1.3 What makes you happy at school?
1.3.1 The importance of friendship
When children are asked about the things that are important in their experience of education one factor appears to be important above all others – friendship.
In a study of 2,527 children in 500 primary and secondary schools in one local education authority (LEA) in the north-west of England 62.8 per cent stated that happiness at school was the result of friendships (Whittaker, Kenworthy and Crabtree, 1998). This included best friends and also friendly teachers and other friendly pupils. Along with this, ‘feeling safe, making other children happy and being trusted by others’ also added to their happiness (Whittaker et al., 1998).
‘When everybody is kind and helpful and everybody are friends’ Female, Year 6
‘Playing nice’ Female, Year 2
‘Feeling safe’ Female, Year 6
‘When everybody else is happy’ Female, Year 6
(Whittaker et al., 1998)