2019 Age 7-9: Y3/4 Feedback from Day 2


Growth mindset

One school has a ‘learning arch’ into her classroom. The children walk through it, picking a letter which lets them into the ‘learning zone’.  They are ready for learning.

The bullseye display of the panic, learning and comfort zone had helped them understand further.

One teacher had shown his class a YouTube video of the brain in action, which had helped children understand that it is important to keep going when something is tricky.

Four teachers had removed all comparative rewards and saw that children don’t miss them.

All teachers had some version of what to do when you are stuck as a poster (e.g. the 5 Bs).  Children now use these before going to the teacher for help.

Learning Powers

All teachers have learning power characters which has made children better at understanding what learning is.  Three teachers had created stories for the characters which have helped them understand exactly what the various powers mean.

One teacher had made explicit the importance of practice, input, time and effort, by creating a character called ‘PETI’.  She first asked the class to make an origami penguin, given no instructions, but asking them to try harder, followed up by input. This helped them see that effort was not the only ingredient for success.

I introduced a character called ‘PETI’ to show the ingredients for success.  As a school I felt that we had effectively embedded an understanding of the learning powers, except for input.

To help the children understand the different elements that lead to success, we made an origami penguin then made it again after receiving some input/more time/more practice and effort.

The children designed the character and use it to decide which elements they need to help them succeed.

Joanna – St. George’s RC School


Growth mindset

Teachers had talked to children about what happens when we make mistakes – using a class poster of phrases we should and shouldn’t use.  They are now reflecting on their learning and are able to say they couldn’t do it at first and then can.

Giving children the science of how the brain works fits with marvellous mistakes and has made children more receptive when they are being challenged.  Some children, however, are still a little apprehensive when their mistakes are shared.

From the book ‘Growth Mindset Lessons’ one teacher used the lesson ‘Bounce back’ for resilience.  They are now able to bounce back and show more resilience even in the playground with phrases like ‘I’m going to bounce back.’

From the input on Day 1, I went back to school and decided to recap the ‘Growth Mindset Lessons’ we had done in the autumn term.  The Year 4 class really took on board the lesson, using the metaphor of a deflated ball as a fixed mindset and the inflated ball as growth mindset and resilience.  Pupils were able to refer to the inflated ball when they made mistakes: ‘How do I bounce back from this?’

This has been particularly effective for pupils with significant social and emotional needs.  They have become more accepting of making mistakes in their learning, rather than having a meltdown when given feedback.  It has also been really beneficial when they find themselves in a difficult social situation.  When they are in this situation, I can ask them ‘How can we bounce back from this?’.  They are able to enter into conversations about this: if they are not sure how they can bounce back we can work together to achieve this.

Jill McAlpine – Falconbrook Primary

Two teachers responded to ‘it’s too easy’ or ‘it’s too hard’ with ‘What can we adapt to help us?’  Children are now encouraging others ‘You can do this.’

The word ‘yet’ has come up a lot in two classes.  One child with low self-efficacy and a fixed mindset is even making slow progress.

Three teachers had removed all rewards.  There was now less anxiety. The children know that if they do well they won’t get a reward – they will become better learners.

Learning Powers

All had introduced the learning powers and children were starting to refer to them in their behaviour.  One school had an assembly in which the children became the learning power characters and introduced this to the rest of the school.


Growth mindset

All teachers are using ‘marvellous mistakes’: introducing during lesson input, in reviewing work and answering questions during input.  It is used a lot in maths and when reviewing and editing writing.  This is a positive way of looking at mistakes and the majority f the children are now ok if they make a mistake in front of the class.  Children are very good at spotting mistakes.  Discussing mistakes gives them an opportunity to explain their reasoning.  It links well with growth mindset thinking and takes away judgemental laughing and shaming.

Learning Powers

 All teachers had introduced one power per week with Dojo growth mindset videos. Posters were made with questions such as ‘What learning power shall I use for this challenge?’  Children were more aware of learning language and can refer to the learning power they need to use and reflect on their learning. The impact is greater when the activity is explicitly linked to the power.  It has also helped to manage behaviour.