PSHE KS2: Introducing 'The Brain Lab' - A guide for teachers

This film provides teachers with information about mindsets and the importance and impact a growth mindset can have.

Children and young people know quite a lot about how to look after their physical bodies. For example, what to eat, and the importance of getting plenty of exercise and sleep.

In the series The Brain Lab, clinical psychologist Dr Hazel Harrison explains some of the things we can do to take care of our mental health, including developing a 'growth mindset'.

A mindset is a group of beliefs we hold that influence how we live our lives and the sorts of decisions that we make.

Having a fixed mindset leads us to believe that our abilities and traits are fixed and can’t be changed.

Developing a growth mindset leads to the belief that we can get better at things with effort, hard work, feedback from other people and lots of practice.

This film provides practical tips and advice on how to encourage pupils to develop a growth mindset through the language that we use.

It also introduces teachers to the series of films and provides tips on how they can be used within the classroom.


Dr Hazel Harrison, a clinical psychologist, and Natalie Costa, a children’s confidence coach, share their knowledge of the power of mindsets and explain how we can shape pupils' attitudes to learning by supporting them to develop a growth mindset.

They explain how the language we use can impact how our mindsets develop.

Using phrases such as ‘you are so clever’, or ‘you are great at that’ can actually push children into thinking more with a fixed mindset.

They suggest alternative phrases that can be used to encourage pupils, and discuss the importance of adding the word 'yet' when talking about learning and progress.

The film is intended to help teachers think about how to start discussion about growth mindsets in the classroom.

It is often helpful to share your own personal experience, talking honestly about situations you've approached with a fixed mindset and what has helped you to shift towards a growth mindset.

It can be beneficial for children to understand that we are often display a mix of both mindsets.

Teachers and schools can develop a strategy to involve parents in embracing the importance of a growth mindset, offering support for families to help pupils' development to continue within their home environment.

The series of films

This film is part of a series of films on mindset and mindfulness.

Five of the films introduce us to one of the five steps to wellbeing - ‘connect with others’, ‘be active’, 'give to others', ‘take notice’ and ‘keep learning’.

Each film includes some scientific facts, introduced by Dr Hazel, and a case study of a young person who has benefited from taking one of the steps.

The final film, The Brain House, uses animation to look at what is happening inside our brain when we feel strong emotions.

More from The Brain Lab:

Dan - Connect with others
Kristana - Be active
Mjd - Give to others
Rachel - Take notice
Ethan - Keep learning
The Brain House