Happy Days at Chepstow School!

Henry Winkler gives motivational speech

Actor, producer and children’s author Henry Winkler OBE visited Chepstow School, along with the award-winning children’s newspaper First News as they continue to spearhead their First News My Way! Campaign in partnership with education charity Achievement for All.  My Way! Is an initiative launched in 2010 to raise awareness of the needs of children with learning challenges in the UK.  As part of the campaign, the Happy Days star has been visiting schools across the UK for a series of personal appearances and readings.

In partnership with First News and Achievement for All, the My Way! Campaign aims to dispel the stigma felt by the one in five children in the UK with learning difficulties.  Raising the self-esteem and aspirations of these children, the campaign also looks to give these children’s friends, parents and teachers a greater understanding of the challenges they face.  Achievement for All is working in partnership with the Wales Centre for Equity in Education, Welsh Government and the Central South Local piloting an innovative school improvement model focused on closing the gap between vulnerable and disadvantaged children and their wealthier peers. The 14 schools in this exciting initiative are paving the way for the roll out of Achievement for All Cymru across Wales.

Claire Price, our Head teacher, who has implemented the Achievement for All programme in our school said:

“Our involvement with the Achievement for All framework has been the most significant driver for improvement at our school. The impact on student outcomes for the most vulnerable has been enormous. Working with our coach we look forward to continuing to develop our school systems and continue to improve results.”

Perfectly placed to front the My Way! Campaign alongside First News editor Nicky Cox MBE, Henry struggled throughout his school years with unidentified dyslexia; academically Henry was ranked in the bottom 3% of the US education system, however he has gone on to achieve greatness as a leading actor, producer and author.  Best known to adults for his starring role as The Fonz in Happy Days, Henry Winkler is now known to younger fans as Mr Rock in BBC children’s comedy series, Hank Zipzer, based on Henry’s own books about a boy with dyslexia.  It is Henry’s personal struggles at school, and subsequent achievements, that he will be sharing with school children.  His key message is: “Every child has brilliance inside them.  It is their job to dig it out and give it to the world.  I cannot wait to see who they become.”