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St. Therese of Lisieux Primary School, Belfast

Roots Of Empathy

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

St Therese of Lisieux Primary School has been a Roots of Empathy School for since 2017. P5 classes take part in Roots of Empathy as part of their PDMU.

What is Roots of Empathy (ROE)

Roots of Empathy (ROE) was created on 1996 by Mary Gordan. It is an international, evidence-based classroom program that has shown significant effect in reducing levels of aggression among school children while raising social/emotional competence and increasing empathy.

At the heart of the program is a parent and a baby from our school community who visits the ROE classroom 9 times over the school year. When the baby visits, we use a large green blanket as the baby's safe space. The children sit around the side of the blanket and observe the baby. The Roots of Empathy Instructors, Mrs Black and Ms Scannell coach the students in the class to observe the baby's development and to label the baby's feelings and intentions. In this experimental learning, the baby is the "teacher" and a lever that the teacher uses to help children identify and reflect on their own feelings and the feelings of others. Children in Roots of Empathy classrooms;

• Develop executive functioning skills
• Develop emotional literacy
• Develop emotional regulation
• Develop resilience
• Learn to form consensus contributing to a culture of caring in the classroom.

Mrs Black and Ms Scannell visit the class before and after each family visit to help prepare and reinforce teaching using a specialised lesson plan. They focus on nine themes throughout the year:


Theme 1: Meeting the Baby
Theme 2: Crying
Theme 3: Caring and Planning for Baby
Theme 4: Emotions
Theme 5: Sleep
Theme 6: Safety
Theme 7: Communicating
Theme 8: Who Am I?
Theme 9: Goodbye and Good Wishes