Fifth National Empathy Day celebrated at academy
16 June 2021
Moorlands Church of England Primary Academy, run by the Diocese of Norwich Education and Academies Trust (DNEAT) took part in the fifth national Empathy Day.
The school based in Belton, Great Yarmouth, wrote 250 Empathy Resolutions and took part in a host of live online sessions with authors and illustrators including Michael Rosen, Malorie Blackman, Kwame Alexander and the current Children’s Laureate, Cressida Cowell.
Empathy Day has a mission to inspire the rising generation and to drive a new empathy movement. Founded in 2017, Empathy Day aims to help everyone understand and experience the transformational power of empathy through stories.
Children in Key Stage 2 at Moorlands have recently been learning about the life of Stephen Lawrence, who was a keen runner and raised a lot of money for charities. One of the school children came up with the idea of having a fun run to show empathy with Stephen and his family, as well as raise some money for the Stephen Lawrence Day Foundation.
Headteacher, Kevin Lee, said: “Research shows that empathy can be developed by reading books, so it ties into our whole school reading culture.”
Jon Biddle, class teacher and reading champion at Moorlands Church of England Primary Academy said: “Moorlands has been working with Empathy Lab for the past five years, being one of their original 12 pioneer schools.
“We’ve worked across the curriculum to embed empathy in everything that we do, as we believe that it’s a vital skill for children to learn. If a pupil can empathise with somebody else, they can begin to act based around their understanding of how it feels to see something through different eyes. Research indicates that reading for pleasure leads to improved empathy, which in turn leads to social action, which is one of the reasons that it is at the heart of everything we do.”
Oliver Burwood, CEO of Diocese of Norwich Education and Academies Trust (DNEAT) said: “Moorlands CE Primary Academy has developed a strong culture of reading and its pupils are flourishing because of this. Empathy day is another example of where pupils use reading as a powerful tool to learn about other subjects, people and places.
“We have supported other academies in our Trust to come and see what Moorlands do with reading, to ensure that all children within DNEAT get the very best start in this vital building block of learning. We are proud that Moorlands this year have used empathy day fund raising to support such an excellent cause as the Stephen Lawrence Foundation.”