Happy talk

Peter Roberts

Carol Craig is not the first to voice concerns over the growing interest in happiness lessons ("Happiness lessons can make 'Cruellas' of teachers", TES 9 January). The happiest and most fulfilled individuals, as the Queen pointed out in her Christmas address, are those with outgoing and unselfish lives.

Happy people are not so because they are equipped with a multiple skill-set developed by academics. They are happy because they have outward-looking attitudes and are willing to share their talents and time.

The systematic teaching of happiness fosters the reverse. It encourages teenagers to be introspective and self-critical - attitudes which can damage or even destroy young people's sense of achievement and their willingness to share.

At Bradfield College, happiness is not taught. Happiness comes with a sense of personal achievement, self-worth and most importantly, a sense of belonging - qualities forged on the playing field, on the stage and in the concert hall, not in the pages of a text book.

Peter Roberts, Headmaster, Bradfield College, Reading, Berkshire.

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Peter Roberts

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