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Dave and his school, Flakefleet Primary School in Fleetwood, Lancashire, captured the nation’s (and David Walliams’) hearts recently by receiving the prestigious ‘Golden Buzzer’ during their Britain’s Got Talent audition, which saw them storm into the semi-finals!
During the audition, Dave and his pupils gave a stirring rendition of Queen’s ‘Don’t Stop Me Now’, which saw both Walliams, and presenter Ant McPartlin break down in tears.
Not surprisingly, social media was awash with viewers saying how tear-jerking and inspirational it was!
The school’s amazing performance blew audiences away, with Dave even joining Eamonn Holmes and Ruth Langsford on the This Morning sofa to discuss how he’s been able to inspire his pupils to achieve such incredible feats.
This positive philosophy Dave has instilled at Flakefeet has transformed the school into a thriving – and enjoyable – environment for pupils and teachers alike. Because of this, the school was recently crowned the ‘happiest primary school in Britain’ at Laughology’s National Happiness Awards.
“It was the best thing ever being told you were awarded the happiest primary school in the country because it’s what it represents”, Dave says about the award.
“A happier workforce is five times more productive than an unhappy one. We talk a lot about whether you can be high performing and very happy and people seem to think they are mutually exclusive but one absolutely links to the other.
“It doesn’t take a genius to work out that happy children make for better learners and happier staff are more productive.”
Flakefleet’s recent Britain’s Got Talent success isn’t the first time Dave and his pupils have tasted the limelight, though. Over the festive period, the school made a bold push for Christmas number one with their single ‘Light Up Flakefleet’ – which went head-to-head with Ariana Grande for a while!
“The whole experience of the Christmas single is about encouraging our children to have high aspirations, ambitions and dreams. We sold nearly 10,000 records and although we didn’t make the number one spot we showed the children that you should take a chance”, says Dave.
“We tapped into something really special, the children were so excited. And it became a real community effort, people were queuing up and dedicating their time to flyering and putting up banners. We built up this whole spirit that I’ve never seen anywhere else before. It’s something we won’t forget.”
Despite eventually finishing 64th in the charts, Dave says the achievement – as well as his school’s ‘dare to dream’ motto – has been huge in teaching pupils inspirational life lessons, something he takes great pleasure from.
“I want pupils and staff to feel just as comfortable as I am at taking risks; some things work, some things don’t, but we learn along the way. We didn’t get to number one but the Christmas single taught us about resilience and perseverance.
“The Christmas number one was an ambitious and bold goal but equally there are lots of goals that are achievable to students. It’s the idea that nothing’s too big – the whole ‘dare to dream’ thing really has become a motto within our school and hopefully it teaches youngsters that nothing should stop you from going for things.
“You’ve just got to give it a go.”
Speaking about his love for the job, Dave says:
“I genuinely think it’s an incredibly rewarding job; the potential to develop young minds and change lives is huge. It is fun, every day is different and I love working with children and making a difference. It’s so many different things rolled into one and there’s never a quiet day!”
We wish Dave and Flakefleet the best of luck in the next stage of the Britain’s Got Talent competition!
Images via ITV/Dave McPartlin