It has been said that true happiness is found by making other people happy…

At Mawdesley St Peter’s Primary School, our children in Class Two discovered this for themselves, just before the Summer holidays.

Our Year Two and Three class completed the Archbishop of York’s Young Leaders Award, during the Summer Term.  Completing the award involved all of the children in learning key leadership and character skills.  The Award explores the theme ‘Small Steps, Big Change’ through the characteristics of kindness, perseverance, teamwork and action.

Our children completed many individual challenges along their journey towards achieving their award.  These ranged from performing random acts of kindness as individuals, to a team challenge to make the school a better place.  At the end of their journey, the final “Big Challenge” had to centre around helping the local community in some way.

The decision regarding what they wanted to do for their “Big Challenge” was totally in the hands of the children, and after much discussion and the ruling out of many very thoughtful ideas, they all agreed on holding a Tea Party for local residents to “make them smile.”

The Tea Party involved much preparation… from lovingly creating and delivering the personalised invites, to getting parents involved in buying the ingredients for the cakes…  From making the cakes and setting up the school hall, to carefully creating the personalised placemats for the 40 residents who had been invited!  The classroom was a hive of activity in the run up to the big day.  The staff and parents were extremely proud to see the children so engaged, working effectively as a team, and enthusiastically rising to a challenge.  A challenge to benefit, not themselves, but the people in their local community, most of whom they would be meeting for the first time!

As the visitors arrived on the day and the children nervously greeted them and welcomed them to their tables, every single one of them beamed with pride, visibly amazed at what they had achieved.  The visitors were all smiling too, obviously moved by the effort that the children had made, especially for them.

As the sun streamed in through the windows and the tea was poured, there was an electric feeling of genuine, overwhelming happiness within our little school hall.  It was quite magical to see children of eight years old fully engaged and interested in conversations with people who were, in some cases, 90 years their senior!  Our visitors chatted with the children on their tables about anything and everything.  What school was like when they were younger and how it compares to school now, was a favourite topic, and some of the visitors had even attended our school when they were younger.  They had kindly brought along photographs to share with the children, who viewed them with interest.  Many of the children were also surprised to find that they shared common interests with the adults on their tables, such as cricket or drawing.  They talked animatedly about these interests together.

When all of the cakes were eaten and the teapots were almost empty, the children performed some of their favourite songs for their appreciative visitors, who thanked their new little friends with enthusiastic applause.

Finally, it was time to say a rather reluctant goodbye, and after many kind words from our visitors everyone headed back to their classrooms or homes.

It was a brief moment, but it was most certainly a happy one, and surely a memory that will remain forever with each and every one of the people involved, regardless of their age.  Hopefully a ‘stand- out school memory’ for the children when they look back, in their adult years, at their time at Mawdesley St Peters.  Such a worthwhile life lesson for them too, and one which we would all do well to remember…true happiness, most certainly is found in making others happy!

Miss Laura Goulden (Senior Teacher)

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