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'Wellbeing' lessons help boost pupils' grades

07/03/2012 Joanna
Happiness may not be a subject on the GCSE or A level curriculum, but teaching it at a school in Berkshire has helped boost pupils' grades.

Ian Morris, a teacher at Wellington College, has introduced 'wellbeing' lessons in which he teaches children to practise 'mindfulness', connecting with their emotions and relaxing with their thoughts.

While some parents may be sceptical, the private school's head teacher Dr Anthony Seldon believes that the lessons have helped boost exam performance, the Telegraph reported.

The lessons were introduced to the school's curriculum in 2006 and since then, A level grades have risen - from 69 per cent achieving A or B grades to 93 per cent achieving an A*, A or B.

According to Mr Morris, the lessons serve to protect the pupils from the dangers of advertising and social media, while encouraging them to focus on happiness.

Though the teacher acknowledges that initially pupils can be resentful of the lessons, finding them boring or tiring, after a while they reap the benefits.

The teacher even meditates with pupils ahead of examinations or sporting competitions in a bid to mentally prepare them for what lies ahead.

"Modern culture suggests that we don't have to wait for the things we want," he told the newspaper.

"Our lessons encourage students to focus on long-term fulfilment."

A recent study by the Economic and Social Research Council found that teenagers who adopt a healthy lifestyle instead of alcohol, cigarettes and junk food are significantly happier than those who don't.

Researchers discovered that young people who never drank alcohol were up to 600 per cent happier than those who did, while smokers were found to be five times less likely to achieve high levels of happiness.

The study also found that the more time teenagers spent playing sports, the higher their happiness score was.

Posted by Charlotte MichaelsADNFCR-2164-ID-801312029-ADNFCR
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