Trust breeds happiness

28th May 2004 at 01:00
Ask parents what they most want from their primary school, and first and foremost, they want their children to be happy. So the parents at Boringdon primary in Plymouth, praised by inspectors for its impressively happy ethos (see page 5), must be thrilled.

If happiness promotes good learning, it also enhances teaching. Richard Layard of the London School of Economics has examined the benefits of a happier society, and says being able to trust others makes people happier and better able to function. Constant policy changes and reorganisation from the top undermine teachers' trust and security. Are children and grown-ups so different? Primary schools know that trusting children, and encouraging them to work together makes everyone happier. Respect, togetherness, good manners are all part of Boringdon's formula. Is your school even happier? Let us know.

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