Learning with a Growth Mindset

Farsley Farfield Primary School.

Keystage 1 create a masterpiece together.

January 29, 2015 at 8:10 pm

This morning, with the wintery weather, it took staff up to 3 hours to get into school, so we started the day altogether in the hall. We sang until most of the children had arrived and then we watched a short video based on the book, ‘The Dot,’ by Peter Reynolds.

We then looked at this painting by Kandinsky as Year 1 have been learning about famous artists and have looked at some of Kandinsky’s work.


The Year 2 children made a large circle round the hall and then Year 1 found a Year 2 partner. Together they began to work on picture, starting with a dot. After a few minutes the Year 1 children got up and moved on to a new partner, taking the art work with them. The collaborative creation continued, then Year 2 got up, with the art work and moved on to a new partner. Half an hour later the children were finishing off and staff were busily sticking the children’s work on to large sheets of coloured paper.


Above are the artworks we created collaboratively. The children then looked at the pictures together and gave each other feedback. The children had worked together so well, sharing pencils and felt tips, giving each other ideas and hekping each other. They worked with children they didn’t know and thanked each other for being good partners.

Now we are going to put the sheets together to create one large masterpiece which will be on display as part of the Year 1 gallery.

Well done to everyone for showing what team work can achieve.

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Mr Tiffany, the juggler, teaches about perseverance and hard work.

January 27, 2015 at 7:43 pm

Mr Tiffany’s brother, also called Mr Tiffany is a juggler and musician. All the children in the North Building had a wonderful time watching him perform his juggling acts. We also learned that he had first learned to juggle when he was 7 years old. He told us about how some of his juggling acts had taken years of practising and about how his friend had helped him. Practise and hard work is certainly taking him nearer and nearer his goal of being the best juggler in the world…..

Now what is your dream? How hard will you work to achieve it?

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Week 2 Responding to Challenge in 6W – The Magic Smartie

January 19, 2015 at 9:42 pm

How do you respond to a challenge? After our ethos assembly on Tuesday, the children of 6W took part in a little social experiment.

Challenge Tagxedo

Imagine you have been given an envelope

Inside this envelope is a magic Smartie.
If you eat this magic Smartie, you will always find tasks that you take on easy.
Take a moment to think about this, then decide what you want to do.
A – Eat the Smartie?
B- Leave the Smartie in the envelope.


What would it be like…

  • Learning to ride a bike
  • Doing the shopping
  • Taking a test
  • Singing in a choir
  • Talking a foreign language
  • Playing a musical instrument

What are the consequences for you?

  • Would you get the satisfaction from a job well done?
  • What would you learn along the way?
  • What would you learn about yourself along the way?
  • What would you learn about others along the way?
  • How would it help you build friendships and relationships?
  • What if everybody took a magic Smartie?
  • What if only a few people took a magic Smartie?

Here is what Alisha said.

“From the start when we were introduced to the Smartie challenge, my mind was one hundred percent made up that I would choose option B-leave the Smartie in the envelope;here is why I made such an immediate decision.

First of all, for me the most important point is that anything you can do with a magic Smartie you can do without one. The only difference is that you wouldn’t have the same sense of satisfaction, achievement or pride as a person without a magic Smartie in their success of a challenge.(And of course the amount of effort and practice they put in).

Can you imagine passing an exam without going to school? Wouldn’t it bother you that in some ways you cheated? For some people they would still eat the magic Smartie but that would mean you would never be stretching or growing your brain by setting yourself goals that you can work towards and hopefully achieve. Altogether, although it would be a nice idea, I’m glad there isn’t a magic Smartie!:)”

Here’s how Omaymaa responded

“At first I took the smartie and wanted to find tasks that I usually find hard, easy! When my teacher asked the two groups (people who did eat the smartie and people who didn’t), I changed my mind and went to the other group. This was because of Alisha! The language that she used persuaded me and I wanted to challenge my brain instead of finding things easy!

When I did eat the smartie I realised that I wouldn’t actually be doing anything since Im not actually thinking even if the magic smartie would make me succesfull! I would have been glad if I didn’t eat the magic smartie in the first place because I would want to make mistakes and learn from them! Thank you Alisha for persuading me and I am glad as well that there isn’t actually a magic smartie!”

