What is Compassion Matters?

Compassion Matters provides a basis for children to explore ethical ideas about compassion and learn skills to support their wellbeing. At the heart of the project, children explore ideas which are universal to all human beings such as; Where does happiness come from? How is failing part of learning? What is true courage? What is a just society? All of these ideas are inspired by the work of our organisation’s patron His Holiness the Dalai Lama and drawn from examples from philosophers and thinkers from a wide variety of faiths, traditions and backgrounds.

Children participating also engage with practices and learn skills to support their wellbeing such as emotional regulation, self awareness, responsible decision making and resilience.    

Through exploring and developing these ideas and skills, we believe that children have the opportunity to head into their future with compassion and kindness as the basis of their thoughts and actions. Children will develop the mindset and skills for managing the challenges in their present and future, while also gaining the ability to cherish and appreciate life’s gifts.  


Compassion Matters consists of a four-module course which covers the topics of Compassion, Courage, Happiness and Wisdom. The course explores different elements of compassion in a way that relates to our everyday lives. Each module includes an inspiring short film which tells the extraordinary story of an ordinary person. Each module also includes; 4/5 lesson plans, presentations, audio reflection and contemplation practices, worksheets and reading lists. Compassion Matters is free and web-based ensuring that schools, educators and children can benefit regardless of location, experience or financial means.


Our project is built on research from the by teams of researcher in the fields of ethics, psychology and education. A copy of our evidence base ‘Compassion and Wellbeing‘ can be downloaded here. Compassion Matters’ seeks to increase participants awareness and understanding while inspiring compassionate action.  

The project has been found to positively impacted on children’s social skills while helping to lessen negative behaviour by external researchers. Compassion Matters has been shown to enable children to develop deeper knowledge and skills in areas such as compassion for others, self-regulation and the ability to build and sustain positive relationships. 


Compassion Matters is designed to support relationship and health education guidance from the Department for Education covering respectful relationships, being safe and mental health. You can download further information about this here. Compassion Matters also helps schools to meet the new Ofsted inspect framework published September 2019 specifically sections related to personal development, behaviours and attitudes. Further details can found here.



A project from the Dalai Lama Centre for Compassion

33 St Giles, Oxford, OX1 3LD