The Student Mindset(9781785833083)

Provider: Crown House Publishing
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Description In The Student Mindset: A 30-item toolkit for anyone learning anything, Steve Oakes and Martin Griffin provide clear, effective and engaging tools designed to help students plan, organise and execute successful learning.

Crown House Publishing's website
Categories Secondary, Higher, Teaching and Learning, Teaching staff, In school
Learning outcomes for participants/users and, where relevant, pupils or students

Successful students find a way to succeed. They get the results they want. And they achieve this not by superior ability, but by sticking to habits, routines and strategies that deliver those results.

Suitable for all students.

Evidence underpinning this approach

By cutting through the noise surrounding academic success and character development, bestselling authors Steve Oakes and Martin Griffin have identified the five key traits and behaviours that all students need in order to achieve their goals: vision, effort, systems, practice and attitude (VESPA).

Vision. "Mindset starts with ambition because our potential is limited by our ambition. High aspirations drive us to take more risk, have more courage, show more resilience and be more positive."

Source: Owen, J. (2015). The Mindset of Success: Accelerate Your Career from Good Manager to Great Leader (London: Kogan Page).

Effort. "I believe that my success is due in part to some level of skill. But more than that, I believe that I win because I out-work people."

Source: Brock, T. (2016). How to be successful, according to Jimmy Kimmel, Gary Vaynerchuk and Charlie Brock. Business Journals (5 October). Available at:

System. "Creativity x Organization = Impact."

Source: Belsky, S. (2010). Making Ideas Happen: Overcoming the Obstacles Between Vision and Reality (London: Penguin).

Practice. "For the things we have to learn before we can do them, we learn by doing them."

Source: Aristotle (2009). The Nicomachean Ethics, ed. L. Brown, tr. D. Ross (Oxford: Oxford University Press).

Attitude. "Students who are success seekers are not bluffed by setback, poor performance, failure or academic adversity. They take the lesson to be learnt and move on. They do not dwell on the mistake; they learn from it. They do not conclude they are dumb or no good; they see mistakes and setbacks as reflecting on their effort, attitude, or the way they went about the task, which all can be improved next time. They do not assume that past failure will predict future failure."

Source: Martin, A. (2010). Building Classroom Success: Eliminating Academic Fear and Failure (London: Continuum). Maslow, A. H. (2000).

These characteristics beat cognition hands down, and in The Student Mindset Steve and Martin provide a ready-made series of study strategies, approaches and tactics designed to nurture these qualities and transform your motivation, commitment and productivity.

How users/participants can evaluate success

The book’s thirty activities, while categorised thematically under the VESPA umbrella, have been organised around six key phases of learning so that you can recognise which phase you’re in before choosing from the range of tools and techniques to help you get through it. The six co-existing key phases are: preparation; starting study; collecting and shaping; adapting, testing and performing; flow and feedback; and dealing with the dip. At each phase you’ll experience challenges and discover new ways of working, and this book’s activities have been designed to help you gain control and become a better learner by sharing workload management tactics and revision strategies associated with calm, purposeful study and – ultimately – getting good results. These tools include a range of effective prioritisation, stress reduction, procrastination-busting and mindset development approaches – all neatly packaged into this outstanding practical guide to becoming a successful and confident student.

Follow-up activities and support

Steve Oakes is a researcher, an education trainer and an associate lecturer in psychology. Prior to assuming his current position, he was the assistant director of sixth form at The Blue Coat School in Oldham, where he worked with his co-author, Martin Griffin, for eight years.


Martin Griffin has over two decades’ experience teaching students aged 11–18, and has been a head of faculty, an assistant head teacher and a deputy head teacher. Martin works with schools and colleges across the UK to design and implement mindset and intervention programmes – and his published works in this field include The A Level MindsetThe GCSE Mindsetand The Student Mindset.

He is also an award-winning writer of children’s fiction, whose books include The Poison Boy – written under the pseudonym Fletcher Moss – and YA thrillers Lifers and Payback. Martin’s latest co-authored project is Storycraft, a manual on how to teach narrative writing.

Steve and Martin can be contacted at:



Review comments received include: Jacquelyne Morison, John Morris and UKEdChat.

Associated Files File_icon 9781785833083.pdf