An evidence-based framework, backed by research.

In the UK, we have a strong public health message on 5 fruit and vegetables a day. 

What are these for happiness? What are the 5 things you can do every day to be happier?

The New Economics Foundation did a project for the government called the Foresight programme that involved lots of experts and drew on extensive scientific evidence from around the world. It came up with 5 positive actions that you can do every day to improve wellbeing in your life called the ‘5 Ways to Wellbeing’: Take Notice, Be Active, Connect, Keep Learning, Give.

The government now recommends this as a proven evidence-based approach to improve wellbeing.

INSIDE OUT has made this approach relevant and engaging for children with what we call the ‘5 Keys to Happiness’. Our evidence-based framework is used to improve wellbeing throughout the school and provides everyone with a common language for wellbeing education.

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Inspire self reflection, focusing, being quiet, self calming


Promote non-competitive outdoor exercise

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Encourage connection, teamwork and communication



Stimulate growth mindsets, exploration, experimentation and making



Support an attitude of caring for oneself, others and the environment

Our 5 Keys to Happiness weave through everything we do.

They are launched during magical experiences, gain momentum through their application back at school, and are measured for their impact on learning behaviours, resilience and achievement over time.


 Back at school, the Keys come to life for all children through our Toolbox and are the fundamental building blocks of our Teacher Training Workshops. The Keys have the depth and flexibility to be relevant to both short-term interventions for children and longer term school-wide programmes. Teachers can ‘Dip In’ and choose Key activities to quickly focus children’s energies. They can use the Keys ‘Daily’ - in an assembly for instance - or focus on a ‘Key a Week/Half Term/Term’.

Our bright, bold resources spread the word about the 5 Keys in and out of the classroom … and spark discussions with children, teachers and parents. Some schools have adopted the 5 Keys to Happiness to create their very own bespoke PSHE curriculum to help them fully embed these actions into their whole-school curriculum. 


On Magical Day Outs, children hunt for the 5 Keys to Happiness in the stunning woodland areas around Checkendon Equestrian Centre. There are fun challenges found on the back of each one. Throughout the day, there are many more activities that reinforce the 5 Keys - rubber ducks float on children’s bellies as they breathe in and out … sticks turn into happy homes in the woods … and most excitingly, they ride horses and learn what makes them happy too. There are giant trees, blankets of bluebells, peaceful ponds and larger than life sculptures right out of a page in Alice in Wonderland making it a magical time to Look Inside, Move Outside, Share More, Be Curious and Be Kind. 

By the time the children are on the mini bus to go back to school, they understand the meaning of the 5 Keys to Happiness much better


We recognise the challenges schools face in systematically measuring something as complex as a child’s wellbeing. We also know that although many factors can influence a child’s happiness, schools play a major role. So we have developed 3 ways to help:

  1. The Happiness Index: for schools to record progress, and to adapt wellbeing programmes to meet the needs of their children. Data is collected before and after Magical Days Out based on simple questions around the 5 Keys to Happiness.

  2. Happiness Health Check: for schools that want to move on to creating a whole-school culture of wellbeing. It helps them establish a benchmark of school wellbeing based on the 5 Keys, develop actions and review impact.

  3. The INSIDE OUT Award: celebrates schools that fully embed the 5 Keys to Happiness and put children’s happiness at the heart of school life. 

Most people think that if they become successful, then they will be happy. But recent discoveries in psychology and neuroscience show that this formula is backward: happiness fuels success, not the other way around. When we’re positive, our brains are more motivated, engaged, energetic, resilient, and productive.
— Psychological Bulletin, 2007