Empathy Day

Throughout the week, we have focused on developing empathy, culminating in a special event on Thursday known as Empathy Day. In our English lessons, we explored the book “I Am Nefertiti” and engaged with various questions, such as whether any of the characters inspired us and what words we would use to describe the characters’ emotions. The children excelled in understanding and empathising with the different characters, effectively putting themselves in their shoes.

In PSHE, the children created obstacle courses for their friends. Using their empathy skills, they then guided their friends across the course while their friends had their eyes closed. To successfully lead their friends, the children had to put themselves in the other person’s shoes, understanding how it felt to navigate without sight and providing the necessary support and guidance. This exercise was a practical application of empathy, reinforcing their ability to understand and respond to others’ perspectives and experiences.

In addition, our maths lessons were closely linked to our PSHE activities. We focused on concepts related to position and direction, such as half turns, three-quarter turns, clockwise and anti-clockwise movements, as well as left and right orientations. This practical application of mathematical terms in real-life scenarios helped the children better understand these concepts. We also continued to work on multiplication, further enhancing their maths skills through engaging and interactive activities.

This week in R.E., the Year 1 children have started learning about the Jewish festival of Hanukkah. To start this topic, Teddy shared a different kind of celebration with us—his birthday! He brought in a card and a present that he received. The children then engaged in some belly writing to explore additional ways to celebrate his birthday. They came up with lovely ideas, such as bouncy castles, discos, birthday cake, and singing the birthday song.

For our Year 2 children, we used our detective skills. Teddy returned to the classroom with a packed bag. Inside the bag were a birthday card, a present, a boarding pass, and some money. The children then did belly writing to record their ideas about where they thought Teddy was going, how he was getting there, and why. This first lesson of our topic sets the scene for exploring why many Muslims travel to Mecca to participate in the special pilgrimage called ‘Hajj’.

Belly writing, where children write while lying on their stomachs, offers several developmental benefits. It promotes core strength, enhances wrist stability, builds hand strength, and reinforces the correct tripod grasp, all of which contribute to better posture, fine motor skills, and proper pencil handling. Additionally, it increases focus by minimising fidgeting, supporting the development of neat and effective handwriting. The children also had great fun- try belly writing at home!

 However, the highlight of the week was our Learning Together morning. The children truly enjoyed the rich, empathy-filled conversations they had with the adults who joined us. These discussions provided a meaningful opportunity for students to practice and deepen their empathetic understanding in a supportive environment. I am confident that they will continue to benefit from their “empathy glasses,” seeing the world from others’ perspectives.

A heartfelt thank you to everyone who came—it was wonderful to see so many familiar faces. Your participation made the event very special. Have a restful weekend. The Beech team