Growth Mindset Learning Approach

At St Vincent’s Catholic Primary School, we know that pupils who have a positive attitude towards their learning will make good progress and be successful. Consequently, instilling all our pupils with 'growth mindsets' has become a key feature of our teaching and learning approach in our school. We have introduced the theories of Dr Carol Dweck to staff and pupils and are embedding this practice within our school ethos.  We want all our pupils to relish challenges, embrace their mistakes as part of the learning process, value the importance of effort, respond carefully to feedback and take inspiration from others. This will help them to achieve, not only with us, but also in their future lives as adults.

Inspiring Confident and Resilient Learners

‘Let Your Light Shine’ is our motto. We want all of our children to challenge themselves. We know that in order to fulfil the potential of our pupils and encourage them to become confident and resilient learners we, as a team of parents and staff, need to be modelling the mindset of a learner who is not afraid of making mistakes but who thrives upon them, knowing that this is all part of the learning process. The way in which we encourage children to learn and explore is vital to their success, not only at school but at home as well. At St Vincent’s, we consistently challenge and develop the attitudes of all pupils and staff towards learning by considering what makes a successful learner. We have dedicated sessions in class to address how we learn and how we can improve our brain. The school is buzzing with talk of perseverance, challenge, risks and celebrating mistakes. Central to this attitude and approach to learning, are the theories and proven evidence of Growth Mindset. This is a term coined by psychologist Dr Carol Dweck and her research has identified the characteristics of learners with a fixed and a growth mindset:

Key aspects of growth mindset at St Vincent’s Catholic Primary School:

  • We celebrate having a wobble or making mistakes – we can learn from them;

  • We don't give up – perseverance is the key if we are to succeed;

  • We learn from each other;

  • We don’t compare ourselves with others;

  • We challenge ourselves and take risks;

  • We remember that our brains are making new connections and growing all the time.

The following video explains the concept of growth mindset in more detail:

Austin's Butterfly

At St Vincent’s Catholic Primary we aim to build resilience and understand that 'mistakes are proof that you are trying.' This video, Austin's butterfly, helps us to understand what this looks like.

The Learning Pit

We can also use the analogy of a learning pit to help understand that new learning is hard and that we need to work to gain understanding and knowledge to get out of 'the pit'. This is based on the thinking of James Nottingham and develops the children's resilience when tackling something new. Many children are now using this terminology to explain how they are feeling about their learning and recognising deep learning occurs when challenges are faced.

Contact the School

St Vincent's Catholic Primary School

Orchard Road
WA15 8EY

Main Contact: Headteacher Mrs A Harrop

Tel: 0161 911 8040


We couldn’t be happier with St Vincent’s, our children are really happy there. - Parent Survey
It is a wonderful environment, our children are flourishing - Parent Survey
The school ethos gives the children excellent opportunities to develop their spirituality and knowledge of their faith. - Parent Survey
It is a really friendly school, I have been made to feel very welcome. - Parent Survey
We love St Vincent’s, keep doing what you are doing! - Parent Survey