2011 Age 4-6: Rec/Y1 (Kindergarten US) Age 5-7: Y1/2 (K/1 Grade US) Feedback from Day 2


One teacher had used Claxton’s ‘Learning Power Superheroes’ to inspire her to create 4 super hero teddies which represented the four learning power areas in Claxton’s book ‘Building Learning Power’.

She introduced them to the class one at a time until they understood their roles. She refers to them often, resulting in the children developing the language of learning and being more positive about themselves.

Some teachers found it tricky to embed the growth mindset mid-year as children found it difficult to understand.

One teacher had changed her language in the classroom and referred to ‘switching on your brain’, which had led to children being more motivated. Another teacher had stopped using the term ‘clever’ to praise children and felt that children felt that they were now all worthy of praise.

Another teacher had introduced 2 teddies : Brave Lion and Scared Bear to represent the mindsets. Children had used the teddies to motivate them in areas of learning they felt less confident about.

Brighton and Hove

One teacher had developed a story with fixed and growth mindset characters: grey mouse and green mouse with a bag of story props, puppets and real cheese! The green mouse has really supported children to be motivated in their learning and their learning language (e.g. ‘I’m growing my brain’, ‘The green mouse helps me to learn’).

Adults were getting to grips with growth mindset language and in one school TA training had taken place to make sure that praise was focused around effort and achievement rather than ability.

One school is developing a project in which they will make superhero characters for each of the learning muscles, linking to the ‘Elements of Lifelong Learning’ and school values.  A big start is being planned for September when all the stories will be written – a set of characters for each class.


Teachers had initially used jigsaw puzzles to establish current mindsets. Most appeared to have a growth mindset and teachers wondered if this changes as they get older. Two puppets tended to be used to represent the mindsets, which, in many schools, crossed over with ‘enterprise’ characters, such as ‘Pippa Positive’. Children have a more positive attitude, respond better to challenges and concentrate and persevere more since learning about mindsets.

Two teachers had discussed the mindsets in terms of the brain and found that children were now more aware of learning taking place. Children talk about how their brain is growing.

One teacher has a ‘plant’ drawing with a brain at the top. Children write on post its  how they have learnt something and this is placed on the plant.

‘Superheroes’ (Claxton) were trialled in school but haven’t had much impact due to the cost of following the programme.

One school had removed ability groups and instead have differentiated work but children working in pairs, drawn off fro guided groups. This has encouraged lower achievers to try harder.

Teachers had changed their praise language to focus on effort and achievement. One child said ‘I can’t do this’, to which another child replied ‘In every can’t there is a can’.

Brighton & Hove

Suzanne Morgan | suzanne.morgan@brighton-hove.gov.uk

Ellesmere Port, Cheshire

Anne Vickers | aevickers@yahoo.co.uk


Paul Wilson | paul.wilson@hertscc.gov.uk


Amy Parry | amy.parry@rotherham.gov.uk