On Tuesday I was at a meeting where we were reminded of the value of having a ‘Growth Mindset’ – as opposed to a ‘Fixed Mindset’. Coincidentally, we then touched on this during our own Council Education and Pastoral committee meeting on Wednesday. Some of you may also remember that I talked about this as part of my speech at Prize Day in 2015 but it is always worth revisiting as personal growth encouraged alongside a lack of fear of failure is something we promote strongly at King’s Hall.

Carol Dweck is most prominently associated with research in this area and she would say that in a fixed mindset people believe their basic qualities, like their intelligence or talent, are simply fixed traits. They spend their time documenting their intelligence or talent instead of developing them. They also believe that talent alone creates success—without effort. They're wrong.

Alternatively, “in a growth mindset, people believe that their most basic abilities can be developed through dedication and hard work—brains and talent are just the starting point. This view creates a love of learning and a resilience that is essential for great accomplishment,” writes Dweck.

Through last term’s Tomato Challenge we had a wonderful level of engagement with some terrific children who were all prime examples of growth mindset – having a desire for continual self-improvement, a willingness to accept failings and tenacious perseverance. Having had such a positive experience and a desire to become part of our school to enjoy Years 7 and 8 in this special environment we were delighted that so many applied for our academic, music and sport 11+ Scholarships. Whether gaining a scholarship or not we would welcome them all as vibrant, enthusiastic and positive individuals to add to the dynamism and sense of purpose at King’s Hall. Incidentally, we have also had more than the usual number of current Year 5 children looking to join us either before this year is out or into Year 6 in September.

Well done to all those King’s Hall Year 6 children here who also put themselves forward for an 11+ Scholarship. Regardless of outcome, it is a good thing to put yourself forward to be challenged and to see it as a growth experience along the way. We are beginning to move into the time of year where Year 8 candidates will be going through the process in various disciplines and we wish them all good luck: we are proud to be supporting you.

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