The speed of 21st century life can take its toll.

So Belmont School, Mill Hill, is helping its pupils prepare for inner city stress by introducing new subjects into the curriculum – and its benefits are already tangible.

The £16,800-per-year prep school established a focus on the mental wellbeing of its pupils at the beginning of this academic year, which saw children undertake subjects not traditionally taught at school.

These included mindfulness and yoga, which benefit children’s mental wellbeing and provides them with stress-coping strategies, which can be used into adulthood.

Headmaster Leon Roberts, said: “Wellbeing and happiness is a key part of our school ethos.

"It’s a rapidly changing world out there and we need to be sufficiently equipping our children with the soft skills to deal with life in the 21st century."

So-called ‘soft skills’ such as teamwork, resilience, and critical thinking have been developed through chess and philosophy, while ‘life skills’ such as first aid, touch typing, managing a budget and interview techniques are also studied, while also being exposed to languages they may not know such as Japanese and Welsh for further enrichment.

Muswell Hill parent Dani Scott, whose daughter Maddy is in Year Six, said: "Some of the activities and skills are not things that Maddy had been interested in picking up outside of school but she has ended up loving them.

"The life skills element is a huge support to what we, as a family, already encourage, such as personal and online safety and the importance of their own health and well-being."

Children are said to be calmer at exam times, more willing to take risks and work better as teams, relishing the opportunities of deep and creative thinking.