some students rebounded while other students seemed devastated by even the smallest setbacks. After studying the behavior of thousands of children, Dr. Dweck coined the terms fixed mindset and growth mindset to describe the underlying beliefs people have about learning and intelligence.

In this week’s Secondary assembly, Mr Prokic, Head of Year 8, explored the theme of a growth mindset with our Key Stage 3 students and then sent them back to their Form rooms to discuss this topic further.  

For example, did you know that….?

  • The idea that intelligence can be developed and is not set in stone is arguably the most popular psychological theory in education at present?
  • When students believe they can get smarter, they understand that effort makes them stronger? Therefore they put in extra time and effort, and that leads to higher achievement.
  • The way we praise children, whether at home or in school, can have a profound impact on their mindset?

Children who were praised for their intelligence were more likely to choose future tasks that they thought would make them look smart.


Children who had been praised for their effort tended to choose tasks that would help them learn new things.


The majority (86%) of children praised for their intelligence asked for information about how their peers did on the same task


Only 23% of children who had been praised for effort asked for this type of feedback –

most of them asked for feedback about how they could do better.

Ref:  Mueller, C. and Dweck, C. (1998). Praise for intelligence can undermine children's motivation and performance. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 75(1), pp.33-52

As a school, we work in partnership with you as parents. So, speak to your children at home about a Growth or Fixed Mindset and encourage them to explore their own feelings about, and reactions to feedback; time to have an animated ‘Dining Table Discussion’


Then click here to read about how parents can instill a Growth Mindset at home.


Alison Fox

Head of Secondary

  • Global mindset mind map
Calling all enthusiastic and collaborative parents