7 March 2024

SchoolTV Special Report: Toxic Achievement Culture

Whole School
SchoolTV Special Report: Toxic Achievement Culture
SchoolTV Special Report: Toxic Achievement Culture
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Toxic achievement culture is characterised by the entanglement of self-worth, achievement and the relentless pursuit of academic or co-curricular success – at any cost! This phenomenon goes beyond the mere quest for success. It embeds a belief in students that their merit is exclusively tied to their achievements, often propelled by intense external pressures from families, schools and society.

Some students are overfilling their schedules with activities aimed at getting ahead. However, the consequences are proving to be detrimental on students' mental and physical health, resulting in burnout and heightened levels of stress. This culture is also being aggravated by parental expectations, peer competition and a relentless comparison ethos often driven by social media.

There is nothing wrong with having ambition, but it's crucial to ensure that this desire doesn't push our young people into a toxic cycle of achievement and make them feel that they must achieve in order to matter. The relentless drive to excel is leading many students to prioritise accolades over genuine learning and personal growth, often at the expense of their own wellbeing and interpersonal relationships. As adult carers, we need to advocate for a more balanced and holistic approach to achievement, emphasising the importance of resilience, wellbeing and the pursuit of diverse interests.

This Special Report will help you understand the signs of toxic achievement, and how to address them so as to teach students how to adopt a better work/life balance.

We hope you take time to reflect on the information offered in this Special Report, and as always, we welcome your feedback. If you do have any concerns about the wellbeing of your child, please contact the school for further information or seek medical or professional help.

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