For the past two years, Beck has been working with Empathylab UK as a pioneer school. As a celebration of empathy learning this year, Beck took part in the first UK Empathy Day. We were joined by our Patron of Reading Alan Macdonald and author Cathy Cassidy.
The day began with workshops for KS1 ran by Alan and workshops for KS2 ran by Cathy. Children discussed what empathy meant and characters they felt showed exceptional empathy. KS1 children used emojis to discuss different emotions and KS2 children created random acts of kindness signs to stick around school.
Then came the Empathy Awards!
Alan then helped to host the Empathy Awards for Foundation Stage. Children had voted on their favourite characters from a range of stories. They are beginning to learn about empathy through their work on stories.
During the weeks before Empathy Day, KS1 and KS2 children had nominated three characters per year group and voted for the character that they felt showed the greatest empathy in voting booths on Election Day. This provided a seamless link to current affairs.
In the afternoon, KS1 and KS2 dressed smartly in their best clothes and went into the hall for the awards. Teachers came dressed as the nominated characters waiting to see if they had won. Children saw videos of the nominations with children explaining why they had been chosen. Cathy, Alan and teachers Amy and Lizzie hosted the awards and announced winners.
Alan also shared his new book, Dirty Bertie Disco, dedicated to two Beck pupils following a competition where children could share ideas of future books. Cathy shared a snippet from her new book, Love Lexie, with children. Both authors participated in a book signing after school.
It was a fantastic day and we can't wait to do it all again next year!