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UK school teaches students to embrace failure

London, Mon, 06 Feb 2012 ANI

London, Feb 6 (ANI): A school in London has taken up an initiative to teach children to learn from failure in exams and on the sports field.


Education experts have welcomed the move, which is being seen as a bid to battle against the politically correct "prizes for all" culture.


Wimbledon High School says its Failure Week will coach children how they can use failure to their advantage.


It will draw on famous figures such as author JK Rowling, who said she "failed on an epic scale" before writing the Harry Potter books, the Daily Express reported.


Responding to the extraordinary initiative Nick Seaton, of the Campaign for Real Education, said "It's good to teach youngsters to cope with failure".


"A big problem in schools in the state sector especially is that it's so egalitarian.


"The system doesn't like big failures or big successes, everyone is told to aim for the same average mark, which is nonsense. Without big failure you can't have big success," Seaton explained.


Heather Hanbury, who is headteacher at the 4,343 pounds a term girls school, which takes pupils aged from four to 18, said: "The girls need to learn how to fail well.


"We encourage our pupils to take calculated risks. It is acceptable and normal not to succeed at times," Hanbury added.


Wimbledon High School also encourages academic pupils to study sport, drama, art or music where they are less likely to excel, in order to develop coping mechanisms for failure.


The initiative was inspired by Will Ord, educational consultant to the Girls Day School Trust, of which Wimbledon High is a member.


"Failure is often put in a negative context, when really it is just a first attempt," Ord said.


"James Dyson made 5,127 prototypes before finding his brilliant vacuum. If pupils see it like that and have the chance to experience overcoming defeat, their willingness to be stretched will be far greater," he added. (ANI)


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