News. Developing a growth mindset

3rd of March, 2022

A pilot outdoor education programme that aims to transform mindsets has been hailed a success by participants.

The Prince’s Foundation’s new Growth, Resilience, Independence and Trust (GRIT) Programme has been specifically developed to help young people improve their confidence and support them to develop a growth mindset.

“A growth mindset describes a specific way of viewing challenges and setbacks,” explains Richard Kay, residential centre manager and activity instructor for The Prince's Foundation at Dumfries House. “People who have a growth mindset believe that even if they struggle with certain skills, their abilities aren’t set in stone. They understand that with work and effort, their skills can be developed over time. The GRIT programme aims to help them do just that.”

Held over the course of four days at the charity’s Dumfries House headquarters, the GRIT programme utilises the estate’s expansive onsite facilities — including a nature-based obstacle course, indoor climbing wall and archery range — to lead participants through a tailored programme of team-building activities.

“Developing a growth mindset can have real benefits to young people in terms of personal development as it helps people reframe their approach and attitude to challenges," says Richard. "The GRIT programme aims to promote change among young people by guiding them through activities that test each participant’s mental and physical resilience, their independent thinking, their trust when working within a team, and their own physical and mental abilities.

“One of the most rewarding things to see during the pilot of the programme was how much of a difference the programme made over just four days. A lot of the participants came from challenging backgrounds and, as a result, were quite insular. During the week, they were challenged to work with people they didn’t know and, in doing so, break down some social barriers they didn’t even know were there. It was really encouraging to see how quickly they started to open up once to one another.”

While college students were beneficiaries of the pilot, the course can be adapted to suit a number of different groups, including corporate colleagues, teachers seeking CPD opportunities, and secondary school pupils.

On the latter, Richard said: “The GRIT programme would be incredibly helpful for secondary school pupils in terms of helping them understand how to navigate going from the classroom environment into work, college or university. Taking part would provide them with the skills and confidence needed to deal with this transition, and help them understand the ways in which their perceptions of what they will or won’t enjoy beforehand will shape how they experience it. If they go in with a positive mindset, they will get more out of the experience.”

To find out more about The Prince’s Foundation’s GRIT programme, email education@princes-foundation.org