At Nine Mile Ride Primary we are passionate about equipping our pupils with the life skills that they will need to be successful citizens of the future. We want our pupils to develop growth mindsets so that they believe intelligence, talent and ability are not fixed quantities. They can change over time, going up or down, usually in direct relation to the effort and endeavour exercised by the pupil in question.
As adults, we know from our own experience that the extent of this change is proportional to the effort and thought we’ve put into getting better at whatever the chosen subject happens to be.
In addition, we now know (thanks to the insights of modern neuroscience) that the brain is plastic. By that we mean that it is open to change – not just during the developmental phase of childhood and adolescence, but beyond as well. The brain retains a degree of neuroplasticity into adult life.
Pupils operating under a fixed mindset are likely to see mistakes as threatening. They think a mistake is a sign that they have no intelligence, talent or ability. And, because they believe these things are fixed, there is no hope of changing matters. Therefore, they avoid mistakes and tend to fear of failure.
If pupils have a growth mindset, then they accept the central premise that talent, ability and intelligence can grow. This starting point makes them more likely to pursue behaviours which are beneficial for learning, such as:
- Persisting in the face of difficulties;
- Seeing effort as a good thing and a path to mastery;
- Learning from feedback;
- Embracing challenge;
- Seeing mistakes as learning opportunities.
At Nine Mile Ride, we believe that it is our moral imperative to help our pupils see mistakes as learning opportunities; that feedback is necessary to drive improvement; that effort is needed for success and that perseverance and challenge should be embraced.