Secrets of Success by Chris Quigley

At The Meadows Primary, we have implemented Chris Quigley’s approach to learning. One element of this is the ‘Secrets of Success’. Chris Quigley believes that there are many elements needed for children to become successful and independent learners, not simply academics. Below is the ethos behind ‘Secrets of Success’:

What is success?

Success isn’t just about money. It is about happiness, choices and feeling good about yourself. Successful people feel good about:

  • How hard they have tried
  • Who they are
  • What they spend their time doing
  • The choices they have made in their lives

Below are the ten areas that we believe will help create a fulfilled, curious and independent learner:

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Updated: 15/04/2024 2.92 MB

"Let your child know success is a choice, not luck"

Children need to be prepared for an ever-changing world. The teaching of mindsets builds resilience and a desire to learn, to challenge themselves and to encourage others – all of which are necessary for children’s success both at school and for their future. 

The notion of a growth mindset (Dweck 2000) has become an accessible concept to describe the way learners need to feel about themselves and their abilities, in order to be successful learners. Research over many years has highlighted that we all differ as learners, being mostly fixed or mostly growth, and differing in different situations. The table below highlights the differences between the two mindsets. 

Fixed Mindset 

(performance orientation) 

Growth Mindset 

(learning orientation) 

Intelligence is static. 

I must look clever! 

Intelligence is expandable.  

I want to learn more! 

ShapeAvoids challenges 

ShapeEmbraces challenges 

Gives up easily 

Persists in the face of setbacks 

Sees effort as pointless 

Sees effort as the way  

Ignores useful criticism 

Learns from criticism 

Likely to plateau early and achieve less than full potential 

Reaches ever higher levels of achievement 

This 10-minute talk is titled "The power of believing that you can improve" and it's been viewed over 6 million times! This talk is a great introduction to Carol Dweck and her growth mindset theory.  



In summary, people with a fixed mindset believe that intelligence and ability are fixed – something that we are born with and that we can’t really do anything about. People with a growth mindset believe that intelligence and ability can be developed through persistence, effort, learning from our mistakes and trying different strategies. 

Unfortunately, the underlying drive in the British education system in recent decades, with its focus on results and direct comparisons, could well have encouraged this type of thinking in many pupils and their parents. Babies and young children are excited to learn on their own terms, but as soon as children become able to compare themselves with others, many become more focused on performance (results) rather than effort. This attitude can also be common amongst parents, who are often extremely keen to know things such as spelling test results and book levels and to make comparisons with other children.  

However, research shows that humans’ brains have a quality known as ‘neuroplasticity’ – in other words, it is actually possible to learn new things and make new connections between the neurons in our brains, even as we progress through into adulthood. People who innately recognise this fact tend to bounce back quickly from failures and setbacks and are more likely to explore how they can get better at doing something. They are described as having a ‘growth’ mindset; they do not define themselves by the outcomes of tasks but by the effort put in. 

The Growth Mindset approach reinforces the Secrets of Success which are at the very core of our school culture.  Chris Quigley is a well-regarded specialist in primary education, leading figure in educational research, publishing and curriculum design who summarises this approach by simply stating that “Let your chid know success is a choice, not luck.” You can read his education article and further information about the school approach on our website here:

We have recently purchased Zumos to support the personal development of our children, and help develop children’s resilience, particularly at a time when this has been tested beyond boundaries, we thought possible just over a year ago. Their personal development is at the core of their success as individuals and achieving their academic potential. During this time of uncertainty and challenge, where everyone has been spending longer periods of time at home, it is even more vital that we take care of our children’s mental wellbeing as well as our own.

After educational research and discussions with colleagues in other schools, we have embraced Zumos as a part of our school’s curriculum.  Zumos is a leading online wellbeing system that is CAMHS kitemarked and was developed as part of the HeadStart project.

