Promoting a growth mindset across the school.
At Deer Park we aim to nurture pupils who can develop their own ideas, have initiative and drive and have a can-do growth mindset and, with this in mind, we introduce the concept of growth mindsets during our pupils' Year 6 Induction Days.
During their first few weeks with us at secondary school, we hold a Year 7 Learning Conference (one for pupils during the day and a separate evening event for parents) where, amongst other things, we consider different learning strategies and reintroduce the growth mindset.
Year 7 pupils are introduced to our growth mindset mentoring programme Get Set Mindset, which incorporates Behaviour for Success and Inspired to Achieve. These initiatives promote The Four Rs (Resourcefulness, Resilience, Reciprocity, and Reflectiveness) used successfully across the school and some of the S.U.M.O. (Stop, Understand, Move On) principles which assist a growth mindset attitude.
So what is a growth mindset? "A growth mindset is the underlying belief that abilities can be developed through effort and practice. Children with a growth mindset persist in the face of challenges because they understand that effort and hard work can change ability and intelligence." Carol Dweck, Professor of Psychology at Stanford University
A growth mindset is the understanding that we can develop our abilities and intelligence. It is about learning from mistakes. As Barry Hymer and Mike Gershon state in their book 'Growth Mindset Pocketbook': "Our failures are events, not reflections or who we are, and all events invite us to learn."
Our Get Set Mindset programme gives Year 7 the opportunity to consider their thought processes and to help them facilitate a growth mindset during their day. The Get Set Mindset booklet gives the Year 7s an opportunity to discuss our school environment, attendance issues and the Choices, Decisions and Consequences sequence to which we are all connected, both positively and, on occasion, negatively. There are purple tshirts around school, in classrooms and on our electronic display boards, which encourage our pupils to have positive thoughts which lead to positive outcomes.
With the help of funding from The Friends of Deer Park, the programme also supplies each pupil with a 'Positive Thinking, Positive Outcomes' keyring which connects to various parts of the booklet.
We are grateful to The Friends for their support as we are able to promote the whole growth mindset package which, in turn, benefits our pupils for the next 5 years and hopefully beyond! It is heartening to see some of our older pupils still using their Year 7 keyring!
Mrs McPherson, Inclusion Team Leader
"Growth mindsets view challenge as something to be welcomed – a learning opportunity. They see failure as something which can be learnt from. And they do not believe intelligence, or talent for that matter, is fixed or innate. Instead, they acknowledge the capacity inherent in all of us for growth and development." Mike Gershon