‘Empathy day’ nets £900 school funding

Friday, 12th November 2021 — By Anna Lamche

Empathy day

Courtney Tulloch, Juliet Benis and deputy headteacher Sandeep McNichol with pupils at Ambler Primary School

A PRIMARY school raised £900 as part of an “empathy day”.

Ambler Primary School held the fundraiser last Friday, with children taking part in a sponsored exercise challenge led by British Commonwealth Games Champion gymnast Courtney Tulloch.

Sixty per cent of the money raised, or £540, will go towards funding an “empathy library” for the school while 40 per cent, or £360, will support emerging athletes.

The library will be stocked full of books promoting the theme of empathy.

In the wake of the pandemic, the school is re-centring its “DREAMS” learning philosophy – which now stands for Determination, Resilience, Empathy, Motivation And Self-belief – to highlight the importance of empathy.

Headteacher Juliet Benis said: “During the Covid period, when there was so much going on about everybody having a very different circumstance, a very different lockdown experience, all sorts of things came out for our families during that time.

“We wanted to think about how our children develop an understand­ing of other people’s lives and situations.”

She added: “This is the beginning of our launch and working towards that, so that the children really have a vocabulary and understanding of how to support other people’s situations.

“I think Covid made [the children] more aware of people’s differences and needs, and the idea of being able to label and talk about emotions and feelings.”

Mr Tulloch said: “Empathy is important because in sport and in life you have so many ups and downs and without people there to encourage you through those hard times and support you – I wouldn’t know where I’d be without that in my career.”

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