What does happiness have to do with education?

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It is true that good coaching, hard work and determination are considered prime factors for good student performance. But in a world where the combined pressure of exams, homework, getting good grades and co-curricular activities are weighing the students down, there is more to student performance than you think.

Read more to find out how a school environment that echoes positivity and happiness can lead to better school performance.

A school is not just an institution where children come to receive education; it is a place where they learn, grow, make friends and memories to cherish for a lifetime. It is a place where they develop a personality, character, values and beliefs that stay with them throughout their lives.

Needless to say that the experiences gained in school play a major role in determining a person’s success and well-being later in life.

Hence, it is essential for a learning environment to be safe, healthy, happy and encouraging. According to UNESCO, “Unsafe learning environments reduce the quality of education for all learners. Affected learners may avoid or participate less in class or drop out of school altogether. They are at increased risk of anxiety, psychological stress and depression.”

In a time when the pressure of getting good grades, exams, co-curricular activities, along with excessive screen time can cause high levels of anxiety and stress among the children; a school that encourages positivity and happiness in its environment can make a major difference in the performance of the students.

What does the research say?

Research has shown that when schools prioritise the mental health of students and put effort into creating a happy environment at school, students are motivated to come to school. This not only results in a better academic performance but also translates into sincere relationships in the school and society.

happy school environment facilitates an enriching learning experience and blossoms the talents of the students. It motivates activities, boosts creativity and strengthens social relationships. On the other hand, lack of happiness in the school environment may cause disinterest or a hidden escape feeling. This means that students neither escape from the class nor are they absent from school but they attend the classes with an indifferent attitude which results in no progress in the performance.

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Having said that, a happy environment plays a major role in the wellbeing, success and achievements of children in school as well as life beyond. Happiness can be undermined by various internal and external factors. External factors such as inequality, discrimination and violence can create an unhappy society. On the other hand, internal factors such as poor learning experiences, insensitive educators or overemphasis on results and test scores can create unhappy schools.

“Children want the same things we want. To laugh, to be challenged, to be entertained, and delighted.” – Dr Suess

However, out of all the factors that influence happiness, school experience has the highest impact in shaping the lives of children to who they become in future. Considering the important link between happiness and education, UNESCO Bangkok came up with the Happy Schools Framework devised based on the survey conducted under the Happy Schools Project.

The criteria which make a happy school were broadly placed under three main categories: people, process and place.


 The relationships and interactions in the school community, positive attitude, skills and wellbeing of the teacher, the collaborative values and working conditions are some of the criteria that determine how happy a school environment is.

At Maple Leaf Kingsley International School, we produce well-rounded individuals who are curious about the world, thirsty for knowledge, happy and content, kind, resilient and have a good reflection of self. The school ensures that it stimulates these characteristics in the students through firm yet kind actions, building strong trust and giving genuine care.

Kingsley believes that by building these authentic connections, they not only make the students feel valued but empower them from within and encourage them to go further. This stems from their belief in empowering the teachers in a way that they serve as compassionate, creative, inspiring, fair and happy role models of the students. By being attentive to those who are in constant communication with the students, they are able to truly empower the students.

The mindful and positive interactions between teachers and peers ensure that students feel comfortable to confide in and share their problems; an initiative for building better mental health.

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 A school is a happy place to learn when teachers and children work together as a team with a collaborative spirit. Fun and creative teaching methods, useful and engaging learning experiences that empowers students and give them a sense of accomplishment create an environment that makes a happy school community.

Maple Leaf Kingsley International School recognises that children learn by imitating those around them. Hence, it creates an enriching learning atmosphere where people are confident, engaged, innovative and respectful towards each other. Students are encouraged to ask questions, research their interests, train their bodies and mind, and be who they are.

Kingsley is also known for placing a great significance on their educators because they believe when educators are uplifted, they also uplift those in their care. The school is equipped with staff and facilities that are on par with international standards. Teachers employ creative and engaging methods of teaching which builds enthusiasm and eagerness to learn.

Maple Leaf Kingsley International School also ensures that there is a good balance between study and play so that students can develop skills that enable them to be confident, helping them explore their potential and place in this world. Kingsley offers many clubs and societies for students to create, innovate, explore and discover their interests and passions.



 A secure and safe atmosphere free from bullying is a prime criterion to make the school a happy place. A good physical environment that includes open and green spaces to learn and play, spacious classrooms and activity areas along a warm and friendly atmosphere create an environment conducive to learning.

By combining a visionary curriculum, state-of-the-art facilities and an expansive environment to learn in, Kingsley can create an environment conducive to learning for students, teachers and parents to flourish.

The Maple Leaf Kingsley International School is located on expansive grounds with a lush landscape. Though space comes with a dedicated groundskeeper, we highly encourage our students to absorb the greenery and appreciate the environment.

Kingsley believes in cultivating leaders with strong values, good character and high achievements. Students are moulded in a bully-free environment where they are nurtured into confident and independent youths who see the importance of living purposefully and fearlessly in life.

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Maple Leaf Kingsley International School recognises that education and learning experiences play a major role in promoting happiness and well-being in children. Kingsley is a place where children can feel free to learn, grow, innovate and express themselves without the fear of making mistakes. We ensure that Kingsley is a home away from home for our children – a place where they love to come back every day. Kingsley is not just a school but an institution that instils, invests and imparts values, strong character and a love for learning that translates into success at school, university and life beyond.

Fondly known as Kingsley – we are a homegrown international school established in 2011. We have garnered recognition from Malaysians and Expatriate parents alike through our devotion to moulding the next generation and our exceptional British curriculum. Click here to know more about us.