Age 7-9: Y3/4 2017 Feedback from Day 2


Growth mindset

All teachers had started introducing fixed and growth mindsets, with children having individual targets. In one school

Marvellous mistakes were shared and explained, including teacher mistakes. Children are now more likely to try a difficult task. One teacher preferred thumbs to learning zone cards.

Learning powers

All teachers had characters for the learning powers, having personalities and stories. This had a big impact on some children, helping them to persevere and so on.

Classes either designed their own characters, had trolls or sports stars. Children took ownership of the characters and are beginning to reference them.


Growth mindset

Two teachers had asked children to decide how ‘coloured’ their brain was (colour is growth and grey is fixed with statements reflecting the mindset on each brain). This told the teachers what the children thought of themselves.

Three teachers introduced the ‘learning pit’ into the classroom as a visual display then introduced the terminology. It was changed to learning ‘dip’. Children know to help one another and how to be positive, using growth mindset language. Children say ‘I can’t do it YET’. The language is appearing in talk partner compliment slips and classes have become more ;like teams. Teachers are also more confident, firing their own neurons.

One teacher tried the Challenge Mountain activity from the Growth Mindset Lessons book. Children have therefore set their own targets with specific things they find tricky. The targets are meaningful to them.

Stuck strategies have also been introduced so they now know what to do. Children are more independent and gaining more.
Two teachers used ‘My fantastic elastic brain’ book as a shared text, children then drawing their brains.

The learning target bullseye (panic zone, learning zone, comfort zone) was introduced in all classrooms. Children came up with their own suggestions about how to come out of the panic or comfort zone. They are taking more responsibility, reaching for challenges and solving their own problems.

Bringing TAs on board in one school with the growth mindset has enabled it to become more embedded.

Teachers are modelling mistakes, emphasising achievement and using specific feedback language (class shown Austin’s butterfly).

One teacher changed the language of mistakes to ‘fantabulous flubs’ to remove the stigma. As a result, the children are using this every day in a celebratory way rather than getting upset or glossing over it. It linked with the notion of growing your neurons.


“My TA was asked to scribe on a flip chart. Afterwards she said she didn’t want to do it again because she felt uncomfortable as her spelling was not always secure. I said to her that was exactly why she was going to repeat the process as it was good for the children to see the strategies she used when unsure of a spelling. She is now more willing and the children help her with spellings.

She also pronounced ‘ear’ incorrectly and the children started to correct her to help her and she now self-corrects.”  Jayne Hill, Middleton C of E Primary Academy


“I was covering a Y4 class with lack of resilience and poor attitudes to learning. I was given an article to read called ‘Barriers to a growth mindset’ by Ross McMillan which helped me lay the foundations. I was recommended ‘The Growth Mindset Coach’ by Brock and Hindley 2016. I used Part 1 ‘Everyone can learn’. I also found a way to enthuse children by using my sock monkey who the children fell in love with when I took him to class for them to write to (they were producing an info. Leaflet for the Gobi Desert and he came into the ‘travel agents’.

I made a series of PowerPoint slides with Monkey as the star – making mistakes, finding new strategies etc. The children really took to this and were able to explore the language and belief of having a growth mindset.

The impact has been improved behaviour, improved attitude to learning, improved attainment.”  Caroline Moore Swaffham Junior Academy

Learning powers

Teachers had created stories and characters for the learning powers and they listen to a story a week. This is a new culture in one school. Children now talk about learning more and not being able to do it ‘yet’. The dispositions are referred to constantly.

One teacher described how ‘can’t do it yet’ had impacted on art lessons, with less input needed.

Collaboration has become more embedded in one classroom because it is not just a word.

In four classes children had come up with their own characters, such as ‘Never give up Nemo’. Children role played the characters, which are displayed on target cards in classrooms. One school called them the ‘HOPTON learning powers (name of school). Children are proud of their school and are using learning powers in everyday language.