One teacher told children that ‘I can’t do this yet’ was being used as an excuse and that they were not applying ‘stuck’ strategies. The teacher made a more visual display to direct children to if they feel they can’t do something yet, and this has increased their awareness of the stuck strategies (6 B’s).
Two teachers had asked children to design their own learning pits, using emojis to reflect the various emotions in the pit stages. Children are able to apply their knowledge of the learning pit to then accessing stuck strategies. There is now more independent learning.
Four teachers had introduced the learning zones bullseye (panic zone, learning zone, comfort zone). In one class traffic light trays were linked to the zone, so children could place their finished work in the appropriate tray (there was discussion about this being too late). One teacher had introduced colour coded discussion sheets linked to the zones. Children are now more able to talk about which zone they are in and can more effectively select tasks at an appropriate level. Children are welcoming challenges.
Mixed ability learning had been introduced by all teachers, with chilli challenges used for mathematics. One teacher had ‘glowing’, ‘flickering’ and ‘need an electrician’. Children are more positive and motivated. Teachers are finding it difficult to find practical activities for challenges as opposed to written.
Four teachers had got rid of external rewards with mixed impact. Some were very successful but others were limited by the school systems such as house points.
Learning powers had been introduced across the school, some designed by children. The characters are used to talk about learning. The impact has been very positive and parental engagement has increased.
“I removed rewards on Day 1 and explained to children that giving one person a reward and not celebrating other children for the same learning was not equal. I asked children if they had ever experienced this and all said they had and then had negative feelings as a result. Pupils now throw stickers away and explain the reason for not wanting them.”
Rosie Hackett – Mayfield Primary
North Wales Team 1
All classes have the learning pit and a growth mindset display. Children are using the vocabulary and know they can achieve. One teacher uses coloured cups for children to show how they are feeling and two teachers use ‘Three before me’ (brain, book, buddy). Children’s attitudes towards each other have improved and they are becoming independent learners.
Class assemblies, staff meetings and revamping of the growth mindset culture had taken place. All teachers had children in mixed ability groupings. Children understand and are engaged. Lower achievers have had the greatest boost to their achievement and greatest impact on their expectations. Children are challenging themselves.
One teacher had introduced ‘Billy’s brain buddies’ with the characters introduced weekly. Other teachers had created learning powers and stories.
“When a new child came to school he cried during a maths lesson. Another child said ‘Why are you crying?’ He replied ‘Because I’m stuck’, to which the boy explained ‘There’s no need to cry. You are just in the pit. It’s ok to be stuck. I’ll help you.”
Debbie McManus – Ysgol Merllyn
All teachers said the growth mindset was already in place but they had adapted it. One school had children’s names on pegs which they moved onto a static display of the brain. This has had an impact because children were recognising brain activity in themselves, rather than being told by an adult. One teacher said ‘I always encourage children to ‘ping!’ when they feel they are making connections’.
Teachers talked to children about the grey side of the brain and the coloured side which is when the neurons are connecting.
Three teachers had used the song ‘We can do it’ at the beginning of lessons which starts lessons with a positive attitude. Chants also worked well.
Teachers had looked at YouTube clips of the brain and ‘Can’t do it YET!’ Class DOJO also had a growth mindset video. Children have a better understanding of their brain. Even if the work is hard they know they can do it in the end.
All teachers agreed that this had had a really positive impact.
All teachers had introduced fantastic mistakes. Children recognise these and will tell teachers when they have made a mistake. They are therefore much more willing to have a go at something and are more supportive of one another.
Two teachers said they were not allowed to take the reward systems always in their school. In one school they took the rewards away and the children didn’t really notice they had gone.
One teacher has chance cards which are picked at random for behaviour. No-one asked for them.
The learning zones bullseye was used and children were able to think in every lesson about where they were. One child said ‘I feel really good when I reach the learning zone – before I think I was in the comfort zone.’ Some children didn’t understand the zones.