Manchester pupils told to ‘hug their monsters’

Manchester High School for Girls sets out to improve pupils’ ability to cope with disappointment

Independent girls school Manchester High has introduced an annual ‘Hug the Monster’ week, with the goal of developing its pupils’ emotional resilience. 

The aim of the scheme is to teach the girls how to cope with failure and disappointment by embracing risks and responding positively to setbacks. 

Senior School and Sixth Form girls gave advice to younger pupils about how they should respond to disappointments, and various activities including workshops and assemblies took place. 

Deputy headmistress, Mrs Helen Jeys, said: “This is a serious issue; a lack of emotional resilience can have a huge impact on our ability to deal with disappointment and change. We have an important duty to ensure that the girls we teach are able to develop those strategies that will help them cope with any setbacks they experience in life.” 

Mrs Jeys added: “The monster theme is memorable and one that will remind them to accept setbacks as potential opportunities for development. Failure and disappointments should not stop our students from following their dreams and aspirations. Going forward, ‘Hug the Monster’ week will become an annual feature of Manchester High’s broad Well Being programme. It has been fantastic to see how enthusiastically our girls have engaged with the campaign.” 

Mr Alun Jones, president of the Girls’ Schools Association, said: “It’s great to see another GSA school taking positive steps to help girls embrace the learning opportunities that come from failure. To paraphrase Richard Branson, we must not be embarrassed by our failures, we must learn from them and start again.”

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