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Three happy teachers will share Dubai’s positive education practices with an international audience in the United States this summer. Representing the top schools of the School of Hearts Survey, the teachers will travel to the Festival of Positive Education in Dallas, Texas, where they will collaborate with others working in the field of wellbeing and education.

Announced at What Works Fusion – the final What Works event of the academic year – the happiness ambassadors of School of Hearts were selected from schools which participated in the survey and the follow-up workshops, and which submitted a video of their experience. The top schools – judged by parents from Dubai’s schools community – were Delhi Private School, JSS Private School and St Mary Catholic High School.

Hind Al Mualla, Chief of Creativity, Happiness & Innovation (CHI) at KHDA said, “School of Hearts is a great platform for schools and teachers to show their commitment to the happiness of students in Dubai. The real value of the survey comes in the data and stories it provides to parents and schools, and we look forward to seeing many more schools and students participating next year.”

The three happiness ambassadors will join a delegation of Dubai private school principals who are also attending the Festival of Positive Education. They will take part in a workshop hosted by KHDA to show the best of education in Dubai to educators and policy-makers from around the world.

Mouza Al Suwaidi, KHDA’s Chief of Engagement said, “We know that many schools in Dubai take student happiness very seriously. We are grateful to be able to take these stories to Dallas and share them with the world, as well as learn from the best positive education practices happening internationally. What Works has enabled a culture of collaboration among schools in Dubai, and we are grateful to the teachers and school leaders who work together for the benefit of their communities and their students.”

The What Works events of this academic year saw more than 2500 teachers and school leaders attend sessions delivered by teachers in Dubai. International speakers such as Sir Anthony Seldon, innovators John Kao and Graham Brown-Martin, and Green Bronx Machine founder Stephen Ritz inspired the audience with their stories, while community partners shared their initiatives and projects for schools in Dubai.

The Festival of Positive Education will take place from July 18 to July 20 in Dallas, Texas. For more information, please visit

What is Positive Education?

Positive Education promotes character development and academics in a healthy and safe school environment. Research has shown that schools which practise positive education have students and teachers who report increased happiness, stronger relationships and better physical health. Studies show that a central tenet of positive education – gratitude – fosters more positive emotions and attitudes toward school in students.

What is School of Hearts?

School of Hearts is the first survey to measure student happiness in Dubai. Focusing on three key areas – school environment, personal wellness and peer support – School of Hearts is designed provide insight to parents who look beyond examination results when choosing a school for their children. More than 9000 students from 35 schools across Dubai took part in the opt-in survey, the first time it was run. Eighty-three per cent of children aged between 9 to 13 years said they were happy at school, decreasing slightly to 78 per cent among middle school students.

- KHDA Media