Not only have we been using this great resource in school, but we also share it with families at home too. We really want to involve the whole family, as it is so important that such a growth mindset approach is reinforced both at home and school.  The messages of discussing emotions, feelings and worries need to be reinforced at home too.  You can find out more about the importance of a Growth Mindset and how you can support this at home together as a family on our website here:

We have received positive feedback from families already. The resources are helping families to have positive discussions at home about children’s wellbeing and how they feel as they adjust back to the routines of school life and of course wider aspects of their lives too. Such discussions together as a family, really are a powerful tool in children’s wellbeing.


One of the features is the worry box. This is where children can type in a worry they wish to share with an adult in school. We do continue to have our paper worry box in school too, but this does provide further opportunities for children to share their anxieties with us. When a child submits their worry by Zumos, both the headteacher and the class teacher receives an email. This largely happening during early evening when teachers would not normally be accessing their email account. Where we do read these notifications, our response will always be to acknowledge that we have read the worry and reassure the child that an adult will chat to them tomorrow. If we were alerted to a Safeguarding concern, depending on the nature, we would take more immediate action where necessary, which could involve notifying First Response or the Police. A member of staff will always let parents know if we feel we need to discuss the worries with you too.

It would be inappropriate for us to enter in a dialogue directly with children whilst the member of staff and also the child is at home. This would compromise our safeguarding procedures and protocols. It also places unreasonable expectations on teachers whilst they are at home with their own families. Please be assured though that we will always follow through any worries which are shared. We encourage parents to discuss the use of the worry box with their child, so that they are aware of how they may be using it.

Using Zumos at Home.

The system has been developed to follow a curriculum, so all parents need to do is sit with their child, get them to login and play the recordings outlined below. It is a great thing to work on together as a family. We would urge families to discuss the recordings and ensure the messages have been understood.

Ideally Zumos should be used as an integral part of children’s daily routine, even if just for a few minutes. The more time practicing on Zumos, the bigger the impact.

Step 1

Take your child to

Step 2

Ask your child to login with the details they will have been supplied with. On logging in Zumos will ask them how their mental health is today, get them to really think about how they are feeling and ask them to click on the most relevant icon. (If they have forgotten their login details please contact us)

Step 3

The first time you login to Zumos please click on ‘Games Room’ and then ‘Power Quiz’, let your child complete these CAMHS approved quizzes themselves by thinking about each question. If they have already been completed, they will not appear. They only appear every three months. These quizzes show what level of wellbeing your child has to start and measures the impact Zumos is having on your child’s wellbeing.

Step 4

Click on their named room, then in the middle screen you will see ‘How to be Happy’ click play and listen to that recording. Once played please spend a minute or two asking them about it, maybe how they could apply it in their life or in the family. Maybe tell them about how you have done it in your life.


Step 5

Back on the home screen, please click on ‘Chill Room’

This step is to practice mindfulness and is a great resource for the whole family. The more you practice the greater the benefits. Even just 10 minutes a day will show benefits. Settle everyone down either sitting comfortably in a chair or lying on the floor, then simply click on the length of ‘Me Time Minutes’ you want. The recording will do the rest. There is much to explore in this room, have fun.

Step 6 This is really important

Click on Life book, this is once again something that can be done as a family or alone. Filling in the questions asked, helps to send their mind on a search for the positive. You can really help them to focus on the positive here.

Step 7

Click on the games room and ask them to play the games for at least ten minutes; more if possible. The games are based on the latest scientific research coming out of our universities called cognitive bias modification or CBM. The evidence is that if these games are played for ten minutes three times a week, after three weeks they are measurably more positive. And the more you play the better the outcome.

Keep exploring

Zumos also has lots of self-help titles in ‘My Room’ - please encourage your children to explore these titles and to listen to anything they might have a worry with. The titles are all expertly written and peer reviewed and will really help them to deal with problems they might be worried to tell you about. These will help them to seek the help they need. In addition, teachers may well assign specific titles to children, if particular issues have been identified.

