Colfe’s School, a private school located in Greenwich, south London has turned to the teachings of Aristotle in an attempt to boost student well-being.
In a recent article by Camilla Turner in The Telegraph she discusses how they’re introducing a new course, which will be taught during PSHE lessons, to explore the importance of “virtuous behaviour” and examine how a “good life” can be achieved
In this course, titled “Eudaimonia”, which means human flourishing or happiness, pupils will learn about various topics, including mindfulness, spirituality, sex and relationships, each through the lens of the Ancient Greek philosopher.
Bearing in mind many parents say “I don’t want my child to waste their time studying dead languages such as Latin or Greek” it’s wonderful to see this new course becoming available for students.
Well done Colfe’s!
An antidote to social media superficiality
Emerald Henderson, the school’s head of philosophy who teaches the course, said that the lessons into virtuous behaviour provide a powerful antidote to being obsessed with “social media and superficiality”.
“This is a well-being initiative with intellectual integrity and pastoral appeal.
Rather than simply focusing on pursuit of their own happiness, the Eudaimonia programme sees personal flourishing as the by-product of living a morally good life,” she said.
The Eudaimonia lessons are spread throughout all ages, with pupils in Year 7 beginning with one lesson per fortnight.
Year 8 and 9 have two full days over the year, rising to a lesson a week for pupils in Years 10 and 11.
Other private schools have introduced similar schemes
Brighton College, a £40,000-a-year co-educational boarding school, has previously meditation sessions in an attempt to calm unsettled and fidgety children during lessons.
All teachers in the school were supplied with an “emergency” meditation kit in order to quell boisterous youngsters during class.
A study by Nuffield Health last year suggested that well-being should be timetabled alongside English and maths.
The recommendation followed on from a two-year pilot scheme in which a dedicated member of staff was assigned to teach children about mental health and well-being at an Oxfordshire secondary school.
The results suggested the role traditionally fulfilled by the matron in British schools could soon be filled by “Heads of Wellness”.
Ongoing DofE research project
The Department for Education has announced the launch of a two-year research project in schools, where children will be taught about mindfulness, breathing exercises and relaxation techniques.
The government hopes the two-year scheme will provide useful information regarding what mental health practises can benefit students in schools.