Resource type: Projects and programmes
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. This year, Empathy Week runs from 27th February 2023 with a theme of ‘Opportunity and Education’.
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 an Empathy Action Project 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.
- Registered schools will have access to a programme of online events and workshops for pupils, teachers and parents.
- Read the pilot study report conducted by the University of Cambridge on the impact of the Empathy Week Programme.
- Put empathy into action by running a Readathon sponsored read that will raise money to provide books and storytelling events for seriously ill children in hospital while also promoting reading for pleasure.
- 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.