Roots of Empathy

Our school is part of an international programmme called 'Roots of Empathy'.  The mission of the programme is to build caring, peaceful and civil societies through the development of empathy in children and adults. The programme was founded in 1996 in Canada by Mary Gordon.
Roots of Empathy is an evidence based classroom programme that has shown dramatic effect in reducing levels of aggression and violence among children while raising social emotional competence and increasing empathy.


The programme is implemented by trained instructors, delivering 27 lessons throughout the school year. Nine themes are covered and each theme is addressed over three classroom visits. A parent and baby join the instructor once a month for family visits where the students are engaged in observing the baby's needs and wants and how he / she communicates these needs to their parent. The students discuss feelings, emotions, temperament and developmental milestones. They reflect on their own feelings and focus on the feelings of others (empathy).


We have been running the programme for three years now at Tirimoana School. Our 'babies' have taught us so much - Thomas in 2007, Katie Elizabeth in 2008 and Bella in 2009.


During 2010 we have had three 'Roots of Empathy' babies. During 2010 our Year 4 Team has hosted the programme. Baby Max - Room 18, baby Nava - Room 17 and baby Thomas - Room 16.  Mrs Lindy Burton facilitated the programme.