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Highdown School
and Sixth Form Centre

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As children get older they can sometimes put barriers in the way of their own learning and development. Parents and teachers have all heard, all too frequently, “I can’t do it..” and other similar phrases.

Growth mindset is the idea that intelligence is not fixed or limited and all can expand their ability to think and process.

Language is a powerful tool. Highdown is focussing on using language that encourages a growth mindset.  For example if one puts the word “yet” after the “I can’t do it” phrase, then a very different mindset is being used. It recognises that there are steps that need to be taken to achieve the goal and has an underlying determination to be able to get there. By using these tools with our children we are promoting the view that we believe they will be able to take these next steps in learning.

Attached is a simple set of questions, which would be good openers in conversations at home about learning. I would encourage you to try them. Sometimes they may need a bit of work and perseverance but it should be worth it. Changing the way children perceive their own capacity for learning will make them more aspirational and also give them the belief that they can reach new goals.

I would be very interested to hear parents’ stories of how this goes!

Ms R E Cave, Headteacher, April 2016.