Excellence through Perseverance

In the revised curriculum we are asked to encourage our children to value “Excellence through perseverance”.

In children’s terms this means not giving up, having another go, trying that again, seeing if you can do it a different way, also keeping at something until you have done the absolute best that you can.

The words we use shape how we think.  How we think shapes how we act. Repeated acts become habits.  Art Costa’s book  “Habits of Mind” teaches that Perseverance is one of the most important habits of mind that we can develop in our children.  A child’s ability to persevere is a good indicator of future success.  

We can help a child to grow their ability to persevere.  Just as we use physical exercise to train our muscles, and we use puzzles to exercise our minds and memories, then opportunities for perseverance will exercise and grow our character.
Throughout the day, at home and school there are many opportunities to practice perseverance.


All children can benefit from opportunities to face a challenge, and with an appropriate amount of support, to persevere to finish the task.  However, we also need to teach our children that it is not only things, that can be quickly and easily achieved which deserve our time.  Some children, even the brightest, tend to give up if they cannot get instant success.  We can talk about great inventors like Edison who discovered 1000 ways to NOT light a light bulb!  Thank goodness that he did not give up trying after the first 999 attempts!

We are not able to ‘catch’ each child persevering, so we ask if you can help us by praising your child for having more than one go to do something, being a faithful team member, trying a little harder, faster or longer at a task or challenge.  Praise them for not giving up as soon as something seems a bit difficult.  Encourage them so they can see themselves as potential winners.  

A most powerful word in the English language is “Yet”.  I cannot do this – yet …

If we believe we cannot achieve a task then we have already lost.  Help us to grow your winners by constantly talking about real-life examples of perseverance.

In 2008 we used the Olympic Games as a study that focussed on our core value of “perseverance”. The athletes must persevere to become Olympians.

In 2009 we used the student-led conference where students report their learning journey to their parents as an opportunity to focus on the importance of perseverance in order to achieve excellence.

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