Roots of Empathy

Rosneath Roots of Empathy 1This session, 21 pupils from Primary 2/3 have been involved in an exciting new initiative called Roots of Empathy. Throughout the year there have been weekly visits from the instructor Jane McLean, School Nurse and every two weeks a visit from a mother and baby, Kathy and Hamish.

Roots of Empathy is an innovative program teaching pupils valuable lessons while fostering a more nurturing and caring environment in the classroom.

Rosneath Roots of Empathy 2What is remarkable is our pupils have been taught by a baby. As Mary Gordon the founder of Roots Empathy stated ‘Emotions are the first language of a child and a universal language’. As the programmes mission is to “build caring, peaceful, and civil societies through the development of empathy in children and adults”, we have seen the impact of this through the reduction in aggression and anger in our pupils, whilst raising emotional competence and increasing empathy.

The curriculum includes 9 themes are have been planned and delivered over 27 classroom visits. Lessons have been taught through literature, artwork, discussion and writing. It is also our writing whereby we have seen a great progress.

Through our teacher, Hamish and the toy baby we use when Hamish is not visiting, we can visibly see our pupils recognise the humanity of the baby and they respond accordingly, translating into how they respond to one another. It has been the emotional atmosphere of the classroom that has changed.

Pupils see how intrinsic a mother’s love is for their baby and they are immediately draw to that love and nurture and mirror that kindness and fondness to Hamish, which has been amazing to experience.

Overall, this partnership program has been an overwhelming success. This is thanks to Ms McLean, Mrs Watson and Mrs Thomson, Mum, our children in Primary 2/3 and of course our teacher Hamish!

3 thoughts on “Roots of Empathy

  1. Hi – I have been thinking about Roots of Empathy. It looks great. How did you get in touch with your instructor? I wonder if anyone would come over to Islay to implement this!

    Helen Gilbert (AHT, Bowmore Primary)

  2. That sounds a lovely programme. Perhaps it is something which all primary schools in ABC should be considering? Thank you for sharing with us!

  3. Hi Helen,

    I contacted the Early Years Team and our school nurses.
    Emma McDermid (HT)

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