Smiles all round at Peterborough school named happiest in the country

Staff at a Peterborough school which allows children to shine by focussing on smiles are beaming - after being named the happiest school in the country.

Tuesday, 21st November 2017, 6:00 am
Updated Tuesday, 12th December 2017, 9:05 am
Head teacher Sue Blyth with pupils at Fourfields School, Yaxley - the happiest school in the country. EMN-171120-161209009

Fourfields Primary School in Yaxley won the prize at the National Happiness Awards this week.

Head teacher Sue Blyth was delighted to pick up the prize - and paid tribute to pupils, staff and parents for making the win possible.

She said: “We try and put happiness at the heart of everything we do.

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“Our motto here is Shine - which stands for successful, happiness, inspirational learning, nurture and excited.

“Happiness is part of our ethos - we are driven more by Shine than we are by academic achievement or Ofsted.”

The judges were particularly impressed by the school’s ethos of allowing children to plan the direction of their own learning, and the way the school varied their lessons and activities.

Mrs Blyth said: “We try and offer a broad curriculum.

“For example, rather than a school library, we have a double decker bus where children can go and read.

“We have a Royal Horticultural Society approved garden where the children can grow vegetables. We of a lot of film making in class.
“We also have a range of other activities, including archery, tobogganing and horse riding.

“The health and well being of our staff is also a priority. We have reduced the workload, and made sure there is not a mountain of marking. We also make sure they can leave before 5pm at least once a week. Happy staff make happy children.

“The children want to come to school and they want to learn, which makes a difference academically as well.

“We are trying to be at the cutting edge of education while always staying true to our ethos.

“We have had great support from parents. They have been so positive about all we do - we get lots of comments about how proud they are to send their children to the school - it is one of the best things we can here.”

Along with the trophy and a certificate, the school was also given a £2,000 boost.

Mrs Blyth said: “The PTA is currently raising money for an outdoor gym and playground equipment for the children, so the money will go towards that.”

The school was not the only Peterborough winner at the awards, with hypnotherapy firm Inspired To Change winning the Happiest Team prize.

The awards were organised by learning and development consultancy, Laughology, and CEO Stephanie Davies said: “We know that happy people are more

productive. They are more engaged, are healthier and more resilient. The finalists are all doing ground-breaking things in their businesses, and the results speak for themselves. They are successful. If you are not happy, you will not perform. Happiness isn’t about laughing and joking all the time. It’s about equipping people with the right skills, mindset and behaviours to cope with difficulties, to face challenges and to thrive.”