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The Art of Being Brilliant is an approach that we follow in school to help children develop their emotional intelligence. It aims to raise the level of happiness, confidence and resilience of every child; embedding positivity and a sense of personal responsibility into school and home life.

Some research has been carried out that indicated that only about 2 % of the population respond positively to situations and bounce back from setbacks. The Art of Brilliance team call these 2%ers. The rest, the 98%, the Art of Brilliance Team call ‘mood hoovers,’ as they can suck up or drain the positive energy around them by moaning and groaning. The Art of Brilliance team is a way of embedding positive thinking and positive self talk from an early age. Its aims are for the children to realise:

  1. That they can choose to be positive in situations.

  2. That they can take personal responsibility for their thoughts, actions, behaviour and their learning (e.g. they motivate themselves rather than be motivated by teachers and parents).

  3. That they can have a positive impact (or negative) on those around them.

  4. That if they choose to, they can bounce back from setbacks and view mistakes as positive learning experiences. They can develop resilience.

  5. That random acts of kindness can make themselves, the school and home happier places.

  6. That everyone is good at something and we feel happy if we do what we are good at. We can all ‘play to our strengths’.

  7. That if they set themselves goals taking small steps will help them achieve them.


How can you help at home?

Children do what we do more than they do what we say. So if you want them to be positive, resilient, happy and kind then you could model the behaviour and may be use some of the language of The Art of Being Brilliant.

Some phrases you might like to use depending on the situation could be :


  • Well done you are being a 2%er.

  • Are you being a 2 % er? (This empowers the child to find the answer for themselves)

  • What would a 2%er do? ( This gives the child opportunity to develop problem solving skills rather than being told what to do)

  • Know your impact. (This asks the child to think about the positive or negative impact their words and actions have on those around them.)

  • Are you choosing to be positive?

  • Well done, you’ve done a random act of kindness.

  • Come on, can you show some resilience?

  • Well, done, you are really good at...


For further information:

  • Google Andy Cope (who founded ‘Art of Brilliance’ in 2004) or watch him on You Tube.

In June 2019 Uplands was awarded the Outstandingly happy and positive school award for their work on The Art of Brilliance.

Trick Box

Trick box is an emotional management and personal development programme for children in KS 1 and 2. It is simple, fun and more important very effective in helping children dealing with their emotions. Uplands starting using Trick Box in September of 2020 and can already see the benefits.


There are 4 trick box areas:

  • Confidence (yellow cards)

  • Communication (blue cards)

  • Calm (red cards)

  • Creativity (green cards)


Year 3 will teach 15 tricks across the year


Year 4 will teach 18 tricks across the year


Year 5 will teach 21 tricks across the year

Year 6 will teach 24 tricks across the year


Children build their repertoire of skills as they move through the school. The tricks work on a letter box coaching model which is designed to help children manage their own emotions-this is Accept (what’s going on and how do you feel about this?), Be (how can things be better), Choose (what can you choose to do?) and Do (Do it!)


The Trick Box techniques help children to:

  • Recognise and self-manage emotions

  • Develop mindful awareness and mind-body connection

  • Build awareness of body language signals

  • Create confident decision making

  • Set and achieve positive goals

  • Develop communication skills

  • Problem solve and create solution thinking

  • Create motivation and confidence to try new things in new ways

  • Create long term personal resilience


For further information take a look at the Trick Box website or contact school.

Art of Brilliance/Trick Box

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