St Stephen's Infant School

Striving, Supporting, Inspiring, Succeeding

Lansdown Road, Bristol, Avon, BS15 1XD

01454 866470

School Day: 8.45am-3.10pm– all year groups

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 from September 2015 onwards 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 e 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 tim'e 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:


Ms Small (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 - January 2016

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:

Feedback Frog Week was a great success.

The children were able to see the value of practising and feedback.

The staff are planning more opportunities for the children to develop these skills over the next few terms.



We held a Growth Mindset Parent/Carer Workshop

on Wednesday 20th April 2016 from 9am-10am.

Thank you to those parents/carers who came along.

We hope you found the session useful. 

Growth Mindset Assembly

Monday 9th May 2016

Growth Mindset Assembly Monday 9th May 2016.
Today we revisited our 'Brainology' and 'Growth Mindset' learning.
Jason, Lincoln, Riley and Paige shared their understanding of how our brain works and the importance of having a Growth Mindset when we learn.

We welcomed Mrs Hunter, Mrs Cundy, Mrs Baker and Mrs Hughes who have already met their 2016 Goal! The members of staff shared how they used Growth Mindset/Elli attitudes to help achieve their goals.

(Especially when the going was tough).

The children understand they need to try really hard and that practice makes perfect. The more we practice the stronger the neural connections in our brain.

September 2016

We have introduced 'Elli/Growth Mindset' to our new Reception children during their first 2 whole school assemblies.

On Monday 26th September Mr Ruck shared  some of the Team GB Paralympian successes from the Rio games.


The children were reminded of one of our Golden Rules

'We always try our best.'


Mr Ruck reminded the children of how important it is to use a

'Growth Mindset' when they are 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!


Monday 3rd October 2016

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!