Many Schools have adopted the ‘Growth Mindset’ philosophy of learning where the shift of focus in education is on effort rather than achievement. But it is hard to help our pupils remember this when they receive their first report card, as they scan down to see how many A grades they have gained, or not. Their parents will certainly be interested in finding out about their progress and the full picture of how their children is progressing is difficult to capture in a one page Interim Test Report. That is why effort grades help us paint a richer picture of their time at School. We are interested in how our pupils approach challenge; how they keep asking probing questions for deeper understanding; whether they are brave enough to answer questions, even if they are not sure of the answers.
I have recently read a heart-warming true story by a thirteen year-old Japanese boy with non-verbal autism: Fall Down Seven Times, Get Up Eight. The Japanese proverb recognises the importance of resilience and nowhere is this more evident than in this powerful account of the daily battle Naoki Higashida faces just in order to achieve ordinary social interactions. His struggle epitomises the results of extraordinary effort; his willingness to pick himself up after every fall is a powerful lesson to us all.