This recent crisis has forced us all to look at how we do things in a new way and we are determined to offer as much support with this as we can. This is an opportunity for families to explore a new resource, which will reinforce those messages which we instil in our children at school. Through using all the resources available, together we really can ensure children’s resilience enables them to overcome challenges and develop the positive mindset, that leads to personal fulfilment and success.

"We use Zumos at school and home. I use it at home after school every day. It helps me to calm down at bedtime."
by Amy

"I like mindfulness breathing. It helps me to refresh my brain and to calm down."
by Oscar

"Each day in class, we see how people are feeling. it helps the teachers to check if we are ok or not ok. They can help us."

"I like using the life book. It helps me reflect on my feelings."
by Annie

"The worry box helps me to reflect on what I've done. I share my feelings. I feel proud that I have shared my feelings...The teachers encourage us to talk about our feelings so that any worries won't get bigger. Zumos and PSHE helps with this." 
by Amy

"It helps us to manage our feelings. If I am feeling upset, the images and music (on Zumos) help to improve your mood."
by Isabel

"it makes me think about my actions."
by Arley

Promoting Pupils' Personal Success and Mental Health 

At The Meadows, one of our aims is to help our children to be personally successful. We know that strong academic achievement goes hand in hand with positive wellbeing. We actively promote positive mental wellbeing with our children because we know that this is essential for academic achievement. Mental ill health can have a significant impact on a person’s achievement, wellbeing, and health. As a result, we are committed to working with our pupils and families to provide timely support and accessing to the expertise of appropriate services.

Our Wellbeing Team

Mrs Kuffour - Senior Mental Health Lead

Mrs Davies - Mental Health Lead

Mrs Panagi - Mental Health Lead

At school, we work with our children to help their personal development and promote positive wellbeing through:

Updated: 16/04/2024 167 KB
Updated: 16/04/2024 170 KB

  • Teaching and learning that promotes self-regulation and the development of social and emotional literacy
  • Dialogue with and support for our pupils (e.g. nurture)
  • Our restorative approach to behaviour management
  • Pupil leadership, including our wellbeing monitors
  • The use of external emotion coaches from VIP
  • The use of the online platform Zumos
  • Whole school and class assemblies
  • Through our reading approach

Every day, our pupils come into school and have one-to-one time with their teacher to scale how they are feeling. This daily dialogue helps our children to feel recognised, to develop their social and emotional language and it also helps our teacher to triage and address any worries or concerns they may have, putting immediate support into place. We use Zumos to help us do this, which all children have access to at home. 

 This year, across the school, we have enhanced our approach to supporting self-regulation and emotional literacy by launching our new ‘Red 2 Blue’ approach. This is an approach that has been launched across The Shaw Education Trust family. Our Mental Health leads, Mrs Davies and Mrs Panagi, have completed their coaching qualifications and are leading the implementation across the school.

What is the 'Red 2 Blue' approach? 

The 'Red 2 Blue' approach is designed to help children to recognise and manage their feelings so that they can focus on the things they need to be doing, like their learning. We recognise that where our attention goes, our energy follows. Certain feelings can stop us from focusing on the things we need to be doing for example, feeling worries, anxious, upset, overly excited, angry or nervous. Whilst these are normal emotions we all experience at times, they can be unhelpful because they can divert our attention and energy away from this things we are supposed to be doing.

When we are feeling these emotions, we refer to them as our ‘Red Head’ state. Having a ‘Red Head’ might make us feel:

  • hot
  • uncomfortable
  • not ourselves
  • distracted
  • not able to concentrate

Having a ‘Red Head’ might make us:

  • Act aggressively (shouting, pushing, shoving)
  • Say, “I Can’t!”
  • Say, “I won’t!”
  • Use unkind words
  • Do and say things we don’t mean

We are working with the children to help them to know the tools and techniques they can use to move from red to blue. When we have a ‘Blue Head’ we can concentrate. We might feel cool, calm, clear and aware of what we have got to do. Also:

  • We will say, “I will try!”
  • We will say, “I will do!”
  • We control our actions and our words and make good choices. 

