Empathy Week

From Empathy Week

Resource type: Event

Price band: Free

Key stage: KS1, KS2, KS3, KS4, KS5, EYFS

Region(s): All of UK

Empathy Week is a global whole-school programme that uses the power of film to help students understand empathy and develop key empathy skills.

Empathy Week 2022 takes place in February, although the resources can be used to run an Empathy Week at any time of the year. Details for Empathy Week 2023 to be announced.

The Empathy Week programme is divided into three stages to allow schools to implement it in the way that best suits their timetable. Each stage is supported by teaching resources created with experienced teachers and empathy experts. The resources are differentiated into five age categories from 5-18 years to enable all students to access social concepts at the appropriate cognitive level.

  • Stage 1: Discovering Empathy – Watch the films that tell the stories of five inspiring individuals and use the structured reflection and discussion prompts to explore the themes and students’ responses.
  • Stage 2: Building Empathy – Use the supporting teaching resources to help students develop six key empathy skills.
  • Stage 3: Empathy+ – Students can put their empathy skills into practice by taking part in a social action plan as a class, a group or individually. Schools can also submit their best Empathy Action Projects to the Global Empathy Awards.

Cost: Free for all government funded schools. For independent schools, packages start at £600.

About Empathy Week: Empathy Week was set up in 2020 by former teacher and filmmaker, Ed Kirwan, with the aim of providing students with the opportunity to develop the emotional skills required to make them successful global citizens in an ever-changing and increasingly connected world.

Further resources:

  • Schools can post their students’ work on the Empathy Wall and see work by students from around the world.
  • Download free assemblies for all ages to introduce the skill of empathy as well as some sample films and teaching resources.
  • Empathy Day in June is a day dedicated to celebrating the importance of empathy and the vital role that books and reading play in helping young people develop key empathy skills.
  • The annual Read for Empathy Collections feature books that encourage young readers to see the world through other people’s eyes.
  • Empathy Lab offers CPD training packages to help primary and secondary schools develop and embed an empathy strategy.
  • Other events in the literacy calendar that provide an opportunity to explore empathy further include World Kindness Day, Anti-Bullying Week, Children’s Mental Health Week and Refugee Week.

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