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Wooburn Green Primary School

An Academy of the Great Learners Trust


Growth Mindset

What is Growth Mindset?


We believe that we can all become better thinkers and learners - with practice. A growth mindset is the conviction that we can improve our intelligence, ability and performance if we work hard, learn from our mistakes and willingly accept feedback. The opposite, a fixed mindset, is the belief that a person’s intelligence, ability and performance are set in stone and cannot be altered.

The concept of 'mindset' has been around for many years in education. Learning about mindsets helps children understand their abilities and become more successful learners. Children are taught that they can 'grow' their brain with practice and effort.


Growth Mindset in the classroom


In the classroom, our children are introduced to growth mindset by helping them to think about the brain as a muscle - and like other muscles in our body. The more we use it, the more it develops and grows. We can help our brain to do this. Staff model and explain the benefits of practising a new skill and that success is a product of hard work and effort.


The children are rewarded for effort not outcome and are encouraged to challenge themselves. There is no ceiling for their learning and all children are encouraged to try, even when they feel stuck. Indeed, being 'stuck' is seen as an important part of the learning process and is called the 'learning pit'. The challenge is working to get out of the 'learning pit' by doing different activities, working with other children and getting feedback from the teacher. Making a mistake is seen as something positive and with useful feedback children are encouraged to learn from their errors and keep trying.

Learning Pit Displays

To promote a growth mindset:

  • We are not afraid of making mistakes – we can learn from them
  • We never give up – perseverance is the key if we are to succeed
  • We learn from each other
  • We challenge ourselves and take risks
  • We remember that our brains are making new connections and growing all the time


This approach helps the children to:

  • develop high expectations
  • build confidence and self esteem
  • take responsibility for choosing their own learning tasks and level of challenge
  • be less fearful of mistakes and failure, accepting these as a natural part of learning
  • learn to use feedback in a positive way


Our aim is to equip children with a love of learning and challenge through developing a growth mindset equipping them with essential skills for the future.


Growth Mindset vs. Fixed Mindset

There are two types of mindsets we can cultivate. One that embraces problems as opportunities to learn, and one that avoids them, often out of fear to fail. ...