About This stage
Empathy – the ability to understand and respect other people’s perspectives and circumstances – is an important life skill we all need to help us foster positive relationships. Nurturing this skill in children and young people can help contribute towards respectful cultures where bullying cannot thrive.
The starting point for building empathy can often be in helping children and young people to take another perspective, and learn to ‘walk in another person’s shoes’.
But deliberate attention on cultivating more empathetic cultures through conversations with young people, and education and learning, can not only equip them with a key skill they need for life, but help promote the idea that young people can choose to act in a respectful way and help contribute to positive environments in their schools and youth groups where young people can live free from bullying.
By building empathy, we can help young people understand that while we can’t always control other people’s behaviour, by having a level of understanding around how our own behaviour can impact on others, we are better placed to take responsibility for our behaviour and to have more positive relationships.
Through nurturing respect and compassion for others, this can develop into more caring behaviours and more trusting and positive relationships. This is key to preventative anti-bullying strategies.
Much of the work already happening in schools is supporting the development of empathy, particularly restorative approaches which can support children and young people to improve their ability to listen to each other, reflect on the impact of their behaviour on others and develop more caring attitudes.
How to use these education and learning resources to improve practice
These resources are designed to help you spark conversation and inspire action among children and young people in your setting.
It’s recommended that all four stages of the #ChooseRespect campaign are completed. The first and second stages of the campaign have covered the importance of self-reflection and celebrating difference.
This campaign is designed to be delivered within a whole-setting approach to anti-bullying. For more information on the many ways to prevent and respond to bullying, visit www.respectme.org.uk.
Making the link to curriculum for excellence
The campaign resources support delivery of many of the Health and Wellbeing Experiences and Outcomes within Curriculum for Excellence. More detail about this is contained within each resource.
They will also support the self-evaluation process outlined in the How Good Is Our School framework, particularly around Quality Indicator 3.1: Ensuring wellbeing, equality and inclusion.
Here are some questions that might help you think about the practice in your setting, and how the #ChooseRespect campaign can help contribute to improvement
To what extent do children and young people understand the concept of empathy?
What daily practices do we have in place to help children and young people to develop empathy for others?
How can we continue to build an environment where all children and young people are empathetic towards understanding others and their needs?
Have you visited our campaign supporter stories section? Take a look at how #ChooseRespect has been making a difference across Scotland and get in touch with us to feature your own story!
We will soon be on the final leg of the #ChooseRespect campaign – and it’s a great to time to start reflecting on the difference the campaign is making in your setting. What have been your biggest achievements? Have there been barriers along the way? What might you do differently next time? We would love to hear your feedback.
How familiar are you and your colleagues with the national policy context in Scotland around anti-bullying? Key Scottish Government documents include Respect For All: national approach to anti-bullying for Scotland’s children and young people and Recording and monitoring of bullying incidents in schools: supplementary guidance
Here are some links to more resources that may helpful to use in your setting to help explore the theme of building empathy.
Note these resources have not been developed by respectme and we are not responsible for their content.
Spread the Word
Help spread the work and get the whole of Scotland to #ChooseRespect
Show your support on social media using #ChooseRespect
Share your #ChooseResect stories and images with us on social media or by email
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