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Learning Muscles

Growth Mindset and Learning Muscles

If you have a growth mindset you:

  • Believe intelligence is expandable
  • Want to learn
  • Embrace challenge
  • Persist in the face of setbacks
  • See effort as the way to success
  • Learn from constructive criticism

It is essential that pupils understand that the brain can be developed like a muscle, changing and growing stronger the more it is used.

Learning Muscles can help develop a growth mindset and become successful lifelong learners.

Meta-cognition is the term used to describe learning about learning, or what learning consists of.

When tasks are more complex, the quality of meta-cognitive skills rather than intellectual ability is the main determinant of learning outcomes. Learning Powers (muscles) provide children with the tools to be able to talk about and understand their learning, giving them a shared language.

Our School Learning Muscles encompass our school values of:

  • Determination
  • Creativity
  • Resilience
  • Teamwork
  • Responsibility

Our Crookhill Learning Muscles

Don’t Give Up Derek

Successful people need to push themselves. A great curriculum needs to push children and teach them about the need to push themselves. It is much easier to push yourself if you see the point to what you are doing. The curriculum needs a certain degree of risk if children are to experience the real world. They need opportunities to fail in a safe environment and learn to have another go. Children need to complete open ended activities so they get used to developing perseverance.

  • I work hard
  • I practise lots
  • I keep going (perservere)
  • I try new strategies
  • I ask for help
  • I start again if I need to
  • I know I can improve if I keep trying

Be Creative Bertie

Successful people have ideas. They use their imagination and are prepared to be wrong. Children should understand that to be successful they need to try and think around the problem- don’t expect the answer to just be obvious. They need to encouraged to ask questions to deepen their learning and explain their thinking through words and/or diagrams.

  • I’m creative
  • I let my brain go wild
  • I think of new ideas and ways to do things
  • I think of new questions
  • I use my imagination

Have A Go Howard

If children are willing to try new things, they may just find something they are good at. Even better than this, they may find something that they love doing. Most successful people love what they do. Often when you just have a go, you surprise yourself.

  • I have a growth mindset
  • I don’t worry if things go wrong
  • I learn from my mistakes
  • I am excited to try new things


Cooperative Kate and Kieron

No one has experienced success by thinking about themselves. Successful people understand others. The curriculum needs to help children to realise that collaboration is what the real world is about. Children need to work in groups of all sizes and abilities with an opportunity to be both the teacher and learner. Speaking and listening skills will be developed to explain thinking and reasoning.

  • I listen to others
  • I say when I don’t understand
  • I’m kind when I disagree with someone
  • I explain things to help others
  • I am tolerant


Concentrating Cleo

Successful people learn to give their full attention to whatever they are doing. Allowing children to focus on things that interest them, whilst at the same time learning all of the content that is required, is a great way to secure engagement.

  • I don’t get distracted
  • I don’t distract others
  • I am focused on my work
  • I get lost in the task
  • I plan and do things in order
  • I check what I am doing and improve things