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High View School in Plymouth nominated for 'Happiest School Award 2016'

High View School, in Plymouth, is an exciting place to learn and grow, where everyone is valued for who they are. Kim Dorian-Kemp Headteacher, says the children at High View are 'thriving', so why wouldn't we be one of the happiest schools in the country'.

She goes on to say:

'High View is located in an area of social and economic deprivation and the school is the linchpin of the community. The school has moved from being one of the worst rated in the country 10 years ago (known as Highfield then) to an Outstanding Ofsted rated, National Teaching School. Attainment and progress at High View are in the top 5% in the country, and our children are thriving. Why wouldn't we be one of the happiest schools in the country?

'Behind this success is the hard work, dedication and above all, sense of humour of our wonderful staff. This helped us all on this sometimes stressful journey; which included an amalgamation and two moves in a period of 18 months. The temporary accommodation was made beautiful, even though we only had a limited time there, as we believed the here and now had to be valued. 

high view school pupils in a cooking class

'When you pass through the corridors of High View, a lovely, purpose built school, you hear laughter, banter and cheerful interactions. Children and adults greet one another with "good morning/good afternoon, how are you today?". There is a sense that people genuinely care about one another.

'Staff and pupil sickness is very low, so we're overall a healthy bunch! We've had training in Mindfulness and have been platinum winners of the Health at Work Award for many years. We have won the Pupil Premium Local award tow years running and reaching I am a member of a select group of headteachers involved in tackling deprivation-related gaps in children, which includes supporting with mental health issues at home and at school. 

'Displays in our staff and pupil areas reflect the commitment we have to keep our school community healthy & happy, with advice and guidance to hand. 

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'Creativity is at the heart of what we do, despite the increasing focus on core subjects, we value the 'whole child' and acknowledge that it is our job to unlock their potential. We invest in art, having frequent artists in residence - it's a therapy to paint and draw. Dance, sport and music are also amazing at High View. 

'This year, we won 2 Gold and a Bronze Award in the Plymouth in Bloom Awards and Overall Best School Garden '16. Not only that, our wall into the school is tended by our children and staff, with fabulous seasonal bulbs and flowers, which makes the journey in a delight to behold. Neighbours love it too!

'Our values are deeply rooted in our community. We were the founder members of Efford Take A Part, an arts-based enterprise, bringing art and creativity into our community and we have rolled this out to other communities so they can benefit too. 

'Children were recently involved in gathering memories and images of Efford so that the old pub sign could be refurbished and installed in the front of the school. It contains seasonal artwork of iconic Efford . Not many schools have a pub sign at the front of the school. It brought amusement when an elderly man suggested I should change the school name to the Rovers Return!!

'It would mean so very much to us to have this accolade. That in itself is a measure of what we value at High View.'

Tell us why your school is a happy school by nominating it for a 'Happiest School Award 2016' or Happiest Teacher Award 2016.

Nominations close on the 17th October 2016.

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