29th March 2019 — ‘Happiness is not something ready-made. It comes from your own actions.’ – the Dalai Lama
The Froebelian School, Horsforth dedicated last week to making each member of the school community feel happy, respected and valued with the launch of ‘The Happiness Project.’ The project is the brainchild of Deputy Headteacher, Sharon Stratford, who led the staff team in developing a programme of enriching and challenging activities.
Mrs Stratford said: “At Froebelian, we believe that the emotional health and happiness of children is as equally important as their physical health and wellbeing. Over the past few years, there has been a growing recognition of the need to make dramatic improvements to mental health services for children and young people and we are keen to look at improvements that we can make here at our school for the whole school community; hence The Happiness Project!”
She added: “Children and young people’s mental health has never been so high on the public agenda and rightly so. At any one time, a child or young person may be anywhere on a spectrum between being healthy and unwell. With this in mind, we feel it is vitally important that the school works in partnership with parents on this critical area of our children’s development, as well as addressing the needs of all adults who are involved in life at Froebelian.”
Headteacher, Mrs Catherine Dodds, summarised: “The atmosphere in school has been wonderful and the children have embraced all the challenges presented to them with enthusiasm, energy and smiles. Everyone has participated in well-being workshops, dance workshops and a yoga and mindfulness session as well as singing their favourite happy songs, trying new classroom greetings, a ‘Wake Up, Shake Up’ session, craft activities and visiting our well-being spaces where they could relax with their friends.
“On Tuesday afternoon, the Froebelian Parent Teacher Association contributed to the project by holding an open afternoon with the opportunity for parents and staff to try reiki, have a go on electric bicycles, sample nutritious smoothies and enjoy refreshments and a catch up with friends.
“We also held a Community Afternoon and it was lovely to welcome guests from the local community as well as grandparents to enjoy a mixture of songs, poems and musical pieces performed by children from Transition (Year1) -Form IV (Year 6). Our Well-Being and Charity Captains compèred the afternoon and guests sat at bright gingham-draped tables with delicately crafted water lily napkins and vases of daffodils and handpicked foliage from the school grounds, which set the scene perfectly for tea and homemade cakes and buns.
“The week culminated with our House Charity Morning with our eldest children leading the school with some ‘fun’draising activities for Comic Relief. Throw in a fantastic bun sale and you’ve pretty much got the flavour of our week! ‘The Happiness Project’ has been an enormous team effort and we have been delighted with the positive impact it has had on all involved. We are now planning how we can further embed happiness and mindfulness into our school ethos and values.”