A visually-impaired super-pupil who teaches his peers about blindness and plays the drums.
A school once deemed unsaveable which is now outstanding and holds lunchtime darts classes for pupils.
A primary school in a deprived area where teachers sometimes wash their student’s clothes and buy them Christmas presents.
A teacher who has run marathons in the Amazon and on Everest to raise over GBP85,000 for charity.
All have been crowned winners at The National Happiness Awards.
Shawn Sequeira, 11, from Surbiton in Surrey, won the Happiest Pupil Award, while Thistley Hough Academy in Stoke-on-Trent was voted the nation’s Happiest Secondary School and Flakefleet School in Fleetwood, Lancashire, won the Happiest Primary School accolade.
Shawn impressed judges with his positivity and optimism. In addition to being a star pupil, he also inspires adults and children with his can-do attitude and refuses to let his disability hold him back.
His teaching assistant, Angelika Wallner, said: “I am wowed by Shawn on a regular basis, usually because of the little things, such as his resilience and drive. He is certainly not defined by his disability, nor does he use it as an excuse not to have a go at something.”
Shawn enjoys playing football, drumming, cooking and dancing and was also responsible for creating and presenting a training sessions for children in his school about the challenges faced by visually impaired people.
Thistley Hough Academy in Stoke-on-Trent impressed judges after staff turned its fortunes around. The secondary school has been in special measures twice in its history, in 2006 and 2012 and came close to failure after being deemed ‘unsaveable’. It is now graded as Good with Outstanding features