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!

Posted on February 6, 2012, in Trivia and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. Theodore Roosevelt ………”man in the arena”
    “It is not the critic who counts: not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles or where the doer of deeds could have done better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly, who errs and comes up short again and again, because there is no effort without error or shortcoming, but who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, who spends himself for a worthy cause; who, at the best, knows, in the end, the triumph of high achievement, and who, at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who knew neither victory nor defeat.”

    • Thanks Bart … I think!!!

      • What ever happened to just ‘have a go’ – to many do gooders ‘ don’t do this don’t do that you might fail then you’ll be upset’. Winning and losing are both good lessons, but what happened to participation, enjoyment, learning from others in a practise makes you better environment. The UK is eating itself alive with this ‘scare’ culture. After recently moving to Aus, what a refreshing change, reminding me of my younger years, where anything with a screen was frowned upon and everyone has a culture of ‘have a go’. All the local childrens teams made up of all shapes, sizes and abilities. Bring it on Theodore!

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