A school in London is trialling a rather unusual method of improving its female students' confidence.. giving them comedy lessons.
Putney High School has roped in comedy group Hoopla to encourage girls to think on their feet, overcome fears of making mistakes and learn how to deal with the public.
"In this comedy workshop, our girls will challenge themselves and work to overcome those fears in a supportive and fun atmosphere," says head of sixth form Suzie Longstaff. "Many people would understandably feel intimidated about the idea of having to stand in front of a group of people and make them laugh.
"Recently some of the girls entered into a debating competition with a group of boys," Longstaff added in an interview with the Daily Telegraph. "While the girls were very well prepared, they just didn’t perform as comfortably as the boys – who came in totally unprepared, argued off the cuff and blew the audience away.”
Steve Roe, the creative director of Hoopla, said many people need to learn how to overcome making mistakes: "It’s about resilience – having the confidence to come up with an interesting idea or thought.
"The nature of creativity is that things don’t always work first time. People need to realise it’s not them that’s the problem, but just that particular idea that wasn’t quite right, and that the winning idea will be right around the corner. Once you are able to separate your self esteem from your ideas, you can be brave enough to be creative and achieve something wonderful."