Health club helps students chill out for exams

While 120,000 students knuckle down to A-levels over the next few weeks, 35 sixth formers will be turning to saunas to relieve examination stress, writes Glenda Cooper.

The independent school, Wentworth Milton Mount, in Bournemouth, Dorset, is to pay for a single session at the nearby Queen's Park Health Club for each of its sixth-form girls who begin study leave at the end of this week to revise for A-levels.

Each girl, both day pupils and boarders, will have an aromatherapy massage "to combat muscle tension and mental anxiety". Other facilities include a hi-tech gymnasium, sauna, steam room, Jacuzzi and pool. The pupils will be given a personal exercise programme designed to relieve stress.

Sabine Kerr, 18, taking English, history and German, said: "People have a very stereotyped view of boarding schools that we've got lots of money and go to health clubs all the time. But basically someone thought the girls had done a good job and deserved a reward."

The school's deputy head, Robert Carlysle, said the school traditionally gave sixth formers a treat as they prepared for exams. "A lot of people are now realising how stressful exams can be. We aren't sure how much good sitting in a sauna will be in relieving the effects, but it can certainly do no harm."

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