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St Michael's CofE Primary School

- Let Your Light Shine -

Growth Mindset and Challenge


We aim to develop the character, resilience and well-being of all pupils (Challenge Policy, below). 

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/implementing-the-sustainable-development-goals/implementing-the-sustainable-development-goals--2  , July 2019. 



At St Michael’s School, teaching and learning for resilience and for challenge of all pupils is implemented in 3 ways: 

  1. Embedded in the Curriculum: Key concepts of a Growth Mindset and Resilience are taught through our PSHE curriculum e.g. through “Learning Skills” https://www.stmichaelssg.co.uk/our-learning/learning-skills. Pupils practise growth mindset skills across the curriculum.   Staff have high expectations of all pupils and plan to support and appropriately challenge everyone e.g. with challenging, shared class books, inspiring, modern children’s fiction and non-fiction to read independently, and maths challenges e.g. YouCubed Tasks https://www.youcubed.org/tasks/ . 
  2. Classroom Practice:  Our behaviour policy builds resilience using audible and visible consistencies e.g. in greetings and classroom displays https://www.stmichaelssg.co.uk/our-school/behaviour.  There is additional support in self-regulation for pupils through THRIVE.  Staff challenge and build resilience of pupils using “high-challenge: low-threat” strategies e.g. lolly-sticks for equal questioning: (see Challenge Policy)
  3. Curriculum Enrichment and Extra Curricular Activities.  Pupils are challenged and practise resilient learning in theme weeks and STEM activities e.g. Y6 Areospace trip Y5 rocket workshop.  Pupils access lunchtime clubs promoting STEM e.g. chess club and games club.  We provide a wide variety of enrichment activities https://www.stmichaelssg.co.uk/our-learning/creativity-and-enrichment


Pupils develop their knowledge of key concepts for resilience, and have opportunities to practise skills, reflect and revisit.  They will have an increasing ability to persevere in their learning and be successful in assessments.

“Improved pupil resilience has positively impacted on pupil progress and attainment,”  Mr. Freeman, Headteacher, September 2019 St Michael's CofE Primary School - School Performance


Pupils enjoy and are inspired to learn through curriculum enrichment and extra-curricular activities 

“(Maths lessons), they’re fun and I want to learn”…”I like solving problems’…”it makes me happy and more-interested in maths,”  Year 5 and 6 pupil responses to STEM/cross-curricular maths challenges. (See pupils enjoying STEM Games Club, below).

Challenge Policy

A Plastic Brain, a Key Concept of a Growth Mindset (below) 


This this educational and uplifting short film that asks: What are your character strengths or super powers? Do you have a Growth Mindset? Are you being mindful? How do you want to be?   

The Science of Character (8min "Cloud Film")

 "Everybody is a a star they just need to learn how to shine"

 Next Steps in implementation

  1. Staff and Challenge Leader will monitor the implementation and impact of the challenge policy (Growth Mindset outcomes in books, equality of outcomes in assessments) and continue to develop a challenging curriculum Challenging Reading See https://www.booksfortopics.com/  Challenging Computing Scratch https://scratch.mit.edu/parents  Challenging Sustainability https://www.stmichaelssg.co.uk/our-learning/our-curriculum/environment
  2. In particular, staff will continue to develop Maths Challenges to support a challenging curriculum (and monitor equality of outcomes). 

    Growth Mindset Maths Challenges: YouCubed https://www.youcubed.org/tasks/ ; Nrich https://nrich.maths.org/  ; Barvember: Bar Modelling problem solving from Whiterose Maths https://whiterosemaths.com/resources/classroom-resources/barvember/

    Free Maths Dictionary: http://www.mathsphere.co.uk/downloads/maths-dictionary/maths-dictionary-1.pdf

  3. Staff will continue to develop program of STEM activities including links with the local community.  

Grit, a Key Concept of a Growth Mindset (below) 

Teaching and Learning Resources for pupils, parents and staff

Growth Mindset Key Concepts:  A Growth Mindset http://vid.ly/3c0x2k    Positive self-talk http://vid.ly/6n0j6o Valuing mistakes http://vid.ly/8c1n7n    http://vid.ly/7n3n7x   Perseverance http://vid.ly/7b0p2v  (see 15-minute activities for developing a Growth Mindset, below)

“If you aren’t struggling you aren’t really learning.” https://news.stanford.edu/2019/09/30/embrace-struggle-education-professor-challenges-common-beliefs-teaching-learning/?sf114364546=1

Growth Mindset Classroom Displays (see below)

Challenge Policy, 2018 The St. Michael's Gifted and Talented Policy has been replaced with the school Challenge Policy, 2018: a challenging curriculum, support for equal engagement, planning for enrichment, resilience and a growth mindset, (see Challenge Update, below)

Growth Mindset Key Concepts, below. 

Challenge Update, September, 2018 (below) 

15-Minute Challenges for developing Resilience and a Growth Mindset 

Growth Mindset Displays (below) 

Lunchtime STEM games club (below)