Teaching happiness at schools – the debate continues

Teaching happiness at schools – the debate continues

Children develop better when they can play free from prescription

Sir – Lady Greenfield and her co-signatories (Letters, September 10) are correct to link outdoor, unstructured play with children’s mental welfare.

As educators, we need to stimulate children’s spontaneous, creative instincts. As all parents know, children are at their happiest when devising and playing their own games. What a tragedy, then, that instead of encouraging such independence, the Government is proposing “happiness classes”.

Children’s happiness derives from their own inner confidence, creativity and self-reliance, not from spoon-fed introspection. The happiest children I see are those playing in a garden or a park, not sitting being taught how to be happy.

Henry Wickham, Headmaster, Lockers Park School, Hemel Hempstead, Hertfordshire

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