Teacher babies honoured for helping Northampton primary school pupils learn empathy

Founded in 1996, the programme has reached over 800,000 children internationally and 63,000 children in the UK.
Founded in 1996, the programme has reached over 800,000 children internationally and 63,000 children in the UK.

They’re just about to have their first birthdays, but a group of seven babies are being celebrated for their contribution to teaching in Northampton over the last school year.

Seven babies have been honoured at the Roots of Empathy Northampton Baby Celebration hosted at the University of Northampton as the programme celebrates its first year in the town.

Six year 4 pupils from Boothville visited the University of Northampton to celebrate the end of its first year in Northampton.

Six year 4 pupils from Boothville visited the University of Northampton to celebrate the end of its first year in Northampton.

With their parents, the babies have been teaching children in classrooms lessons about expressing feelings, respect, inclusion, Infant development and safety, and the power of a loving bond between parent and child.

Katie Cohen, UK manager Roots of Empathy said: "How it works is there are 27 sessions, nine themes but of those 27 sessions nine of those are with the families so there is a pre and post session to each theme.

"One theme is communication so the whole programme is about helping children to think about their emotions and develop their literacy and their ability to talk about their emotions."

The programme has been delivered in Boothville, Upton Meadows and Castle Academy primary schools and has been supported by the Education Psychology Service, The Police and The University of Northampton.

Roots Of Empathy was started in Canada over 20 years ago.

Roots Of Empathy was started in Canada over 20 years ago.

Roots of Empathy is an evidence-based classroom programme that reduces levels of aggression among schoolchildren while raising social and emotional competence and increasing empathy.

"We are really pleased that the whole community has pulled together to make this programme happen in schools, it's great to have that backing," she added.

Roots Of Empathy was started in Canada over 20 years ago and in 2016 it was registered as a UK charity to enable more children across the UK to benefit from the programme.

But now there are currently seven classrooms involving approximately 175 students in the town participating in Roots of Empathy programmes.

There are currently seven classrooms involving approximately 175 students in Northampton participating in Roots of Empathy programmes.

There are currently seven classrooms involving approximately 175 students in Northampton participating in Roots of Empathy programmes.

The heart of the programme is a local baby and parent, who visit the classroom with a certified instructor nine times over the school year.

The instructor coaches the students to observe the baby’s development, celebrate milestones, interact with the baby and learn about an infant’s needs and unique temperament.

The Instructor also visits before and after each “Family Visit” to prepare and reinforce teachings, using a specialised curriculum.

The Baby Celebration was also a chance to recognise the many people who contributed to the success of Roots of Empathy in our community.

Roots of Empathy is a registered charity and non-profit organisation with award-winning national and international programmes.

Founded in 1996, the programme has reached over 800,000 children internationally and 63,000 children in the UK.

Roots Of Empathy is pleased that Northampton children are in this number and will be expanding the programme to more schools locally in 2017.