Hygge on the timetable at Belmont Grosvenor School
Youngsters at a leading North Yorkshire independent prep school are getting cosy in the classroom – enjoying their lessons hygge-style.
Taking tips from the Danes and Norwegians, once a week pupils at Harrogate school Belmont Grosvenor are swapping their shoes for cosy socks and slippers, switching their desks for rugs and cushions on the floor, warming themselves in front of a roaring fire, and embracing the hygge way of living and learning.
Hygge – which roughly translates in Danish as a feeling of well-being, cosiness and contentment with life - has become a hit at Belmont Grosvenor School. And the Year 4 children who enjoy weekly hygge sessions are the envy of their fellow pupils!
The idea to incorporate hygge in the Harrogate co-educational school’s timetable came from teacher Mrs Katie Page, who is also Belmont Grosvenor’s special educational needs co-ordinator.
“As a SENCo I am always interested in supporting how children learn best and lots of studies show that children do this when they feel comfortable. Youngsters in Scandinavian classrooms, and also in Canada where I used to teach, rarely wear shoes and also have flexible seating,” said Mrs Page, who started the hygge sessions to coincide with Year 4 pupils learning about Scandinavia.
“Our pupils have learned a lot about geographical location, the climate and the Vikings – and creating a hygge – warm, welcoming and cosy - environment in which to learn has become part of our topic.
“We use cosy blankets and quilts, often play music in the background, and have a roaring fire on the whiteboard too! Pupils bring in cosy socks as it makes them feel happy and I’m relaxed about them lying on the floor while they learn. Teaching like this has encouraged the children to try hard and feel safe in their learning and they are all extremely focussed,” she said.
Headmistress Mrs Sophia Ashworth Jones said the hygge lessons with Year 4 had proved a wonderful learning opportunity for the pupils at Belmont Grosvenor.
“Linking the Year 4’s topic work on Scandinavia to hygge has enabled our pupils to really embrace and develop their understanding of the subject. I like to pop in to these lessons whenever possible to experience the wonderful feeling of well-being and cosiness.
“Here at Belmont Grosvenor School we put our children’s well-being at the heart of all we do. We are always looking at new ways to inspire our pupils and instil a love of learning in all they do,” she said.
Belmont Grosvenor School, based at Swarcliffe Hall, Harrogate, is an independent prep school for boys and girls from three months to 11 years. Set in 20-acres of grounds just a few miles from the centre of Harrogate, pupils at the school enjoy a curriculum that encompasses both the indoor and outdoor learning environments. Pupils leave Belmont Grosvenor with scholarships and exhibitions for many of the leading independent schools across the region.
For more information or to arrange a tour, please visit www.belmontgrosvenor.co.uk or call 01423 771029.