Appleton C of E Primary School

Growth Mindset

At Appleton C of E School, we support every child in being the best they can be for themselves and the good of others by encouraging a Growth Mindset.

We believe that having a Growth Mindset is the key to success. Hard work, effort, and persistence are all important, but having a Growth Mindset helps the children to believe in themselves and to recognise they are in control of their own destiny.

What is Growth Mindset?

The work of Professor Carol Dweck has resulted in the development of the terms ‘fixed’ and ‘growth’ mindsets. Those with a fixed mindset believe their qualities are pre-determined and can’t be changed. Those with a ‘growth’ mindset believe that their basic qualities can be cultivated and developed through concerted and focused effort.

Fixed Mindset

Growth Mindset

Intelligence is static – leads to a desire to look smart and therefore a tendency to:

Intelligence can be developed – leads to a desire to learn and therefore a tendency to:

Avoid challenges

Embrace challenges

Give up easily due to obstacles

Persist despite obstacles

See effort as fruitless

See effort as a pathway to mastery

The mindset we adopt has a significant impact on our learning capacity. Mindset also affects the kinds of activities that we are willing to try. A child with a growth mindset is excited to learn new information and skills, even if these feel a little uncomfortable to begin. They perceive challenges as opportunities. Research has demonstrated that we can change an individual’s mindset and therefore their attitude to learning. From their very first day at Appleton C of E Primary School, we nurture growth mindsets in all of our pupils. When they finish their schooling journey with us, we celebrate the strength of their growth mindsets; evident in their curiosity, enthusiasm for broad and varied subjects, and the high aspirations that each of our children hold for themselves as they move to the next step in their education.

Follow the link to ‘Ron Berger’s Austin’s Butterfly’ to see how a 6 year-old boy embraces challenge, persists in his work and makes significant improvements to his picture after receiving specific and purposeful feedback.

Each term, we focus on developing and celebrating one of our Animal Attitudes.

Your Fantastic Elastic Brain

This innovative and timely picture book teaches children that they have the ability to stretch and grow their own brains. It also delivers the crucial message that mistakes are an essential part of learning; something we tell our children every day. The book introduces children to the anatomy and various functions of the brain in a fun and engaging way.

Your Fantastic Elastic Brain

The Girl Who NEVER Made Mistakes


Mindset in the classroom: Building a culture of Success and Student achievement in Schools. By Mary Cay Ricci

Mindset: The New Psychology of Success by Carol Dweck

Mindset: Drive the Power of Habit from A Fixed Mindset to A Growth Mindset [Kindle Edition] Anna L. Matthews

Mindset: How You Can Fulfil Your Potential by Dweck, Carol (2012)

Your Fantastic Elastic Brain Hardcover – December 13, 2010, by JoAnn Deak Ph.D. (Author), Sarah Ackerley(Illustrator)


Carol Dweck: The Effect of Praise on Mindsets