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Be Bold

"It’s not because things are difficult that we dare not venture. It’s because we dare not venture that they are difficult." Seneca


Boldness is the willingness to take risks and not be afraid of failure, recognising that learning is a journey that is characterised by both success and frustration.

Pupils can be prepared to have a go, to get things wrong and learn from mistakes.

  • Don’t be afraid to state your ideas and opinions.
  • Be ambitious in the tasks you choose – don’t always go for the easy option, seek new challenges.
  • Accept that there is not always a ‘right answer’; embrace uncertainty.
  • If you make a mistake, don’t be upset, but use the opportunity to improve your understanding.
  • Recognise that the best learners use their mistakes to progress.
  • Always respect the contributions of others, even if you think they are wrong.

Teachers can create safe learning environments where pupils are willing to take risks.

  • Develop an atmosphere of trust in the classroom, where all contributions are valued.
  • Praise risk-taking and correct false assumptions sensitively.
  • Model risk-taking in your approach to problem solving and intellectual argument.
  • Provide appropriate scaffolding and support so that the ‘impossible becomes possible’.
  • Provide focused feedback that clearly identifies ways for pupils to develop their learning.

Parents can reassure pupils that it is acceptable to make mistakes and get things wrong; it’s a learning journey, not an ongoing performance.

  • Encourage your child to participate in lessons, answer questions and not be upset if they get things wrong.
  • If your child performs poorly in a test or assessment, focus on what they can do to improve, not on why they failed.
  • Discuss your child’s work with them, but allow them to make the decisions on how to approach it – help them to take the risk.