St Stephen's Infant School

St Stephen's Infant School

SSIS invests love and care in all we do

Welcome to

St Stephen's Infant School

  1. Learning
  2. Growth Mindset @ SSIS

Growth Mindset @ SSIS

Our Vision Statement sets out the following commitment: 


Imagine a school that inspires and nurtures all individuals to become confident and adaptable learners for life

A school that builds resilience and challenges each person to realise their full potential


To complement our Elli Learning characters, we are working towards becoming a 'Growth Mindset' school.


What is a 'Growth Mindset'?

Growth Mindset is the idea Professor Carol Dweck, Professor of Psychology at Stanford University.

Dweck has conducted a lifetime’s research into mindsets and established an opposition between a fixed mindset  (the belief that intelligence is fixed) and a growth mindset  (the belief that intelligence can grow).


In short, Dweck believes intelligence is not fixed.

The brain is like a muscle that can be developed and grown.

It is not your ability to do something that matters.

It is your belief about your ability.


Growth Mindset v Fixed  Mindset

Growth Mindset @ SSIS

We are helping the children to develop a Growth Mindset by making links with our Elli learning characters.

We want the children to understand that having a Growth Mindset will help them to become resilient and to achieve their goals.

To start with we asked the children to share their knowledge and understanding of the brain.

We called this  'Brainology'.

Every child in the school drew their brain and shared what they think their brain does. Here are some examples of our Brainology.....


Some of the children made models of their brain.

What is our brain for?

The children had some amazing ideas about their brain:

My brain:

  • Pumps blood around the body
  • Bleeps
  • Helps you walk
  • Is round and pink with pointy bits
  • Helps you think
  • Has memories that we think about
  • Gives me ideas
  • Is a peanut
  • Helps you learn

We shared the children's understanding of their brain and then started to explain to the children how their brain works.

The children learned how they strengthen neural connections each time they do something. We linked this work to our Tortoise Elli learning character.

Strengthening neural connections = practice makes perfect

The children really understood the harder they practise the more they will improve. Sophia in Yellow Class shares her understanding in this video.

Using a Growth Mindset  to Learn

As part of our  Growth Mindset/Elli programme we are helping the children understand the importance of the following key principles:


Mrs Perris (Leader of Learning) revisited our Elli learning characters and created stickers for the children to wear linked to each character.



Feedback and Praise

We have also thought about how we give feedback and praise the children.

Look at the following examples of praise.

The best kind of praise:

  • is sincere
  • is well-deserved
  • is relevant
  • is linked to process (learning), rather than outcome (achievement)
  • is accompanied by constructive criticism
  • is consistent


Feedback Frog Week

To help the children understand the importance of practising and trying, again and again we organised 'Feedback Frog Week'.

All classes took part and we explained to the children that:

We will help you improve a skill by:

-Sharing feedback

-Giving you time to practise again and again

You will need to:

-Listen and respond to feedback from your friends and adults

-Keep trying really hard

We started Feedback Frog week by watching 'Austin's Butterfly'.

Click on the image below to watch the 6 minute video.


The staff organised the following learning opportunities for the children.

The children repeated the task each day and learned how to share/receive feedback to improve after each attempt.

Reception & Y1 – focussed on improving drawing skills. Tropical fish and tigers respectively.

Y2 – focussed on improving sketching and clay modelling skills – Dinosaurs.

Here are some examples of the children's Austin Butterfly inspired learning:

Mr Ruck asked for 3 volunteers (with a Growth Mindset) who wanted to improve their aiming and throwing skills over the next week.

The children would need to come and practice every day during their lunchtime. Lots of children wanted to volunteer!

The volunteers were:

Daniel from Yellow Class

Sienna from Gruffalo Class

Louie from Leo Class


On Tuesday Mr Ruck filmed the children's First Attempts In Learning. 


The children took part in the bean bag aiming and throwing task.

Then the children had their First Attempt In Learning

(FAIL) with throwing a Nerf.

Following the 'Pre Assessments' Mr Ruck gave the children some tips and 

then they practised, practised and practised some more.

Tuesday,Wednesday,Thursday,Friday & Monday!

In true Elli/Growth Mindset style the children listened to feedback to improve their aiming and throwing skills!


It was time for Daniel, Sienna and Louie to show the whole school how they have used a Growth Mindset to improve their aiming and throwing skills!

Learn to Juggle by Christmas!