Mersey Park Mindset

Research by Developmental Psychologist Dr Carol Dweck of Stanford University points to people having one of two mindsets: Growth and Fixed. A child’s belief about intelligence is an important factor in whether they become an effective learner. We all hold beliefs about concepts such as ‘intelligence’, ‘ability’ and ‘personality’, with roughly half of us holding a ‘fixed’ mindset and the other half a ‘growth’ mindset.


Growth Mindset

  • Belief that intelligence is malleable and can develop.
  • Success takes effort and persistence, learning from mistakes and challenges.


Fixed Mindset

  • Belief that intelligence is something you are born with.
  • Can’t change it much. “In a fixed mindset students believe their basic abilities, their intelligence, their talents, are just fixed traits. They have a certain amount and that’s that, and then their goal becomes to look smart all the time and never look dumb. In a growth mindset students understand that their talents and abilities can be developed through effort, good teaching and persistence. They don’t necessarily think everyone’s the same or anyone can be Einstein, but they believe everyone can get smarter if they work at it.”  Dweck


In Mersey Park we want our children and families to have a Growth Mindset. We believe our values of ‘ Work Hard’ and ‘ Never Give Up’ will lead to our intelligence growing and with persistence we can achieve more.



James Rhem wrote: “Simply put, when teachers expect students to do well and show intellectual growth, they do; when teachers do not have such expectations, performance and growth are not so encouraged and may in fact be discouraged in a variety of ways“


Click here to view this fascinating video about how we can ‘put a lid’ on children’s learning if we don’t encourage them to aim high.



If pupils believe that their intelligence can grow and can persevere despite setbacks, this leads to resilient learners.

  • The key is being willing to learn and not giving up.
  • Requires the ability to overcome negative feelings when finding a task difficult and continue with the task in hand until they succeed.
  • Anxiety needs to be paired with the feeling of challenge not the fear of failure

What approaches will the school be taking to develop a Growth Mindset with children ?


  • Being very open and frank about the approach. i.e. making everyone aware of what they can achieve by adopting the mindset.
  • Using feedback/praise designed to promote and highlight Growth Mindset.
  • Showing pupils that their brain and body can physically achieve more through training and effort.
  • Giving clear and inspirational examples of others who have used their Growth Mindset to achieve great things.


“People say I have a great talent, but in my opinion excellence has nothing to do with talent. It is about what you choose to believe and how determined you are to get there. The mind is more powerful than anything else” (Michael Phelps)

“I’ve missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed” (Michael Jordan)



The children may talk about the characters Mindi and Teezle. Mindi has a Growth Mindset and Teezle has a Fixed Mindset.



The brain is a muscle

…and just like any other muscle, it can be strengthened!

The three great essentials to achieve anything worthwhile are: Hard work, Stick-to-itiveness, and Common sense”

Thomas A. Edison (Inventor)

Take a look at some of the displays you may see around our school: