Schools wanted for RSPCA Compassionate Class competition

Do you have a class full of animal lovers who want to make a difference in the animal welfare world?

North east primary school pupils win national Safety Seymour carbon monoxide competition. Beymour Sickly and Gary the Gas Fire were chosen from more than 500 entries.

The RSPCA has launched its Compassionate Class competition for 2020 - which is an innovative programme that encourages children to develop compassion and empathy through the lens of animal welfare.

This year’s entrants will follow in the footsteps of the Year 3 class at Ysgol Gymraeg Coed y Gof who were recognised as 2019’s ‘Most Compassionate Class’ across England and Wales.

Last year around 700 schools took part with the Cardiff school impressing judges with their Welsh-language animation, which incorporated into a short production a number of key animal welfare messages.

Compassionate Class takes an interactive, discussion-based approach to develop emotional literacy and consider the welfare needs of animals. These PSHE Association accredited resources are designed to provide an exciting learning experience as well as supporting schools in the delivery of spiritual, moral, social and cultural education (SMSC) for 7 - 11 year olds.

Through a series of enquiry-led activities, children will consider what it means to be compassionate, understand the needs of different types of animals, and work collaboratively to develop empathy skills for their school lives and beyond.

The programme - which is now open and closes on 23 March - finishes with the chance to enter the Most Compassionate Class awards.

Dave Allen, Head of Prevention and Education at the RSPCA, said: “We are very much looking forward to this year’s Compassionate Class which is about developing compassion and empathy through the lens of animal welfare and the programme encourages children to think about the needs of animals and help them to realise that animals have feelings and are sentient.

“The activities teach children about the five animal welfare needs, while the resources get them talking and debating about the importance of animals and creates an awareness of how we should respect them and each other. In turn, we hope this will help to create a kinder society in the future.

“We were just blown away with Ysgol Gymraeg Coed y Gof last year and we can’t wait to see what participating schools come up with this year.”

Ysgol Gymraeg Coed y Gof’s animated video featured the rules people need to follow to keep animals safe and healthy in a whole series of environments.

Year 3 teacher Nia Norman at Ysgol Gymraeg Coed y Gof, said: “We felt taking part in Compassionate Class would be a great opportunity for the children to build compassion towards animals and hopefully each other as a result. The children loved learning about animals, their habitats and their needs. They were all very passionate about protecting animals’ environments and what we as individuals can do to help preserve them.

“I’m super proud of the children, they worked so hard. We were thrilled to hear that we had won. We didn’t really enter the competition with a view to winning but to be able to complete the project with the children so that they would have an end product for which they would be really proud.

“The children were so excited when they found out we’d won. We hope that they will always remember that they are national winners although of course they’re winners for us every day!”

For more information, or to sign-up your school, visit www.rspca.org.uk/compassionateclass

To help the RSPCA continue rescuing, rehabilitating and rehoming animals in desperate need of care please visit our website.

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