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Growth Mindset

Growth Mindset


The term ‘growth mindset’ refers to a way of thinking, learning and taking on challenges.  A person with a growth mindset is open to constructive criticism, takes feedback and uses it, takes on new challenges, pushes themselves outside of their comfort zone and shows resilience and perseverance.

Studies show that people with a growth mindset (as opposed to a fixed mindset) achieve well in life, are successful in all they do and are happy.  Of course, this is exactly what we want for all of our children at Walford.


Key Aspects of Growth Mindset at Walford Nursery & Primary School


  • We remember its always OKAY to make mistakes – we learn from them.
  • We never give up!  We try a different approach or use a different strategy.
  • We learn from each other – you guys often make the best teachers!
  • We don’t compare ourselves with others, but we do learn from others.
  • We challenge ourselves – which really helps us make progress!
  • We take risks – we don’t limit ourselves by taking the easy option.
  • We join in as much as possible – and we learn much more by being involved.
  • We remember that mastering something new feels so much better than doing something you can already do.
  • We remember that the brain is making new connections all the time – the only thing you need to know is that you can learn anything!


Embrace ‘growth mindset’ language


We are working on modifying our language to avoid fixed mindset messages and encourage growth mindset.  You can help and support the schools work at home by making the following language changes…


  • That’s brilliant, becomes:

That’s interesting, what made you think in that way?

  • You’re a genius, becomes:

Tell me about it - how did you decide what to do?

  • Don’t worry, I couldn’t do it either, becomes:

I’m sure if we look at it together, we can work out a solution.

  • That’s too hard, becomes:

Challenges are good because you know your brain is having to work hard.

  • We are not that type of family, becomes:

If you keep trying, I think you’ll be able to do it.

  • I can’t, becomes:

I can’t yet.

  • I can’t do it, becomes:

What strategy could I try next?

Growth Mindset Animation

A Short animation explaining the theory of growth and fixed mindsets. This is a tested and effective way of teaching young people what a fixed mindset is and how we can change that. Many of the messages in this video have been taken from the theorist Carol Dweck.

Developing A Growth Mindset

This is a story of two seeds – both planted on the same day, in the same soil, in the same garden bed. One has a growth mindset—with a curious desire to grow and reach the outside world—while the other has a fixed mindset—filled with fear and choosing the remain stagnant in its soil.