We have been working with Hillhead secondary school in Glasgow for several years, to help them embed a growth mindset culture at every level - with staff, pupils and parents. after being commissioned by Headteacher Karen McAlaney who has been a keen advocate of our work and whole school approach.
By working across staff, parents and pupils increases the sustainability and development of a whole school growth mindset culture that focuses on effort; learning from mistakes and embracing the challenge. It is essential that Mindset is embedded into all teaching and learning activities and not seen as something that happens in isolation.
Training for Teaching Staff
We have delivered CPD sessions for staff on Growth Mindset. This helps to get a consistency of approach to challenge, feedback and engagement in the classroom by ensuring that Growth Mindset underpins all aspects of the curriculum rather than being seen as something separate. This helped teachers understand the importance of Mindset and how this fits with other learning and teaching strategies.
We have also worked with several staff working groups in school to ensure that pupils who require additional support are reached and supported in a way that is congruent with a growth mindset.
Leadership Coaching to Embed Mindset Culture
We have coached the senior leadership team on a 1:1 basis and facilitated blue sky planning sessions. John Paul is a trained executive coach and provides a supportive but challenging space to explore challenges faced by the leadership team. This has helped the team understand their own individual and collective strengths and weaknesses and led to improved ways of working.
We have also coached many of the middle leaders in school on a 1:1 basis. This has helped them address issues relating to leadership; resilience and confidence to enable them to thrive in dealing with the complex challenges they face daily.
Our working knowledge of the school combined with coaching has enabled principal teachers concerned with raising attainment to join up their work more effectively to have a more significant impact by working more collaboratively.
We trained 16 senior pupils to mentor younger pupils at risk of exclusion, training them up as coaches and how to use growth mindset language to encourage and mentor younger pupils effectively. Our mentors really enjoyed the training as it gave them insight to them as individuals; their own mindset and practical coaching skills. The pupils were featured on the BBC Radio Scotland Programme personal best which you can listen to at: https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b09rk6s7
We also provided an input at the S6 leadership academy providing a challenge on the day combined with a lively workshop on Growth Mindset and motivational talk. John Paul worked with all of the S6 year group who were challenged to work as a team on the day to make a video on an issue of importance and relevance to peers. This taught them vital communication and team working skills; the importance of goal setting and raised the bar of aspiration. Staff and pupil feedback from the day was incredibly positive and we have been booked for next year already!
The research tells us about the importance of working meaningfully with parents to establish a growth mindset culture. The messages, ideas, values and even goals of parents all have an impact on whether or not our young people develop a growth mindset. As part of our package of support for the school, we provided an awareness-raising session at the S4-S6 parents as part of a study skills session on Growth Mindset. This is vital as it helps parents understand simple, practical strategies they can use to encourage their children's positive mindset development such as goal setting and focusing on praise that is geared around effort. In feedback, parents really enjoyed the session and found it practical too. We are exploring other ways of developing this further using role models and parent coaching.
To book TeachMindset for your own school CPD; Parent Coaching or Pupil Workshops, email TeachMindset Founder, John Paul Fitzpatrick at: [email protected] and have a look at our resources at https://resources.teachmindset.com