Clearly there are many ways to measure how successful we are as a school; more often than not the word “measuring” conjures up the images of ratings, results, revenue statistics and data (quantitative data). There are of course many other ways to measure success: sporting / musical / artistic success; student voice, progress made by our EAL students, the ability of our students with special educational needs to not only adapt to mainstream education, but to flourish due to the successful way in which we as a school accommodate and meet all their needs through our highly trained staff and partnerships with outside agencies; examples of qualitative data.
If you rated Greenfield Community School on the number of smiles and friendly hellos you receive on a daily basis then we would truly be an outstanding school according to any form of inspection criteria HAPPINESS is a measure that we should never forget!
Stood on gate duty on Thursday afternoon wishing our families a happy weekend I was more often than not greeted with a friendly smile back, a thank you and a reciprocal desire to enjoy my weekend. It really did hit home to me just how content our students and parents are at GCS. Yes, there will always be your moaners and groaners but the voice of a few does not represent the opinion of many; lest we forget that fact.
Happiness is high on the UAE government’s agenda and just a few days ago on November 1st the Minister of State for Happiness, Her Excellency Ohood bint Khalfan Al Roumi, launched the latest strategy as part of her campaign to promote happiness in all sectors of UAE society; entitled 100 Days of Positivity the idea is to readdress the negativity that pervades all aspects of modern day life with schools, parents and the entire UAE community being encouraged to spread a little happiness through their kind words and actions.
Rola Ghadban and I had the pleasure of hearing her excellency speak at the KHDA What Works Happiness event last week and it was compelling to listen to her as she spoke about her general disdain for school life during her formative years as she ‘hated being made to learn by rote recall‘ during her time at the first ever international school launched in Sharjah, UAE. She is on a mission to create a culture of positivity and happiness within schools and ensure that happy, smiley children who have a passion for learning is the norm rather than the exception; I couldn’t agree more…..now that would be a success story!
Why do I think GCS is such a happy school? Find out here:
We at GCS are very much on board with this initiative and so you are fully aware, here are some of the initial projects / ideas / actions that we have taken or will be taking.
- Rola Ghadban has taken on the inaugural role as Mindfulness and Well-Being Coordinator.
- We now have a Mindfulness and Well-being Committee comprising students, parents and teachers from both Primary and Secondary.
- On the 24th November during Innovation Week we will cut the ribbon on the soon-to-be renovated Collaboration Room which will open under a new guise.
- Grade 5 are trialing two well-being surveys: KHDA School of Hearts & Minds and The Well Being Profiler. Results which will give us some very useful data to be enable to analyse their well-being and general state of happiness during a particularly critical transitionary year into Secondary School.
In closing, every day for the next 100 days Jamie and I are promoting positivity and happiness through our Twitter accounts photos and videos of all that is good about GCS are being posted! We invite you to join us on our 100 Days of Positivity Journey!
Gary Mallon, Head of Primary: @GCSPrimaryHead
Jamie Plunkett, Deputy Head of Primary:@MrPlunkettGCS
Contributed by: Gary Mallon
Head of Primary