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The Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA) is launching an innovative new education programme that encourages children aged 7-11 years old to develop compassion and empathy through the lens of animal welfare.
Designed to help schools promote SMSC and deliver PSHE/PSE at KS2, Compassionate Class takes an interactive, discussion-based approach to develop emotional literacy by considering the needs of animals.
Through a series of enquiry-led, curriculum-linked activities, children will consider what it means to be compassionate, understand the needs of different types of animals, and work collaboratively to develop empathy skills for their school lives and beyond.
Developed in conjunction with teachers and successfully piloted in Spring 2018, there are a selection of flexible classroom activities to choose from which can be delivered across four to five hours of lesson time. These culminate in the pupils developing a creative output to enter into the competition to find 2019’s Compassionate Class.
As winners of the Compassionate Class pilot, a Year 4 class from St Alphonsus Roman Catholic Primary School, Manchester got the chance to go on a trip to the Stapeley Grange animal wildlife centre. Their winning entry consisted of a play written and performed by the class.
Entitled ‘Take Me Home’, the Blind Date-style TV show involved ‘Patricia the Pug’ looking for the perfect owner who could suit her welfare needs.
“We are delighted to be rolling this scheme out nationally and hope that as many schools as possible sign up to become compassionate classes,” says David Allen, RSPCA Head of Education.
“Compassionate Class teaches children about the five animal welfare needs. The resources get them talking and debating about the importance of animals and creates an awareness of how we should respect animals, as well as each other. In turn, we hope this will help to create a kinder society in the future.”
The 2018/19 Compassionate Class programme starts this September and resources are available now to primary school teachers in England and Wales who have registered to join the programme at: rspca.org.uk/ccprimary.
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