Most people would think that, in the education system, schools would be teaching pupils how to pass their exams and how to get the levels they are aiming for. Well, in one school in Wimbledon, this is not the case.
Headmistress Heather Hanbury introduced a new scheme within the school last week. This was failure week. During this week, instead of pupils being taught how to do well in their exams, they were taught how to fail well, placing emphasis on the need to try hard in life rather than to ‘play it safe’ all of the time, even though this may result in less achievement from the pupil than usual.
In an interview, the head teacher said: ‘Since I took over as head teacher, I have placed great emphasis on developing robustness in the girls at the school. It is completely natural in life to fail at some things, and the girls need to learn how to deal with this as fear of failing and failure can be crippling. My pupils usually achieve excellent scores, but when some do not they sometimes overreact’. She finished by saying ‘we want them to have courage in the classroom‘.
Being a high achiever myself, I believe that the focus of education should always be to encourage pupils to strive for excellence. If I fail, I will ‘beat myself up’ over it, but I think that this is a good thing as it makes me remember my mistakes and not make the same ones again. I think that, in a way, this week is good for some pupils who will, if faced with failure, let it lead them into a state of constant depression. This is a positive about the scheme, but I still believe that pupils should be pushed and not be allowed to believe that failure is fine which leads to lack of revision and effort in exams.
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