More than 150 schools in Wales have signed up to be an RSPCA Compassionate Class.
The project which helps children to learn about animal welfare is being rolled out across England and Wales with the aim of reaching 3,000 schools a year within three years as part of the RSPCA’s groundbreaking programme Generation Kind.
Online resources will guide teachers on a variety of subjects from pets, farm animals and wildlife with interactive games and activities to encourage children to think and discuss their animal welfare needs.
Earlier this year, the RSPCA launched the pilot teaching resource for schools in Manchester to encourage children to learn about animal welfare. The aim is to inspire the next generation of compassionate individuals and prevent cruelty to animals in the future.
Following the huge success of the pilot project, the animal welfare charity is rolling the scheme out nationally and Key Stage 2 classes (7-11-years old) are being asked to sign up. So far around 150 schools in Wales have signed up.
The children will learn about animal heroes who work for the police, sniff out bombs or help their owners with disabilities. They also learn how litter can harm wild animals and the everyday things they can do to make life that little bit better for the animals around them.
David Allen, Head of Education and Prevention at the RSPCA said: “We’ve been overwhelmed by the number of schools who have signed up to our RSPCA Compassionate Class project – but there’s still time to get involved.
“Compassionate Class teaches children about the five animal welfare needs, the resources gets 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.
“This is why we are calling for animal welfare to become part of the curriculum in all primary and secondary schools.”
The resources are designed to fit into the national curriculum covering the PSHE in England and PSE in Wales curriculum plus they support Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural education (SMSC) and other core subjects.
The hope is that Compassionate Class will reach 160,000 children per year with an aim to reach 1.6 million children by 2030.
Each class will also have the opportunity to showcase what they have learnt by entering a competition to win the title of ‘The Most Compassionate Class of 2019’. Plus there are a number of visits to RSPCA animal centres to be won so the children can see the RSPCA in action and the animals they care for.
Compassionate Class is part of a new Generation Kind programme – nine projects – which will see the RSPCA working with young people teaching them to treat animals with kindness, empathy and respect through education.
This comes as the RSPCA revealed nearly a quarter of schoolchildren aged 10-18 have witnessed animal cruelty and neglect on social media.* To support the RSPCA’s Generation Kind campaign to have animal welfare taught in all schools visit our website to sign the petition.
For more information, or to sign-up your school before October 31, visit www.rspca.org.uk/compassionateclass