Growing the Mindset by @tim_jumpclarke

Reflections of a 'Growth Mindset' year...

As a school we have had many discussions this year about the value and strategies for promoting a Growth Mindset with our learners.

This is a re-blog post originally posted by Tim Clarke and published with kind permission.

The original post can be found here.

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We have created a new reward system entitled “Ready Steady GrOw”. The children receive a stamp on an outline of a person for each time they demonstrate a Growth Mindset attitude or behaviour. Our Friday celebration book is full of reasons such as: perseverance, positive approach to challenge, improving at something they used to find tricky… The children have become very good at playing a game of spotting the key words in the reason, which has developed their knowledge and understanding of many terms.


We have seen a very positive impact on many children who are more resilient, willing to take risks and see mistakes as actually very positive. A conversation with some Year 2s last week involved them being far more positive about ‘Think Pinks’ in their books: “It gives us the right advice to learn and get even better.”

As a staff we have also become more comfortable with the challenge, receiving feedback, and being aware that we don’t know all the answers and are not as good as we want to be as a school yet.

Last week as part of our Staff Development Meeting I posed a few questions. Some of them plus the staff’s responses are below.


How would we describe or define a ‘Growth Mindset’? What does it mean to adults and children at Cornerstone?

  • Confidence.
  • Risk taker.
  • Flexible thinker & learner.
  • Ability to challenge yourself.
  • Persevere.
  • Persistent
  • Willing to have a go.
  • Seeing opportunities.
  • Positivity.
  • Resilient.
  • Believe everything is learnable and all can achieve.
  • Reflective.
  • Open.
  • Honest with self and others.
  • Collaborator.

In what ways has our work on developing/promoting a ‘Growth Mindset’ has a positive impact this year?

  • Excited learners who are “overly-enthusiastic”.
  • “I can do” approach.
  • Opportunities for the challenge.
  • Children positive about their areas of expertise AND about new learning.
  • Children understanding approach staff are looking for.
  • Children have more self-belief.
  • Children can’t help but be absorbed in the culture.
  • Can’t do it YET philosophy.
  • More positive attitude towards challenge.
  • Talk very positively about ‘Think Pink’ advice.
  • Children remind adults to have a ‘Growth Mindset’.
  • Children understand the terms / language.
  • More willing to listen & respond to feedback.
  • Adults have a positive response to coaching.
  • Adults take more risks in their teaching & evaluate the impact on learning.
  • Open questions which ensure children reflect.

As a school, we have certainly come a long way in developing an open and positive learning culture this academic year. But undoubtedly we will have plenty more room to GROW next year.

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About Tim Jump Clarke 20 Articles
HT at Cornerstone CE Primary (Hampshire).

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