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Hadleigh Junior School

South East Essex Academy Trust (SEEAT)

Growth Mindset


Welcome to our growth mindset page. Having a growth mindset is one of the key drivers of our broad and balanced curriculum (along with mastery and challenge) and this page aims to give information about the approach and how we use it to support the positive learning values we hold and demonstrate. Growth mindset is at its best when all members of the school community – pupils, parents, all staff, governors and other stakeholders – champion the approach. In this way, we work together so that all pupils of Hadleigh Junior School achieve and progress well and have a happy and fulfilling time.


What is a growth mindset?

The term ‘growth mindset’ refers to a way of thinking, learning and facing challenge.  Those with a growth mindset believe that personal traits, like intelligence and talent, are not fixed but can change and improve.  Change can be made through perseverance, practice and effort. Those with a growth mindset are willing to listen to and act on feedback about tasks they have completed. They are happy to make mistakes and share them with others, believing that we learn through our mistakes because this improves things for next time. A person with a growth mindset is willing to persevere and push themselves, sometimes outside of their comfort zone.

In this way, fixed mindset statements like these:


Much research has taken place over the last twenty years or so to support growth mindset thinking by many different scientists. Perhaps one of the most well-known is Carol Dweck. There is much literature to be found on her theories and supporting research, as well as that of other key people. Some of these are included in our further reference list below.

The Brain

We cannot talk about growth mindset without mentioning the brain. This amazing organ is very much part of the research surrounding growth mindset. It suggests that the brain can grow (metaphorically speaking) and get smarter. Persevering and trying new strategies not only helps with the task in hand but it strengthens the brain for future use.  In explanation, the brain cells or neurons are each connected to thousands of other neurons. These connections and pathways change all the time. The pathways that are used get stronger and those that are under-used weaken and are eventually replaced. In this way, the brain can be rewired and become smarter.

Why growth mindset for our school?

We recognise that our world is one of change and pace. Our young people will need to be able to keep up with it and so qualities like resilience and perseverance will be extremely valuable as they progress through school and further education and into the working world.

We want our pupils to have choices as they grow and develop. We want them to be able to do and achieve the things they want to. We want them to have self-belief and the confidence to ‘have a go’. The staff at Hadleigh Junior School believe that helping our pupils to develop a growth mindset will give them the best possible start.

Our story so far

Our story began in February, 2017, with whole staff training. Almost everyone attended: Senior Leaders, teachers, Learning Mentor, TAs, finance and administration staff, site manager, site staff, IT technician, kitchen staff, midday assistants, PE apprentice. We were also joined by infant colleagues.

The whole growth mindset approach was launched in March, 2017. The children learned about the brain and were introduced to the principles and language of growth mindset. Each class developed a growth mindset display. In May, 2017, we held parent workshops and our growth mindset culture began to develop.

Growth mindset is now embedded in our school and is one of the key drivers of our vision. You will see it in lessons, in clubs, in assemblies, in our feedback, in school literature, in our partnership with parents and in our partnerships with SEEAT and other key stakeholders. Our pupils speak proudly about having a growth mindset, about how they keep trying until they improve and how they are not worried about making mistakes because we learn from them. Having a growth mindset will ensure that our pupils are well equipped with key qualities to help them achieve and progress well with a positive attitude and a happy outlook.

For further resources and information please see the list below. The posters particularly capture the essence of growth mindset.

We hope you have found this information useful and that you will continue to support our school in this valuable initiative. Please feel free to call me if you have any questions.

Mrs Hebden

Deputy Headteacher


Growth mindset discussion story books to share with children:

‘I can’t do this’ by K J Walton

‘A Muddle of Mistakes’ by K J Walton

‘Giraffes can’t dance’ by Giles Andrae and Guy Parker

‘All kinds of ways to be smart’ by Judy Lalli

‘Your fantastic elastic brain’ by JoAnn Deak

‘Angelina ballerina’ by Katharine Holabird

‘The Dot’ by Peter Reynolds

‘Rosie Revere Engineer’ by Andrea Beaty

‘Ryan the Spy and : the SuperHero secret’ by Jason Rago

‘Cindersilly’ by Diana B. Thompson

‘Everyone can learn to ride a bicycle’ by Chris Raschka

‘Cleversticks’ by Bernard Ashley

‘Rooting for You’ by Susan Hood

‘Snail Trail’ by Ruth Brown

‘The girl who never made mistakes’ by Mark Pett and Gary Rubinstein

‘Mirette on the High Wire’ by Emily Arnold McCully

‘Mistakes that worked’ by Charlotte Foltz Jones

‘Turbo – Racing Team’ by (Tubo Mega Sounds – Igloo Books Ltd)

‘Three cheers for Errol’ by Babette Cole

‘When Lizzy was afraid of trying new things’ by Inger Maier

‘William Worrydactyl’ by Brian Moses and Mike Gordon

‘Regina’s big mistake’ by Marissa Moss

‘Going Places’ by Peter Reynolds

‘Ish’ by Peter Reynolds

‘Someday’ by Eileen Spinella

‘I can do it!’ By Pat Thomas

‘Beautiful Oops’ by Barney Saltzberg

‘Possum Magic’ by Mem Fox

‘Zog’ by Julia Donaldson


Online resources:

The Power of Belief - Mindset and Success: Eduardo Briceno; TedX

Yes I can; Paralympics 2012 trailer

The learning brain


Growth Mindset theory

Mindset - Updated Edition: Changing The Way You think To Fulfil Your Potential by Carol Dweck
Grit: Why passion and resilience are the secrets to success by Angela Duckworth

 Growth Mindset Pocketbook by Barry Hymer

Peak: How all of us can achieve extraordinary things by Anders Ericsson



Here are a selection of quotes that link to a growth mindset:

“It’s hard to beat a person that never gives up.”- Babe Ruth

 “Anyone who stops learning is old, whether at twenty or eighty. Anyone who keeps learning stays young.” - Henry Ford

 “Life isn’t about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself.” - George Bernard Shaw

 “Amateurs call it genius. Masters call it practice.” – Thierry Henri

 “I can accept failure. Everyone fails at something. But I can’t accept not trying.” – Michael Jordan

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