Helping all children become happy learners
About Happy Learners
Happy Learners is here to provide free evidence-based advice, support and resources for teachers and parents. It is focussed on developing and supporting inclusive practice in schools and effective parenting at home. It specifically provides guidance on meeting the additional learning and social-emotional needs of children and adolescents. The website continues to expand with new material being added regularly.
The site is used across the world and many of the articles attempt to reflect the international audience. However, Happy Learners is based in the United Kingdom and much of the advice and resources are rooted in national practice.
Happy Learners was set up by me, Stephen Norwood in 2011 with the aim of creating a free online source of information, strategies and resources. In my work with parents and teachers I realised the need for simple, concise and evidence-based information about child development and the many difficulties that impact on learning, behaviour and happiness. I also recognised the need to provide free downloadable resources to support the advice and strategies given.
Qualifications and Experience
I trained to become a primary school teacher graduating from Kingston University with a Bachelor in Education. I later studied part-time at Brunel University to gain a post graduate diploma in Education. Moving into school leadership I gained an NPQH from the College of School Leadership and took up a post as a deputy headteacher and Special Needs Coordinator. It was in this role that I began focussing on working with parents and staff to support the needs of pupils with emotional and behavioural needs. I was fortunate to be invited to get involved in a number of projects at local and national level. This helped me develop skills in providing training and advice to other schools.
After being diagnosed with cancer in 2010 and being off work for most of 2011 I decided to move away from school leadership and concentrate on further developing my interest in special needs. I joined Surrey as a specialist teacher where I provided guidance and training to schools in managing behaviour. I returned to Kingston University to complete an MA in professional studies in Education focussing on speech and language development; autistic spectrum disorder and working memory. Working four days a week afforded me the opportunity to reflect on my work more and develop information and resources for all the busy teachers I supported.
I had begun thinking about setting up a website whilst recovering from my cancer treatment. At the end of 2011 when I returned to work I began writing the first pages. In my new role as specialist teacher I used the website to post resources that the schools I supported could easily download and use. I continued to add content to it and also began developing resources to support the parents I was working with who had children with additional needs. Due to further complications related to my cancer I took early retirement in 2017 so that I could concentrate on keeping well. I continue to enjoy researching and writing articles and creating resources for the website.
The logo Helix was designed to create a recognisable and child friendly branding for the Happy Learners website and the downloadable resources. The feet are the site's first logo; a simple fusion off the H and L of Happy Learners.
Happy Learners was set up to provide advice and resources totally free to all users. As revenue is necessary to meet the increasing costs of running the site articles and resource pages will include one or two adverts. The aim is not to spoil the site by bombarding users with advertising and care has been taken to minimise the intrusiveness of them.
Intellectual Property Rights
Happy Learners is a trademark under class 41 of the international classification of trademarks. This grants exclusive use of the phrase 'Happy Learners' in connection with the production and distribution of educational materials in both printed and online media. Action will be taken to protect the intellectual property of all content and the Happy Learners brand.