Woodford house


A ‘Growth Mindset’ to Prepare for Success

In 2014 Woodford gained five NZQA scholarships across four departments, and while we celebrate this achievement, as always we believe we can be ‘better than before’.

Scholarship Academy

To support the journey to becoming ‘better than before’ a Scholarship Academy has been formed to help to keep these scholarship candidates on track, up-to-date and best prepared for success. A breakfast launch at the beginning of this term was supported by Board of Trustees members Alison Souness and Marco Maiorana, who shared their personal strategies for success. The group will meet once a month to be inspired, buoyed and stimulated by teachers, parents, Old Girls and academics who will be invited to share best practice around scholarship success. Their first session was with literacy expert Dr Ian Hunter on the use of Write that Essay. We look forward to welcoming 2013 Dux Emily Wood and Old Girl Dr Robin Averill as future presenters.

Alongside the Academy candidates have been offered Hawke’s Bay wide scholarship workshops, delivered by Massey University and the HB Principals’ Association. The presenters are well versed in scholarship and will help encourage and train both teachers and students to gain Scholarship in all subject areas. These workshops run from May to August.

We look forward to sharing the Scholarship Academy journey with our community.

Growth Mindset in the Classroom

‘The moment we believe that success is determined by an ingrained level of ability, we will be brittle in the face of adversity.’ ~ Josh Waitzkin

Goal shooting not going that well in netball/hockey/football? What does one do about it? The common answer is to ‘train more’ – practice, seek help and surround yourself with support. This same training model or ‘growth mindset’ needs to occur in the classroom too.

I recently visited the Level 2 mathematics classes and asked them how their winter sports were going. I happened to ask a netball goal shooter in one class and her reply was “not so good”. When I asked her what she intended to do about it she replied :

  • practice more
  • see the coach regarding my technique
  • look up some You-tube clips on shooting technique
  • work with the other players to ensure I get good passes, etc.

This same idea about training or developing a ‘growth mindset’ should be used when learning is not quite on track too. Investing more time (practice) and seeking assistance at tutorials (seeing the coach) or from peers (working with others) are important ingredients for success. Making sure the girls have teachers (coaches) available is key from my perspective and that is why we have just introduced a MAP (mathematics assistance programme) trial to the Level 2 mathematics classes. This added ‘coaching’ is alongside an already highly flexible tutorial offering from Mathematics department staff who are available on an individual level at lunchtimes and after school. The girls just need to ask!

A ‘growth mindset’ compared to a ‘fixed mindset’ can be such a powerful tool for learners:


So if your daughter is struggling ask her if she has:

  • used a number of strategies?
  • sought help from the teacher or their peers?
  • persisted with practice?
  • attended a tutorial?

Mrs Dionne Thomas, Director of Learning