Our Values and Ethos
At Itchen Abbas, we understand how important it is that the children develop good learning behaviours and attitudes. We aim to help all children develop a growth mindset. This means they learn to enjoy being challenged and being able to take risks in their learning; having the self confidence and positivity to give it a go, even if they think they might make mistakes. We help our children to appreciate that mistakes are important as it is only through trying new things that we can truly learn.
What is a Growth Mindset?
The above picture describes the learning journeys we all go on throughout the day. We want the children to understand that it is okay to be stuck, and that some of their best learning is done when they find things the hardest. Rather than simply praising success we praise effort and persistence.
We believe the best thing to do is to teach children to love challenges, be intrigued by mistakes, enjoy effort, and keep on learning. For children who find work easy we make sure they encounter more difficult tasks. Our children recognise that effort, persistence and good teaching are what help them improve.
Every class has been looking at and learning about the two types of mindsets that children and adults can have, a ‘fixed’ mindset and a ‘growth’ mindset. Below is an overview of the traits of each:
- I like my work to be easy
- I don’t like to try a challenge
- I want people to praise me for how clever I am
- I believe I cannot change how clever I am
- I don’t like to try new things because I won’t be very good at it
- I give up easily
- I never give up
- I like my work to be difficult – it means I am learning
- I love challenges
- I want people to praise me for the effort I put into my work
- I believe I can get more intelligent by working hard
- I feel clever when I’m learning something new
- I learn from my mistakes
It has been proven that having a Growth Mindset can improve children’s progress and attainment. As a result, we are teaching our children that by having a Growth Mindset they can grow their brains and intelligence and achieve anything they want!
A quote from Carol Dweck, one of the world’s leading researchers in the field of motivation:
"In a fixed mindset, students believe their basic abilities, their intelligence, their talents, are just fixed traits. They have a certain amount and that's that, and then their goal becomes to look smart all the time and never look dumb. In a growth mindset students understand that their talents and abilities can be developed through effort, good teaching and persistence. They don't necessarily think everyone's the same or anyone can be Einstein, but they believe everyone can get smarter if they work at it."
This is important because (1) individuals with a "growth" theory are more likely to continue working hard despite setbacks and (2) individuals' theories of intelligence can be affected by subtle environmental cues. For example, children given praise such as "good job, you're very smart" are much more likely to develop a fixed mindset, whereas if given compliments like "good job, you worked very hard" they are likely to develop a growth mindset. In other words, it is possible to encourage students, for example, to persist despite failure by encouraging them to think about learning in a certain way.”
How can you help at home?
- Praise the amount of effort your child is putting into things rather than how clever they are;
- Talk to your children about their brain being like a muscle - the more they use it, the stronger it gets;
- Encourage your children to not give up if they are finding something difficult;
- Challenge your children to try something new or challenging.
- Have a go at the Growth Mindset Parenting Self-Assessment
If you would like more information on a Growth Mindset, please come in and speak to us or download the PowerPoint below from our Open Evening on Wednesday 6th December 2017.