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“How I Feel About My School” (HIFAMS) questionnaire


What is HIFAMS?

The HIFAMS questionnaire has been designed to measure the happiness and subjective well-being of children in school. The questionnaire is composed of seven questions which asks children how they feel about school life. The questionnaire is a copyrighted document that may not be modified in any way. However we are happy to provide it free of charge to schools, researchers and practitioners, on the condition that the schools or children who are completing it are not incurring any charge through its completion and that the wording of the questionnaire is not altered in any way.

How to score HIFAMS

The HIFAMS questionnaire consists of 7 questions which are scored using a three-point likert “face” scale.

This face scale consists of three emoticons:

Happy (Yellow smiley face) Sentiment: Positive Value: 2
OK (Green face with straight mouth) Sentiment: Neutral value: 1
Sad (Blue sad face) Sentiment: Negative Value: 0

The questionnaire will be scored by adding up all the values from each question. 

In a sample of 254 children aged four to eight years old from Devon, HIFAMS scores ranged from 0-14, with a median of 11 and an interquartile range of 10-13. There was little difference in scoring between boys and girls or between the scoring of children from the three schools who worked with us. We are currently gathering a larger sample from 80 schools to develop a reference population and the results of these will be made available in due course.

You can download the HIFAMS excel scoring sheet which will score the HIFAMS questionnaire for you. As we are building a large reference population we would be very grateful if you could send us your anonymised data and a little information about your context such as the type of school or clinic that you work in. 

The HIFAMS questionnaire has been designed for use with children aged between 4 and 11 years old. For use in different Key Stage classes, please see completion of the HIFAMS measure. When delivering the HIFAMS we have developed a script to use in the explanation and delivery of the questionnaire. Please see our example script

Below are the versions of HIFAMS that are currently available: