LAUGHTER is contagious – and a simple smile can brighten up a person’s day.
Pupils at a school in Gosport are hoping to take the title of the happiest school in Hampshire, simply by making other people smile.
Newtown CofE Primary School in Queens Road, is looking to gain the first Happy School accreditation in Hampshire by doing things like spending time with a nearby care home and working alongside the local church.
Happy School accreditation is given to schools that complete Art of Brilliance’s Brilliant Schools programme, promoting wellbeing and positivity.
The school has been working alongside author Andy Cope, writer of popular children’s books such as the Sky Dog series and The Art of Being Brilliant.
Headteacher Emma Howlett says that achieving the accreditation would be great news for the school.
She said: ‘The accreditation is about the individual wellbeing and resilience of children and staff at the school.
‘The idea is to encourage everyone in the school to work collectively to be more positive and confident as we build community support.
‘Currently, the children are working on ideas for a community project so we can get accreditation. It would be great to get this as a school and would really help put the school on the map.’
According to Mrs Howlett, happiness is the key to a successful learning environment.
She said: ‘We want to build a happy environment because that is when everyone will be working at their best.
‘This will enhance the good work we already do. We already have a great curriculum and offer great opportunities for the children – this is just the next step on from that.
‘We have a great community around us and we want to not only make our school a happy place, but also boost the happiness of everyone around us.
‘That is what the Happy School project is about – and the students have been getting their thinking caps on to come up with exciting ideas.’
Following completion of the Happy School project, an inspection will be held at the school to review the improvements made.
Mrs Howlett said: ‘We have seen a big impact already – students are now talking more positively in the school and seem to have a fresh outlook on education, which is fantastic.
‘If we get the accreditation, there will certainly be a big banner outside so that everyone will know about the great news.’