In January 2019, Compassion Matters partnered with two schools in Stoke on Trent; The Sun Academy and The Star Academy both part of the Action Academy Trust. The schools approached Compassion Matters, having struggled to find high-quality materials to use to support PSHE and personal development lessons and a desire to develop a renewed focus on children’s well-being. Both schools serve communities facing significant challenges in terms of engagement with education and economic opportunities with both schools having over the national average number of children in receipt of free schools meals in their cohorts.
During our initial consultation with the schools, the teachers indicated significant challenges with the children’s social cohesion in and outside of the classroom leading to a problematic learning environment and confrontations between children often escalating to parents becoming involved. The schools wished to see children develop greater empathy, emotional regulation and social awareness during the project.
We worked with the two schools to support the running of our curriculum with 120 children during the spring term. Children explored our compassion module, which explores concepts such as empathy, the consequences of compassion and compassionate action. The lessons explore a deeper understanding of what compassion is, our emotional reactions and support children to see effective models for compassionate action. We worked together with the school to focus on compassionate action using recognition and reflection tools, such as wall charts and journals, developed in partnership with the schools year six teachers.