Wimbledon Girls School Failure Week


This week is ‘Failure Week’. At Wimbledon High School

The Evening Standard reports in its article, “Failure, A New Springboard to Success”…

“Wimbledon high school for girls is pioneering an educational innovation: “Failure Week“, a festival of disappointment and thwartedness designed to accustom the girls to the possibility that they won’t always come out on top – and teach them to turn life’s lemons into lemonade. The idea, says headmistress Heather Hanbury, is to show that failure is nothing to be afraid of – that it is something to be confronted and overcome on the way to success. For high-achieving girls, she says, ‘fear of failure can be crippling’.”

The issue of young girls having a higher fear of failure was the subject of a recent study by the Equality and Human Rights Commission….

“It found that although a child’s social background was the biggest determinant of whether they would succeed, gender also had an effect. Some 46% of white working class girls feared educational failure, compared with about a quarter of white middle class boys.”

I applaud this innovative event not just as a devoted acolyte of embracing failure, but also from personal experience working also with secondary school girls for many years as an assistant coach of rowing for Sir William Borlase’s Grammar School. We give our own ‘Broken Blade Award’ each year that recognizes spectacular failure (most often as the result of all consuming, outrageously ambitious effort).