Daily Archives: February 6, 2012

Failure Week

Just when I thought I’d heard it all, I read today that a top girls’ school is planning a “failure week” to teach pupils to embrace risk, build resilience and learn from their mistakes.

The emphasis will be on the value of having a go, rather than playing it safe and perhaps achieving less.  Pupils at Wimbledon High School will be asked how they feel when they fail.

The headmistress, Heather Hanbury, said she wanted to show “it is completely acceptable and completely normal not to succeed at times in life.”

There will be workshops, assemblies, and activities for the girls, with parents and tutors joining in with tales of their own failures.  YouTube clips of famous and successful people who have failed along the way and moved on will be shown.  The emphasis will be discussions on the merits of failure and on the negative side of trying too hard not to fail.

Wimbledon High is an independent school, part of the Girls’ Day School Trust.

GDST chief executive, Helen Fraser, said: “Resilience is so important in working life these days.

“Wimbledon High School is showing how making mistakes is not necessarily a bad thing, that it is fine to try – and fail – and then pick yourself up and try again – or as Samuel Beckett said, ‘fail better’.”

I appreciate that this is a good lesson to be learned, but at £3,380 a term for Juniors and £4,343 a term for Seniors, I bet all the parents are delighted!

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