Roots of Empathy

5th class have recently started the Roots of Empathy programme. Roots of Empathy is an evidence-based programme delivered in primary classrooms which has shown significant effect in reducing levels of aggression among school children by raising social-emotional competence and increasing empathy.

At the heart of the programme is a baby and parent (Martha and Éabha) who visit the classroom every month during the school year. Ms Butler trained to be a Roots of Empathy instructor and she delivers the programme and coaches the children to observe the baby’s development and to label the baby’s feelings. The baby is the ‘teacher’ in this experiential learning, while the instructor helps the children identify and reflect on their own feelings and the feelings of others. 

Ms Butler also visits before and after each family visit to prepare and reinforce the values we are learning about.

The children in 5th class are really enjoying the programme so far and learning something new from our tiny teacher every time she visits. There are 9 family visits throughout the school year. I think it is safe to say this is the highlight of the programme for everyone involved.