Growth Mindset at CAW
At City Academy Whitehawk, we work hard to help children develop their self-belief and learning skills. We support this through our Growth Mindset approach, where we believe that intelligence and abilities can be developed through effort, persistence, trying different strategies and learning from mistakes.
We believe that our Growth Mindset culture is having a very positive impact on our children and we would like to offer you some ways that you could support your child to have a Growth Mindset at home:
Mind your language!
When you praise your child focus on the effort, strategy, persistence, focus, and improvement they have shown.
Set high expectations for your child:
People often think that lowering our expectations promotes self-esteem in children (e.g. “never mind, let’s try an easier one”), but this is not the case. Having high expectations works like a self-fulfilling prophecy. It shows that you believe they can do it, which in turn has a positive impact on their own beliefs, behaviour and outcomes.
Encourage your child to not give up, even when they find something difficult or frustrating:
We now know that the brain adapts to new information and practise by creating new connections, so help your child to believe that challenge is a positive thing because it means they are growing their brains! This can help them to be comfortable with the times that they struggle and means that they see this as a sign of learning.
The fear of making mistakes and feeling embarrassed can stop children (and adults) from giving something a go in the first place. We all make mistakes, so try to embrace these mistakes and use them as learning opportunities, rather than feeling embarrassed about them. Make mistakes in front of your children, react positively to those mistakes, and talk about what you could learn from that mistake. Try to show that it's all about learning, not about being right.
At the dinner table, talk about a time that you struggled with something and how hard it is and how you overcame it. Then ask your children if there's anything they struggled with, how they overcame it, and what they learned from the experience.
Talk about your child’s heroes:
Think about your child’s favourite athlete, musician or teacher and talk about how they became successful. They were not born that way – what did they do to achieve great things? Do not focus on ‘natural talents’, but on all their hard work, strong work ethic, and the mistakes and learning that led them to where they are now.
To support our focus on Growth Mindset, we award 'Learning Animals' when we catch our children showing one or more of these positive behaviours. We are careful to explain behaviour they have demonstrated and why it is good.
CAW Qualities and Growth Mindset Merge!
At City Academy Whitehawk, we work hard to help children develop their self-belief and learning skills. We have used Growth Mindset to do this for the last three years. It has been a tremendous success and the children’s skills of effort, persistence, collaboration and creativity have all improved because of this approach.
Last year we introduced our CAW Qualities. These have also had a very positive impact on the children’s abilities to access learning and achieve to their potential. We have looked at our two systems and worked hard to bring them together. Here are our new Growth Mindset and CAW Qualities' learning animals: