Welcome to
The Highbury Blog

The core purpose of this Blog is to share our understanding of what ‘Knowing Boys’ means in the teaching and learning context at Highbury. Bianca in the marketing department usually writes the blog posts, typically based on talks with staff at Highbury, and with the intention to be both useful and inspiring to our parents.

Our blog also includes an Eco-Blog section, which tracks our progress and accomplishments as an Eco-School.

Happy reading!


Modern-day Parenting

Added on 25/10/2019

Mrs Kirsten Baldocchi, Clinical Psychologist, discusses the recent shifts in parenting.

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Boarding in the 60s - Memories from Peter Bolton (Class of 1968)

Added on 25/09/2019

"I will always say with a smile that my time as a boarder at Highbury were some of the...

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Growing a Growth Mindset - Michelle Jones

Added on 02/08/2019

Michelle Jones compares a Growth Mindset to gaming.

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Why Character is More Important Than Ability

Added on 02/08/2019

Tim Jarvis speaks about "No, your child is not gifted"

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Aspects of the Reggio Emilia Approach - Jill Sachs

Added on 02/08/2019

The Reggio Emilia approach has changed the way we think, teach and learn at Weavers' Nest

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Dear Books. Thanks for Everything. Love Me xx

Added on 01/08/2019

Lisa van Bronckhorst takes a trip down memory lane and reminisces about how books have changed her...

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Joseph McKenzie reflects on his Highbury days

Added on 11/03/2019

At our 2019 Open Day, Kearsney Prefect Joseph Mckenzie joined us as a guest speaker to describe how...

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Life in the Library

Added on 01/03/2019

Our librarian, Lisa van Bronkhorst, wrote a wonderful article for our 2018 School Magazine about...

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Boy-centric Creative Writing: C-POW!

Added on 21/11/2018

Boys are more than twice as likely as girls to say they hate writing. That's why Highbury is...

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What makes Grade R at Highbury unique?

Added on 24/05/2018

Grade R is Highbury's biggest point of entry - what a boycentric and fun year it is!

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Added on 02/08/2019


Proudly Primary has been filled with so many exciting and insightful talks. We were proud to have a few of our own Highbury teachers to conduct some of the breakaway sessions – one of which was presented by Michelle Jones. 

Michelle spoke about “Growing a Growth Mindset”. She started off her session by asking each group of delegates to complete a complex puzzle, with only some of the tables being able to solve them. She then asked how it made everyone feel to be competing to solve the puzzles in such a short time. Answers ranged from “frustrated and anxious” to “I can do this”.

With this in mind, we were asked to understand mindset as a way of thinking controlled by each individual’s emotional responses to challenges. 

Michelle then went on to describe the difference between a growth mindset and a fixed mindset. In a fixed mindset, people believe their qualities are fixed traits and therefore cannot change. These people document their intelligence and talents rather than working to develop and improve them. They also believe that talent alone leads to success, and effort is not required. Alternatively, in a growth mindset, people have an underlying belief that their learning and intelligence can grow with time and experience. 

“If you have a fixed mindset, you will avoid challenges,” says Michelle. “If you don’t take the challenge, you can’t fail. Children live up to their labels – they would rather be labelled as naughty than stupid.”

Michelle goes on to explain that we should be using the language of gaming in the classroom. With gaming being a relevant topic for many learners, it is important to resonate with them. When playing games, there is no risk of permanent failure, and children need to learn that in life there is no permanent failure either, instead, there is learning and growing.


Applying a Growth Mindset is broken down into the following categories:

1. Non-Threat

Create a classroom culture. Let your classroom be one of the safest places for children to be out of their comfort zone. 

2. Student Input

Give learners a choice and a voice to promote ownership and motivation.

3. Embrace Differences

Just as there are different strategies for mastering a video game, teachers should give students space to strategise ways to master different challenges. 

4. Intrinsic Motivation

Video games encourage intrinsic motivation – there is no reward at the end other than reaching the end. Players are in it for the fun of the challenge. Help your students discover what motivates them.

5. Learning From Examples

You, as the teacher, are the greatest example and model of living in a growth mindset.

6. Constant Feedback

Dings, bells and tones are consistently informing players of what’s happening. Children gain greater value from consistent feedback from teachers and peers. Remember to praise the process rather than the person. 

7. Scaffolding

Video games build on one challenge after another, increasing difficulty – this creates a clear path to mastery.

8. Create Healthy Competition

Games and competitions create camaraderie, increase engagement and promote learning. 

9. Cheats

In gaming, there are all sorts of cheats to give players a boost. Children have multiple tools t their disposal. Teach them how to access their tools with tips, tricks and strategies. 

“Don’t handicap your children by making their lives easy” – Robert A Heinlein

Thank you to Michelle Jones for sharing your amazing research, and we can’t wait to see our students flourish with a Growth Mindset.