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Cultivating a Growth Mindset in Young Learners

As primary school teachers, we have the extraordinary opportunity to shape the minds and attitudes of our young learners. One of the most valuable gifts we can give them is a growth mindset—an understanding that their abilities and intelligence can be developed through effort, perseverance, and a positive attitude. In today’s blog post, we will explore the concept of a growth mindset, delve into the power of “yet,” and provide practical examples of how to foster this mindset in the classroom, playground and beyond!




Before we dive into how to cultivate a growth mindset in your students, it’s essential to get to grips with the difference between fixed and growth mindsets.


A fixed mindset believes that intelligence and abilities are fixed traits, unchangeable and predetermined. When a child with a fixed mindset fails at something, they are more likely to judge themselves, complain, or quit entirely.


On the other hand, a growth mindset recognises that skills and intelligence can be developed through dedication, practice, and resilience. Children with positive growth mindsets are open to learning, thrive on encouragement and work diligently to improve. 💛




A pioneering American psychologist, Carol Dweck, introduced the idea of “yet” as a powerful tool in developing a growth mindset. Encouraging young learners to use the phrase “I can’t do it…yet” instead of “I can’t do it” instils a sense of possibility and emphasises their growth potential. By introducing “yet” into their vocabulary, we help children understand that their current limitations do not define their future capabilities.


An incredible storybook that explores this concept is Yani the Yeti and the Power of Yet by Katie Mense. We love this book at TT, especially how it encourages students to be YETis and harness the power of YET to develop their positive growth mindsets.


(Psst! Want some free resources to use in your classroom with this concept? Keep reading!)




💛 Encourage Effort and Embrace Mistakes: Emphasise the learning process rather than the result. Praise children for their hard work, resilience, and problem-solving skills. Create a safe and supportive environment where mistakes are seen as opportunities for growth and learning rather than a failure.


💛  Teach the Science of the Brain: Introduce children to the concept of neuroplasticity—the brain’s ability to grow and change. Explain how the brain becomes stronger when challenged, just like a muscle. Use simple, age-appropriate examples to help children understand how their efforts directly impact their brain’s development. For instance, you could try kneading dough as a whole class and discuss how the more the dough is kneaded, the bigger and fluffier the bread becomes! If you’d prefer a storybook, we absolutely love Your Fantastic Elastic Brain by JoAnn Deak.


💛  Foster Growth Mindset Language: Incorporate positive affirmations and growth mindset statements into daily routines. Encourage phrases such as “I can improve with practice” or “Mistakes help me learn.” These affirmations can be integrated into morning meetings, circle time and classroom discussions, reinforcing the belief in growth and progress. We have some fantastic growth mindset posters available on the webby with versions themed to all our incredible décor packs that you can use as a daily visual reminder.


💛  Encourage Risk-Taking: Provide various play opportunities that require children to take risks, whether climbing on a challenging structure or trying a new game. Praise their courage and perseverance when they encounter obstacles and setbacks. Celebrate their willingness to step out of their comfort zones!


💛  Foster Collaboration and Peer Support: Use activities in the classroom and playground that promote teamwork and cooperation. Encourage children to work together to solve problems, share ideas, and support each other’s growth. Teach them the value of constructive feedback and how it helps everyone improve- we love to use a ‘positivity sandwich’ model at TT to frame feedback around positive affirmations.


💛  Celebrate Growth and Progress: Take every opportunity to highlight and celebrate individual and collective achievements! Showcase children’s progress in different areas and recognise their effort, resilience, and determination. This can be done through displays, certificates, or informal celebrations to reinforce the idea that growth is a continuous process. You’ll find some super cute certificate templates on the webby to match your favourite décor pack.



By nurturing a growth mindset in our young learners, we provide them with a lifelong tool for success. Through promoting effort, embracing mistakes, and using the power of “yet,” we empower children to believe in their ability to grow and overcome challenges. By implementing growth mindset attitudes in the classroom and the playground, we create an environment that encourages resilience, curiosity and a love for learning and teaches our students life skills they can take into the real world for years to come. Let’s embrace the power of a growth mindset and inspire our young learners to reach their fullest potential!




We sure did! We’ve created two amazing FREE resources you can use to develop your students’ positive mindsets. Let your students become YETis and harness the power of yet using these super cute yeti-themed resources.


The Power of Yet Writing Prompts includes eight template options for students to explore activities they can’t do yet and strategies they can use to improve. They’re accompanied by the most adorable yeti writing topper that your students can colour or paint before using for display!


Fixed Vs. Growth Mindset Task Cards contains two sets of task cards- one for a simple sorting activity and another for a more challenging small group or whole class discussion. Use the mountain-themed sorting mat to arrange the cards and display the matching poster as a visual reference.


Use just one activity or combine both for a winter-ful day of work!

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