Pupils as young as 11 will be taught meditation, yoga, self-care, movement to music, “alfresco pursuits” and the importance of eating well in “soul food” classes, from September.
Millfield has seen an increase in interest from London families wanting to send their children there since the pandemic hit. Its senior school alumni include England footballer Tyrone Mings, pictured, and singer Ella Eyre.
Headmistress Shirley Shayler said: “I have read so much in the press about mental health and concerns about how children will be affected by the pandemic, that rather than sitting back and doing nothing we thought we would get ahead of the game.”
Design technology lessons are being reduced from three to two per week, in order to fit in the well-being classes. Normal PSHE lessons will continue, and all pupils in Years 7 and 8 will take part in the compulsory well-being class.
PE teachers will give the “soul food” lessons about healthy eating, the chaplain will teach meditation and mindfulness and medical centre staff will teach self-care.
Mrs Shayler said: “Young people of today have so much more to deal with than when we were young.”
Jo Morgan-Hughes, the school’s director of sport said: “It is imperative that children learn to take care of their minds as well as their bodies.”