Creating The School of Joy

What is the School of Joy

The School of Joy is not a product or place. It is an ethos and approach to inclusive education with wellbeing at the heart. We strive to ensure that the educational provision for each child is designed, planned and implemented in a way that ensures each and every day is filled with positivity. The purpose is to reduce behaviours and increase the potential for learning. It is an ethos that encompasses the school environment, curriculum and staff approach to the children. It encompasses 7 core themes that as educators and parents we can focus on to make our practice the best it can be to enhance the education of our children.

  1. Unconditional positivity

  2. Build genuine rapport

  3. Talk up the child

  4. Facilitate progress towards their goals

  5. Community and coproduction

  6. Reflection and mutual support

  7. Celebrate all achievements

There are currently three elements to the approach that you can explore and interact with using the links below.

Leading the School of Joy - This section explores how this approach can be initiated by a passionate individual in any setting.

Teaching using the School of Joy approach - For anyone working directly with children and young people who want to use elements of the approach in their setting.

Parents and the School of Joy - For parents and carers who want to share this approach for their child and work with settings to implement a partnership.

I have collated a page with videos here. I hope they help explain why I believe that following the School of Joy ethos in every provision for children and young people with SEND is both effective in enhancing learning and essential to their wellbeing. We want those we work with, and for, to gain the best possible outcomes.

Our Vision

To share our ideas and resources to enable individuals or organisations to embrace the ethos of the School of Joy approach. We will work to develop a network of mutually supporting, like-minded people whose approach aligns with this ethos. The outcome is to improve educational provision and quality of life for children with SEND (Special educational needs and disabilities).

It is time to pull together a whole range of positive and impactful ideas that have shaped excellent practice and capture them in one approach. This is the School Of Joy. This is the way that together we can push forward education for those who need us to be their champions. The School of Joy Approach will change mindsets around what great education looks like for young people with SEND. We do not know the impact of the disruption to life and society that the last two years has had but we know that it has fundamentally affected all aspects of our children's lives. Together we present a meaningful and solution focussed approach to enriching the lives of children with SEND. We will ensure their experience of education is overwhelmingly positive and driven by outcomes that will build them up to achieve their goals.

The School of Joy can be embraced by a single member of staff leading this in their classroom. It can be implemented by the teaching assistant striving to make every interaction positive, the receptionist welcoming each child with a smile. It is only together as a community of like-minded educational professionals, parents, and carers that we start to shape the system our children and ourselves exist in. Society often stacks the decks against our children. Let us redress the balance in their favour.

Our goal is to have 1000 people signed up to pledge that they will ensure their provision, class, club or 1:1 intervention will put the School of Joy approach at the centre of what they do. If you are a parent or carer your pledge is to share this with your child's school. The gauge below will let you see how close we are to our goal. No email addresses are recorded it is anonymous and just shows the number of passionate SEND supporters in the world.