'Baby' pupil causes a stir at Tonagh PS

TONAGH Primary School is to get its youngest ever 'pupil' as it launches a new programme called 'Roots of Empathy'.

This programme teaches children about their own feelings and the feelings of others and once every three weeks baby Conor and his mum Helen visit the classroom where trained Roots of Empathy instructor, Lynda Tavakoli, gathers the children around a green blanket and together they watch Conor grow and develop.

The programme began a few weeks ago and the pupils from Mrs Childs' P5 class are already full of excitement at the prospect of watching their baby develop over the coming year.

Mrs Stevenson, acting Principal of the school, is delighted at the children's response. "I am absolutely delighted with how the Roots of Empathy Programme has already enthused staff and children alike. This is a very exciting project and I am delighted that Tonagh Primary School is pioneering it."

The Roots of Empathy programme originated in Canada ten years ago but is now an internationally renowned scheme where thousands of children have learned both self and mutual respect.

Mrs Tavakoli said: "Any scepticism I may have had regarding 'Roots of Empathy' dissipated as soon as the children met three month old Conor for the first time.

"The look of pure excitement and pride on their faces was priceless and I have no doubts whatsoever that, at the end of the programme they will have understood the true meaning of 'empathy' and put it into practice."