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It’s a scenario familiar to everyone from humble origins who ever made a big stack of money and sent their kids off to private school: how do you instill in them the value of hard work and initiative, persevering against all odds, the way you had to, if they always have the safety net of your enormous fortune to fall back on? How can they ever learn the valuable lessons that only come from a smack in the face from the Bad Luck Fairy, if the worst they’ve ever had to put up with is the loss of a family pet?

Well, one private all-girls school in London aims to tackle this thorny issue, by running a ‘failure week,’ in which students study the importance of getting things wrong. Wimbledon High School has introduced this initiative because their pupils are simply too used to succeeding and struggle to develop the coping mechanisms which come with failure. And rather than breeding confidence, too much success can lead to playing it a bit too safe.

So, starting today there will be failure workshops, failure assemblies, and discussions of prominent failures from the lives of teachers, parents, and celebrities.

The school’s headmistress, Heather Hanbury told BBC News: “it is completely acceptable and completely normal not to succeed at times in life.”

“The girls need to learn how to fail well – and how to get over it and cope with it. Fear of failing can be really crippling and stop the girls doing things they really want to do. The pupils are hugely successful but can sometimes overreact to failure even though it can sometimes be enormously beneficial to them.

“We want them to be brave – to have courage in the classroom.”

So there you have it. The rest of us are learning lessons on a daily basis, and they’re so valuable that the well-to-do have to pay for them. Isn’t life amazing sometimes?

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Filed Under: News
By Fraser McAlpine