Growth Mindset

"Open our minds to discover new things about you and the world." - Sacred Heart Mission Prayer


At Sacred Heart, we believe that mindset matters.

The way that children view themselves as learners can be vital to their progress and success, not just at school, but in life beyond the classroom. We want to cultivate and nurture a culture where children know that their intelligence is not fixed, but can change and grow through hard work, effort, determination and practice. Therefore, we encourage children to embrace challenges as opportunities for growth, welcome feedback for learning and be inspired by the success of others. All of these traits are attributed to a 'Growth Mindset.'

Research shows that individuals generally subscribe to one of two mindsets: fixed or growth. Carol Dweck is a leading researcher who has coined the phrase and outlines the two mindsets in her 2006 published book: Mindset, the New Psychology of Success.


What are 'mindsets?'

Simply put, a growth mindset is believing that your brain can grow and you can learn many new things. You are not born smart; you become smart.

A fixed mindset is quite the opposite. It is believing that you cannot learn new things. You are born with your knowledge and skills and cannot get smarter.


At Sacred Heart we discuss with the children how our brain is like a muscle - it's not actually a muscle, but when we work our brains, they get stronger. It is important for children (and adults) to understand that when we are learning something new, the neurons in our brains make connections. The more we practise and revisit that learning, the stronger those connections become.

You can learn more about what happens in the brain when we learn something new here:

Key Aspects of Growth Mindset at Sacred Heart:

We learn about Growth Mindset through our PHSE lessons but we also aim to embed these attitudes throughout the school day, across all subjects and in all situations. This can be seen in the way we explore new topics (revisiting prior learning, asking questions and building upon what we know), through the way we praise our children (not just about celebrating achievement, but in recognising the effort that went into that achievement) and by our response to mistakes and setbacks.

At Sacred Heart we believe that we can learn ANYTHING!

Books About Growth Mindset:

For more about Growth Mindset and how you can encourage this at home, you may want to have a look at some of these great books which illustrate what growth mindset is all about.

Salt in His Shoes by Michael Jordan

The Dot by Peter H. Reynolds

The Girl Who Never Made Mistakes by Mark Pett

What Do You Do with a Problem? by Kobi Yamada

What Do You Do with an Idea? by Kobi Yamada

Jabari Jumps by Gaia Cornwall

The Most Magnificent Thing by Ashley Spires

After the Fall by Dan Santat

Flight School by Lita Judge

Nadia, The Girl Who Couldn't Sit Still by Karlin Gray

Emmanuel's Dream by Laurie Ann Thompson

The Magical Yet by Angela DiTerlizzi

The Book of Mistakes by Corinna Luyken

Beautiful Oops by Barney Saltzberg