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This much I know about…developing a Dweck-inspired Growth Mindset culture

Some of my colleagues particularly in the more Sciences really struggle with this, the idea that students can improve and they have a part in making that young person more able to access the work


I have been a teacher for 25 years, a Headteacher for 10 years and, at the age of 49, this much I know about developing a Dweck-inspired Growth Mindset culture.

What follows is much of what I said at #TLT13 on 19 October 2013. There may well be a video of my talk available soon.


How did you find out that the only way to be good at something is to work hard at it? I didn’t need to read Gladwell or Syed, for me it was Jack Nicklaus and Joe Strummer.


The blisters on my hands and my permanently misaligned shoulders were/are testimony to my determination as a youth to be the best golfer in the world. Conversely, my complete failure to play guitar like Joe Strummer is down to my lack of Strummer-like effort – if I put in my 10,000 hours even I, with my incredibly…

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Teaching for A*s

Currently a big topic of conversation in my school we already have some departments regularly getting 50%+A* to A although this is not reflected in the core subjects yet. We managed 33% of students achieving 3A/A*.


Screen shot 2013-09-04 at 06.31.21Beyond the very general notion that we should teach as well as we possibly can, are there approaches we can use that help to secure the highest grades at GCSE? I don’t want to suggest that there are any simple tricks or quick wins or that it is possible or wise for us to expect ever more A* grades. However, getting A*s is something we often discuss at KEGS.

Perhaps it is better to think of it differently, working on the assumption that only a certain proportion of students will be awarded A*s across a national exam cohort. The question then becomes: how can we prepare our students so that they have the best chance of being in that number? This leads us to the brutally simple answer: They need to get as close to full marks as possible – which isn’t as obvious as it sounds.

From conversations with…

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