Pupils all smiles at launch of happiness project
PUPILS and teachers have been told to "go back to their schools and bring happiness to their communities over the next six months".
Representatives from 22 city schools attended the launch of Brilliant Derby yesterday and now cannot wait to get started on the project.
Children's author Andy Cope, famous for the Spy Dog book series, and the city's Mayor Lisa Higginbottom are behind the scheme and are hoping it will improve the mood across the city.
City schools are being asked to sign up to take part in workshops in what Mr Cope, of Swadlincote, describes as a "massive social experiment".
The workshops will encourage them to deliver positivity, happiness and brilliance in their schools and communities.
Teacher Andrew Monaghan, of St Alban's Catholic Primary School, in Chaddesden, said the project suited the ethos of his school well. He said: "We are a proud and happy school and so it was natural for our children to want to get involved. They cannot wait to take the message into the community."
St Alban's pupil Liam Hughes, nine, said the launch session was "brilliant".
He added: "I want to go back to school and tell the class about the project and organise meetings about it."
Fellow pupil Amelia Domini, ten, added: "Andy gave a very good presentation and was very inspiring. Trying to get everyone to be happy is a very good idea."
Mr Cope, launching the project in the city's Darwin Suite, Market Place, said: "The aim is to transform lives and embed brilliance into the school ethos.
"I have previously run a series of workshops for businesses around the theme of The Art of Being Brilliant but have not worked with large groups of youngsters."
Ideas on how to spread happiness will be discussed at the workshops on January 30, February 12 and 28. The project will be completed with presentations in June.
Louise Boyles, year five teacher at Richardson Endowed Primary School, in Smalley, said: "We are already thinking of developing our own character to represent happiness and to give out badges to people who do good things and who are positive."
Mr Cope hopes the project 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.