Moving from Red to Blue is a choice, and sometimes we need strategies to help us. We are working with the children to choose some techniques to help them to regulate their emotions and move to Blue.

Mental Health

Looking after our wellbeing is so important and there are lots of free and meaningful ways we can do this.

The ‘5 Ways to Wellbeing’ is an evidence-based framework that promotes our positive wellbeing. It is widely used in the NHS to promote mental wellbeing and we can use it to help us too in school and at home.

Here are the five top tips you can use to support your wellbeing:


Children need connection with others to build meaningful relationships. This gives us a great sense of purpose, makes us feel happier and builds belonging and self-worth.

  • Find time to connect with friends
  • Talk
  • Cook
  • Dance
  • Exercise
  • Play games
  • Connect online with friends

Be Active

Being active is great for physical health and fitness. It also improves mental wellbeing and can positively change our mood. It can increase our confidence and help us to set goals.

  • Aim for 60 minutes physical activity a day
  • Reduce the time sitting down
  • Play games
  • Get outdoors – walk, bike, swim, run

Take Notice

Take notice of your mind and body by focusing on the moment, appreciating the now. Let go of thoughts or feelings causing us stress or anxiety and put things into perspective.

  • Mindfulness activities – breathing, colouring
  • Yoga or Tai-chi
  • Notice the everyday – nature walks,
  • Positive journals
  • Grateful jars

Keep Learning

Learning can improve our wellbeing, give us hope and optimism, help us to cope with stress, and boost self-confidence. Creating a love of learning can increase self-esteem .

  • Try new things
  • Mend something broken
  • Learn a new skill
  • Research a topic
  • Visit somewhere new


Give your time, words and presence. This can help to develop co-operative skills, positive feelings and a sense of self-worth and purpose.

  • Make time for others
  • Small acts of kindness
  • Raise money for charity
  • Fully participate in a school or community event


Here is a list of some of the ways we are helping promote positive wellbeing in school in these five areas:


  • School motto, ‘Learning by Caring and Sharing’
  • Think-pair-share in lessons
  • Paired work and group work
  • PSHE lessons
  • Social time
  • Social events in school e.g. quiz night
  • Community events such as Madeley Carnival
  • Nurture/small group intervention
  • Assembly time
  • Reading buddies
  • Links with the church such as assemblies, carol concerts
  • Parent workshops or ‘Seeing is Believing’ sessions

Be Active

  • PE curriculum
  • Active Maths
  • Extra-curricular clubs
  • Opportunities to compete in intra and inter sporting competitions
  • Walk and talk on the playground
  • Break breaks
  • Community assemblies to promote local sporting opportunities and clubs
  • Enrichment activities like sports themed days
  • Leadership – sports leaders promoting being active on the playground

Take Notice

  • Curriculum drive – ‘Spiritual’
  • Celebrations assembly
  • Pupil leaders – giving certificates in assembly
  • Promotion of ‘Internet Legends’
  • Mindfulness activities
  • Red 2 Blue approach to regulation
  • Spotting patterns across the curriculum e.g. in Maths and Science
  • PE
  • Zumos

Keep Learning

  • School culture and ethos– promoting a passion for learning
  • Enrichment activities e.g. school trips, themed days
  • Parent/family workshops e.g. Red 2 Blue workshop
  • Music lessons]
  • Extra-curricular clubs


  • School motto, ‘Learning by Caring and Sharing’
  • Pupil Leadership roles
  • Celebrating success in assembly
  • Dojo rewards
  • Reading buddies
  • Charity work and raising money for charity
  • Eco Warriors
  • Collecting for the foodbank
  • Participating in community events
  • Y6 fundraising – leaving a legacy