Omaymaa was not the only one who chose to take the magic Smartie before changing their mind. Take a look at our before and after discussion pictures.


Before – this lot chose not to take a Smartie and challenge themselves


After –  the vast majority of the Smartie eaters changed their minds. They realised that the magic Smartie would rob them of the satisfaction brought about by persevering with a task and stretching yourself.

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Week 2 – Challenge in KS1 and Foundation.

January 17, 2015 at 8:09 am

Monday’s assembly focused this statement-Screen Shot 2015-01-17 at 15.11.45

We shared a wonderful story –IMG_7541

The story is all about a little girl who sets about the challenge of creating ‘the most magnificent thing.’ It’s not easy, she has to persevere and she has many attempts. Along the ways she faces frustration, she feels like quitting, she even loses her temper….. but ultimately , with a little encouragement and a lot of ‘grit’ she achieves her goal.

Having listened to the story, here’s what 2F did together….

In our teams we set ourselves the challenge of building LEGO Learning Towers. On the first day, we didn’t get very far! ….Some teams even found it hard to agree on how they would do the challenge. BUT, we persevered and the children listened to some constructive feedback. Day 2 saw the towers begin to grow. During the third session the teams really worked together, putting their towers together and asking the adults to add some motivation words onto the bricks for them. Finally, yesterday in Dojo time the children created characters and put the finishing touches on to their towers.

Here are the final towers; everyone feels really proud of their teams creation and thinking about them helps us to remember that learning can be tricky, but with team work, effort and determination, we can achieve great things.

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Week 1 – Brainology in KS1 and Foundation

January 10, 2015 at 1:26 pm

Everyone have been very excited to discover that they have billions of neurons in their brains and that they can stretch and grow their brain by working it hard. Just like doing exercise to strengthen our bodies, we have discovered that challenges and hard work helps us to grow and strengthen our brain. Also, in the same way that eating healthy food, drinking water and sleeps helps our bodies stay healthy, it also helps to keep our brains fit.

In our KS1 assembly we all enjoyed the story of Scramble in ‘Little by Little.’

little by little

Here are the last few pages. Can you remember how the story went? How did Scramble manage to learn how to swim? How did he feel when he finally managed to do it? What helped him to achieve his dream?

We also watched the film which KS2 enjoyed by Professor Robert Winston and learned about how our neurons grow stronger the more we practise the things we are learning. Together we also sang ‘The Brain’ song from ‘Out of the Ark.’ We especially liked the line, ‘ If you don’t feel very clever, THINK again,’ as it reminds us to keep on going.

Back in class the children read the ‘Little by Little’ story again and also looked at the ‘Fantastic Elastic Brain’ book.

In 2F the children created brain hats to learn about the different parts of their brains and also made models of neurons. They made their neurons into ‘fantastic elastic’ ones by adding loom bands to the dendrites, so together we were able to use ‘c’ clips to show how the neurons send messages across their synapses.

We have also been playing lots of games that help to exercise our brains, like Scrabble, Rush Hour and Sudoku. Check out the Maths page for links to some brain stretching games!

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Week 1 – Brainology in KS2

January 10, 2015 at 11:27 am

To create a buzz and kick-start our work on growth mindsets, we looked at what happens inside your brain when you are learning something new. Our KS2 assembly involved watching this super Professor Robert Wins video about synapses and neural pathways. Then we played a brainsmart game from the BBC brainsmart web pages. Our willing volunteers donned their brain hats and used a simple memory technique to remember a list of items and create some fabulous list stories in the process.

Back in in the classroom, each child created their own brain hat and looked at the Your Fantastic Elastic Brain poster. In our Friday assembly, each child and many of the adults wore their brain hats. Take a look at this Animoto video that shows what we’ve been doing.

Our brains are precious things. They make you, you. With the right type of attitude, encouragement and care you can stretch and grow your brain. In 6W and 5/6T the children have been set a brain research homework to:

  • Explain what the different parts of your brain do.
  • Describe what is happening inside your brain when you challenge and stretch yourself to learn new things.
  • Create a guide for looking after your brain so that you give it the best possible chance to thrive and grow.

We shall be publishing their work on these pages in the coming weeks.

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