Developing the right mindset early on is crucial for a successful, happy life. When children learn that putting forward effort and using the right strategies can help them get better at things, they feel empowered, and try harder. When they know their brains are capable of growing, they are more confident, resilient, and are not afraid to fail!
At Connaught, Growth Mindset finds its way into every subject and aspect of the school day.
As you walk around, you will see YET posters up in every classroom. This is to help to change the children's perceptions and language around what they think they can and can't do. As Henry Ford once said, 'Whether you think you can, or think you can't, you're right.'
Children are encouraged to use language that is much more positive about their learning so that instead of them saying, 'I can't do that!' they are encouraged to change their mindset and say 'I can't do that yet!' That is the power of YET!
Your Brain is like a Muscle
Growth Mindset focusses around the concept that intelligence is not fixed but that with enough practice and 'exercise' it can continue to develop and grow like a muscle. Children at Connaught are not talked about in terms of ability but in terms of skill level. This opens up the possibility to them that they are not just stuck at one ability level, but can learn new skills and so Improve Every Day.
Mistakes are celebrated as this is when children are learning their best and thinking hard. To recognise mistakes as something to be celebrated builds the children's resilience and makes them persevere when things go wrong. This is especially important for children who are higher skilled as some do not cope well when they make errors (as they may not make errors very often). Growth Mindset helps children of all skill levels to improve and go further than they thought they could, using mistakes and perceived failure to get better.
The Language of Growth Mindset
If you feel successful, you will be successful. And a huge part of that is the language you and your child use. Using more positive language can help reframe negative thoughts.
Instead of saying, 'I give up.' we could say, 'I'll try some of the strategies I have learnt,'
Instead of saying, 'I can't make this any better.' we could say, 'I can always improve so I'll keep trying.'
A focus on independence at Connaught follows on from a positive mindset as children are more resilient and likely to push through when things get difficult. When children are learning independently they are less reliant on the adults in the room and so learning is maximised. Rather than waiting for an adult to explain a concept the child is finding difficult, they look for alternatives. The Three Bs are used in many classrooms, and have even expanded to 5 or 6! The children at Connaught follow a list of ways to find the answer they are looking for before going to an adult. We want the children working harder than the grownups in class!
Self-Belief = Self-Improvement
At Connaught we are on a constant cycle of self-improvement and with our motto 'Improve Every Day' we want children, parents, staff and governors to do just that!