Growth Mindset at Meopham Community Academy

What is Growth Mindset?
  • Mindset is a simple idea discovered by Stanford University psychologist Carol Dweck in decades of research on achievement and success—a simple idea that makes all the difference.
  • In a fixed mindset, people believe their basic qualities, like their intelligence or talent, are simply fixed traits. They spend their time documenting their intelligence or talent instead of developing them. They also believe that talent alone creates success—without effort. They’re wrong.
  • In a growth mindset, people believe that their most basic abilities can be developed through dedication and hard work—brains and talent are just the starting point. This view creates a love of learning and a resilience that is essential for great accomplishment. Virtually all great people have had these qualities.
  • Studies show that it is people with a growth mindset (as opposed to a fixed mindset) who achieve in life, are successful in all they do and are happy. Of course, this is exactly what we want for all our children.
Key Ideas of Growth Mindset at Meopham
  • We remember it’s always OK to make mistakes
  • F A I L - First Attempt At Learning
  • We never give up! We try a different approach, or use a different strategy
  • We don’t compare ourselves with others; we learn from others
  • We challenge ourselves – which really helps us make progress
  • We don’t limit ourselves by taking the easy option
  • We join in as much as possible and we learn much more by being involved
  • We remember that mastering something new feels so much better than just doing something you can already do
  • We remember that the brain is making new connections all the time – the only thing you need to know is that with effort and perseverance you can learn anything!
How are we becoming a Growth Mindset school at Meopham?
  • At Meopham Community Academy, we are carrying out an action research project in conjunction with Osiris Education.
  • As a staff we are changing the language we use to give praise and feedback. Children’s mistakes are being celebrated as learning opportunities which help them to grow and take on new challenges. They are now being praised and rewarded for the effort they put in to a task.
  • We are developing the idea of the brain being stretched and teaching children how the brain is a muscle that can grow and learn new ideas. There is no such thing as ‘I can’t do it’ but ‘I can’t do it YET!’
  • There are lots of inspirational books which help children to understand how the brain works and show Growth Mindset in a fun way.

Some titles are:

  • Fantastic Elastic Brain – JoAnn Deak and Sarah Ackerley
  • I Can’t Do This – K.J. Walton
  • A Muddle of Mistakes - K.J. Walton
  • Arthur the Wizard – Bryony Noble


These are all available on

Praising Your Child

Listen to your Fixed Mindset 'voice'

  • As you approach a challenge, that voice might say to you “Are you sure you can do it? Maybe you don’t have the talent.” “What if you fail—you’ll be a failure” “People will laugh at you for thinking you had talent.” 
  • As you hit a setback, the fixed mindset voice might say, “This would have been easy if you really had talent.” “ It’s not too late to back out and make excuses”
  •  As you face criticism and feedback, you might hear yourself say, “It’s not my fault. It was something or someone else’s fault.” Someone (your teacher, your friend) might be giving you constructive feedback, but you might be hearing them say “That's not very good. I thought you could do it, but now I see you can't.”
Talk Back in your Growth Mindset 'voice'

As you approach a challenge:

FIXED MINDSET says “Are you sure you can do it? Maybe you don’t have the talent.

  • GROWTH MINDSET: “I don't think I can do it now, but I think I can learn to do it with time and effort.”

FIXED MINDSET: “What if you fail—you’ll be a failure”

  • GROWTH MINDSET: “Most successful people have failures along the way.”

As you hit a setback:

FIXED MINDSET: “This would have been easy if you really had talent.”

  • GROWTH MINDSET: “That is wrong. Football wasn’t easy for David Beckham and writing wasn’t easy for J K Rowling. They had a passion and put in tons of effort.

As you face criticism and feedback:

FIXED MINDSET: “It’s not my fault. It was something or someone else’s fault.”

  • GROWTH MINDSET: “If I don’t take responsibility, I can’t fix it. Let me listen—however painful it is– and learn whatever I can.”