I’ve read and delivered Carol Dweck’s Growth Mindset collection a number of times in the last 2 years, planning a series of lessons for each year group that focus on the aspect of challenge, determination and resilience. I always though, come back to one single caveat, if the teacher delivering the material has not bought into it, we then have just another PSHE lesson that is cluttering up the timetable.
Making it compulsory, as the news delivered this week postulates, does not mean that we will have a company of teachers who believe in a strong PSHE curriculum. I know that this 1 hour can be used in establishments as revision time, skills planning and generally time filling, but if it does become compulsory, (whether you believe it should or shouldn’t, we will all have to do something about the delivery/planning of this subject soon), this is a chance to allow our pupils to self-reflect on how they personally feel towards challenge, and allowing them the chance to build up and augment their skills of resilience and determination. How many times have we seen a PSHE curriculum that follows the general trend of;
Undeniably these are essential topics that pupils must cover in some element of their pastoral time, but could there be, inextricably linked, a theme of ‘mindset’ running through them?
One of our lessons looks at My Future Self ‘(My Future Learning lesson 5)’, a letter to their future self dictating a regaling them of a time when they needed to show resilience, when giving up was not an option. We asked our Y8s to really think of times they would need to demonstrate this ‘Growth Mindset’, and the results were extremely interesting, a wide range of topics, not at all centred on school. All areas that they would need to show high levels of determination, patience, and above all, common sense. Preparing these pupils for the world beyond the classroom should be the goal for PSHE lessons and the 3 topics mentioned do represent this preparation, ensuring that they have an explicit link and full staff by-in is the challenge leadership face in encouraging planning and delivery.