The Mayfield Life Skills Programme
As part of the PSHE curriculum, all students take part in Mayfield’s ‘Lifeskills’ programme - a course which helps the girls acquire the practical skills they need to become fully-rounded women who take responsibility for their own lives.
The programme is divided into five categories: Financial Literacy, Professional Future, Citizenship, Independence Skills, and Health and Wellbeing. These age-appropriate sessions are delivered every Thursday morning by different members of staff, as well as by outside speakers who come in to present on specific topics including drugs, teenage cancer, water safety, personal finance, debt and borrowing, nutrition, networking, and the dangers of stalking. The older girls also mentor the younger girls where appropriate.
The programme covers traditional elements of PSHE but also takes into account the girls’ own ideas on what they think are important age-appropriate skills for them to learn. Starting in Lower School, the girls cover topics including table laying, plant care, pet care, bed making, research and presentation skills, skin and dental care, understanding traffic signage, and bank accounts.
As they progress through the School, the Lifeskills programme aims to develop the awareness of each girl as an independent young citizen and examines the British electoral, political and legal systems. The girls take practical sessions in self-defence, changing bike tyres, ironing, wiring plugs and hanging pictures, as well as learning how to deal with the issues of drugs, alcohol, mental health challenges and relationships. In the Sixth Form, the emphasis in Lifeskills is very much on self-sufficiency, with sessions covering budgeting, housing contracts, equipping student accommodation and cooking to a budget.
Alongside their Careers lessons, the Sixth Formers learn about professionalism in the workplace. This involves discussing email and phone etiquette, punctuality, dress codes and managing relationships with colleagues. A Chartered Accountant came into School to run a session teaching the girls how to understand the payslip codes. The girls also very much enjoyed a visit from the Money Sense team at NatWest Bank who talked about managing finances, saving money and credit cards. The girls went through interactive real-life money management scenarios, considering the pros and cons of different methods of borrowing, and the various factors to be considered when taking out a bank loan. They also took part in a workshop on student loans, which detailed how to apply for a student loan, interest rates and repayment terms. Vital skills for all those heading off to University.