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The VESPA Mindset

The VESPA programme at Farringtons is a way of thinking about the essential ingredients required to be even more effective at learning.  All high performing students seem to possess a series of attitudes, behaviours, and thought processes that set them apart from their peers. Students who are deliberately trained to set good targets, are not afraid of hard work, are well organised and methodical and possess effective and varied study-habits, do better in their learning. They will fare better in exams and they are better prepared for learning beyond school. It is never too late, or too difficult, to work on these habits. The VESPA Mindset is a way of training and replicating the approaches used by all high performing students…


The Five Elements of the VESPA Mindset

Research drawn from a range of fields including neuroscience and cognitive psychology has led us to identify five core traits that all successful learners exhibit in abundance. Most importantly, these five elements can be learned, honed and developed. They are not gifts or genetic quirks handed down to lucky people: Together we call them the VESPA Mindset. Each is as important as the other. Here they are:

  • Vision: How well do you know what you want to achieve?
  • Effort: How many hours of independent work do you do?
  • Systems: How do you organise your learning and organise your time?
  • Practice: What kind of work do you do to practice your skills?
  • Attitude: How do you respond to setbacks?


That’s it. It looks pretty simple in those terms, but it’s the distillation of years of careful observations and peer reviewed research. As students think about each of the areas they can perhaps already start to see where they feel strong, and where improvements might be needed.

If success is an equation, by the way, the equation isn’t this:

V + E + S + P + A = success.

It’s this:

V x E x S x P x A = success.


If you want to better in exams Space your Practice – “Snack, don’t binge”


The presentation below will give students a better understanding of the systems they might adopt in the run up to the exams in the summer. There is a lovely video explaining how to best “Space” your content based practice. Examples are provided on how to structure splitting up your revision to stand the best chance of covering and learning all of the topics.