The Marlborough Mindset

Pupils need to know how to learn, not just the knowledge and skills related to their subjects. Our hope is that during their time here, our pupils will learn to adopt a ‘Marlborough Mindset’. That is, to be: curious, ambitious, conscientious, creative, responsible and collaborative. And, that they will know how to approach learning, manage their mental and physical health, deal with academic setbacks and obtain the skills and attitude to thrive beyond Marlborough.

The Marlborough Mindset was launched to all pupils in 2022. It is a strategic and evidence-based approach to study skills to support pupils in being productive and independent learners. At its centre are our six attributes, all valuable for school and for life beyond Marlborough.

Our approach to study skills has been ‘home grown’ and built with the needs of all Marlburians in mind. It is holistic and characterised by the belief that elements of the mind and body need to be interconnected to maximise success when studying. For example, in order to be fully effective when studying you need to know how the brain works, how to make maximum use of memory and the importance of sleep and exercise.

To adopt this mindset, pupils need to develop the right habits, knowledge and skills. To that end, pupils all receive a workbook with information on evidence-based strategies which span the following areas:

1. The Science of Learning: knowing how the brain works, memory and metacognition.
2. Healthy Body, Happy Mind: good sleeping habits, a balanced diet and exercise.
3. Be Organised: maintaining an orderly working environment, time keeping and note taking.
4. Read Effectively: skimming, summarising and analysing.
5. Revise Effectively: strategies such as retrieval practice, interleaving and mnemonics.
6. Manage Setbacks: strategies to develop grit, resilience and a ‘growth mindset’.

Alongside the workbook, pupils attend practical sessions on study skills led by the Study Skills Zone, an external provider who specialises in study skills training. The resources are referenced within lessons and each academic department has defined how the six attributes will be developed in their subject areas.

Pupil leadership plays a significant part in embedding this. Each boarding house has a Marlborough Mindset Ambassador in the Lower Sixth who attends training on a fortnightly basis on a strategy from the workbook that they then deliver in their House. The Marlborough Mindset Prefects share tips in assembly on ways to learn effectively, ensuring each half-term has a focus related to one of the attributes. Pupils are also receiving commendations based on the six attributes.

The Marlborough Mindset is a key part of our academic strategy which seeks to deliver the optimum outcome for all our pupils. We view learning as a skill that can be developed with the right strategies and attitude, and we will continue to work with our pupil body to create the most appropriate ways to embed strategies from the Marlborough Mindset into the academic life of all pupils.