One of the UK’s most prestigious schools could be looking to cancel all homework for its pupils and provide meditation lessons in a bid to try and prevent mental health problems.
Cheltenham Ladies College is set to review its homework policies over the next five years because of concerns over the growing problem of depression and mental health issues in young people. School Principal Eve Jardine-Young told The Times that she is considering fully abolishing homework depending on the results from the five year review. “What we’ve been reflecting on a lot in the last few years are the big national trends in the worsening states of adolescent mental health” the Principal continued to say.
The school encourages its pupils to attend weekly meditation sessions and to go on long walks in a bid to try and combat mental illness, with Ms Jardine-Young stating that the pupils’ well-being is as important as their grades. Cheltenham Ladies is also looking into university-style “flip learning”; a method of learning that allows pupils to be able to read up on class material before the lesson as an alternative to homework, in certain subjects. “We’ve created this epidemic of anxiety for ourselves as a society, and if our obligation as educators is to try to set young people up as for whatever the future may hold, then to ignore this whole area or trivialise it is really irresponsible”.
Teachers at Cheltenham Ladies College will be trained to spot signs of mental illness in pupils, and from September the school will allow twice as long between lessons to try and avoid rushing across the large campus. Pupils of the schools currently have short lessons lasting around 25 minutes and the schools hopes that longer lessons and more time between them will stop the constant rushing that can cause pupils to become stressed.
But is this the right way to stop mental illness? Will this leave pupils ill prepared for the ‘real world’? Often there isn’t time to meditate in a work environment, and if you have a deadline to reach are you able to go home and forget about it by going on a long walk? Will this just lead to mental illness once they enter the workplace?
What do you think? Have your say…