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South Dartmoor
Community College

Getting Unstuck

"The first step towards getting somewhere is to decide that you are not going to stay where you are."

Last week, at South Dartmoor, students from across the curriculum got into a state of being stuck! As any effective learner knows, getting stuck is such an important part of the learning process; however, sometimes it can become confused with failure which in turn can lead to giving up.

Throughout Stuck Week, teachers worked hard to create learning environments where getting unstuck was an enjoyable experience – students had to problem solve, work things out for themselves, collaborate with others towards an end goal, experience the ‘struggle’ and then draw on their resources to help them to get over the barriers and experience success.

By putting our learners in to sticky situations, they were required to be resilient, persevere and be patient; in other words, they needed to show a bit of grit. Throughout the week, we saw our students gain understanding that the greater the effort, the greater the success. Being stuck is not about your shortcomings as a learner; it’s an understanding that the harder you work, the more you will learn - all important skills for the world beyond the classroom.

So the next time our students find themselves stuck, we hope that they will stop and reflect a bit: why am I stuck? What stuck strategies have I tried already? What helpful resources can I use? What do I know? What do I need to know? What skills do I have that can help me to get unstuck? What feelings could help me to have a growth mindset? Then, it’s simply a case of having a go….


For more information, you can contact Susan Hills at