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The A Level Mindset

40 activities for transforming student commitment, motivation and productivity

By: Steve Oakes & Martin Griffin

Price: CAD $34.95

Publisher: CROWN HOUSE PUBLISHING

Imprint: Crown House Publishing

160 Pages

9.21 X 7.24 X 0.5 ins

ISBN:  9781785830242 -- Paperback

Publication Date: 02/26/2016

In The A Level Mindset, Steve Oakes and Martin Griffin share the secrets of coaching students to develop the characteristics, habits and mindsets which will help them realise their potential. Those students who make real and sustained progress at A level aren't necessarily the ones with superb GCSEs. Some students leap from average results aged 16 to outstanding results aged 18. Others seem to hit a ceiling. But why?

It was in trying to answer this question that the VESPA system emerged. Steve and Martin have cut through the noise surrounding character development and identified five key characteristics that all students need to be successful: vision, effort, systems, practice and attitude. These characteristics beat cognition hands down. Successful students approach their studies with the right behaviours, skills and attitudes: they understand how to learn and revise effectively, they're determined and organised, they give more discretionary effort and they get top results. Success at A level is a result of character, not intelligence.

Much has been written about growth mindsets and character development in recent years, but teachers are still left wondering how to apply these ideas in their contexts: how can these theories help learners in practice? Taking cues from the work of Peter Clough, Carol Dweck and Angela Lee Duckworth, and informed by their collective 30 plus years of teaching and coaching, Steve and Martin have spent years researching how character and behaviours affect student outcomes in their sixth form. After identifying the core traits that contributed to student success, they developed practical activities to help every student develop The A Level Mindset. Discover 40 concrete, practical and applicable tools and strategies that will supercharge learners' ambition, organisation, productivity, persistence and determination.


Steve Oakes is the Director of Education at AQR International, where he leads the work on mental toughness in education. Prior to his current position, he was the Assistant Director of Sixth Form at The Blue Coat School in Oldham, where he has worked with his co-author, Martin Griffin, for eight years. Steve has developed and delivered an extensive range of consultancy courses; including work for the London, Manchester and Blackpool Challenge Programme?s to improve schools and sixth forms across the country.

Martin Griffin has 20 years? experience teaching post-16 students, and has been a head of faculty, assistant head teacher and deputy head teacher. He was the director of sixth form at The Blue Coat School, a twice Ofsted-outstanding comprehensive sixth form where student progress is among the top 10 per cent in the country. He works with schools and colleges to design and implement character development and mindset programmes.



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