School Blogs

No such word as can’t

13th October 2016 | Head's Blog

No such word as can’t

Has your child ever said to you ‘There’s no point, I’ll never be able to do it’ or actively avoided doing something because they have experienced failure in a certain area in the past?

It is all too easy to convince oneself that something can’t be done; whether it be trying a new sport, making new friends, or learning a new concept. There is, however, no such word as can’t and if there were a place for it, it would not be at Wandsworth Prep. Wandsworth Prep is a growth mind-set school.

Some children have a natural tendency to give up on challenging tasks easily, or avoid tasks where they have previously failed. They tend to believe that being ‘good’ at a particular activity is a fixed state, and is something they are unable to control. In psychology, this way of thinking is called a ‘fixed mind-set’.

Other children, however, might quickly bounce back from failure and be more ready to explore how they can get better at doing something. They tend to be children who believe that ability improves through practice, or by seeking different ways in which to achieve a goal. This way of thinking is called a ‘growth mind-set’, and developing it can help make children more resilient for life.

As children mature, they begin to compare themselves to others. Some children place increasingly less focus on learning and will instead focus on performance; the underlying desire is to look good in front of others and more importantly, feel like they are the best. Such an approach, however, can be detrimental to well-being, thwart achievement and result in children being less likely to reach their true potential.

What we nurture in our children at Wandsworth Prep, is the belief that they can get better at something through practice and perseverance in order that, when they are faced with a challenge, they become more and more determined to succeed.

Our aim is to ensure that each child in our care does not let failure define them; instead, they use setbacks to motivate them. In the midst of an engaging and challenging curriculum, our children enjoy a genuine sense of accomplishment when they succeed, leading in turn, to children achieving their potential.

‘The greatest danger for most of us is not that our aim is too high and we miss it, but that it is too low and we reach it’  - Michelangelo


Bridget Saul - Headteacher