Positive thinking is the key to happiness and making Derby brilliant
BEING happy can make you brilliant, according to the creators of a new six-month project about to be launched in Derby.
Renowned author Andy Cope, famous for the Spy Dog series, and the city's Mayor, Lisa Higginbottom, are behind the scheme, called "Brilliant Derby".
Schools across the city are being asked to sign up to take part in workshops in what Mr Cope describes as a "massive social experiment".
He said: "In a world-first, we are running a project to empower the children of Derby to deliver positivity, happiness and brilliance across their schools and communities.
"The aim is to transform lives and embed brilliance into the school ethos."
Mr Cope has developed a series of workshops for businesses around the theme of The Art of Being Brilliant, but has not worked with large groups of youngsters on it.
He said: "This has not been tried before and we aim to inspire children, who in turn will inspire their schools, families and communities."
Mr Cope is optimistic that his approach will reverse the adverse publicity the city has attracted since October, when both the Government and the Office for Standards in Education criticised Derby's primary schools.
Mr Cope said: "There's never been a better time to upgrade the thinking in the city's schools.
"During this term, we will deliver Brilliant Derby workshops at venues throughout the city.
"Each primary school will be invited to send a group of year five children to take part in three half-day sessions. The first will be about being brilliant, the second will concern staying brilliant and the third will be about brilliant communities."
The final session will involve each group of children coming up with a plan to design and deliver their own Brilliant Derby workshops across their own school and wider community.
The Mayor said: "The project will culminate in a gala event in June this year, when each school will be invited to present what they have achieved and how far the Brilliant Derby effect has rippled.
"There will also be prizes for the schools and children who have had the biggest impact."
Brilliant Derby is being launched to a select group of teachers and children in the Mayor's Parlour on Friday.