Overall Winners - Most Compassionate Class 2019
Ysgol Gymraed Coed y Gof, Cardiff
"We have created a film based on what rules we would put in place if we ruled the world. We have considered the different environments that we studied during the project and how our rules would impact on them. The children have done the animation work; drawing, animating and moving the figures."
Cawthorne Primary School, Barnsley
"We are a small (150 on roll) semi-rural primary school situated west of Barnsley. Our School Council (representatives of the whole school community) initiated the project alongside two members of staff. The discovery tasks were carried out in Class 5 and then followed up by members of the School Council. Groups went on to carry out the Advocacy tasks. These were completely child-driven and only monitored by staff before submitting the final entry. The children took the Compassionate Class Competition seriously and felt empowered by the independence and scope the tasks offered. It has really made a difference to children's work ethic, group collaboration as well as the valuable work undertaken by the RSPCA."
St John's Catholic Junior School, Merseyside
"We decided to focus upon the Britain's best farmer Advocacy task as we were due to visit Church Farm, a farm in Thurstaston.
Before our visit, we spent some time learning about the welfare of farm animals, focusing particularly on pigs and hens. The children found out all of the information using RSPCA websites and some additional research. They also came up with some questions for the farmers and decided on what they wanted to look for whilst at the farm.
The children loved the trip, asking the farmers lots of questions and listening carefully to the answers. They also enjoyed inspecting the grounds and discussing with others what they thought of the environment.
When we got back to school, we spent some time considering whether Church Farm was a good environment for the farm animals and whether Church Farm cared about the welfare of the animals. The children decided that they believed Church Farm did care about the welfare of the animals.
I asked the children to imagine we were going to run a 'Farmer of the Year' competition. The children thought about this and decided they would be happy for Church Farm to win.
I then showed the children some pictures from a farm we named 'Mystery Farm', where the hens were caged and the pigs kept in small pens. The children were shocked and couldn't believe that animals we forced to live in this way.
We decided to award 'Mystery Farm' the Wooden Spoon, meaning they came last in the competition.
The children then worked hard in groups on small parts of what would become a large poster to display in school. Some children chose to write a letter to either Church Farm or Mystery Farm, explaining why they had won/lost the competition. Others chose to label the images taken at Church Farm or the ones used for Mystery Farm, explaining the good/bad things about each image.
As you can see, there is a range of handwriting on our poster - all of the children contributed in some way and loved working on a whole class/year group project. It was lovely to see the children passionate about a topic they knew very little about before we started. I have attached some photographs and a video which show our poster in full and also shows some close ups of it.
The poster is now on display in our school for the other children in different year groups to learn from.
Heygarth Primary School, Wirral
"Our children have thoroughly enjoyed learning more about animal welfare.
We are entering posters the children have made relating to Adopt
a Human and Job for a top dog. We have watched a lot of related videos on the RSPCA website. Children have actively been talking to their parents about what they have been learning and doing additional research about animal welfare in their own time.
Overall this wonderful programme has had a very positive impact on our class. We arranged for a therapy dog to join our class and they were all able to discuss Poppy's role after their RSPCA work! Poppy's handler was extremely impressed with their compassion and knowledge. We have also linked our work to the compassion of humans during our PSHE lessons."
Tweedmouth Community Middle School, Northumberland
"After completing discovery activities 1 and 2, the pupils wrote balanced arguments about selective breeding, created lonely hearts adverts for dogs
looking for the perfect owner, made non-chronological texts instructing how to care for a pet and designed comic strips telling the story of an unwanted pet looking for the perfect owner. As a class, who are exceptionally good with dogs (my dogs come into lessons on a regular basis and do after school dog clubs with our pupils) we decided to put our comic strip ideas into a video - based on ones we had watched on adverts and online.
Two of our school dogs came in to help us with photos and videos to highlight the 5 animal freedoms. My pupils made a list of all the things we had to do for our dogs on a daily basis to keep them happy and healthy in school and at home and acted these things out with the dogs (Bertie and Snoggi). These images and videos were made into a slideshow to tell the story of how Bertie and Snoggi were abandoned by their owners but were lucky enough to be adopted by a fantastic group of children who showed compassion and provided them with everything they needed to be happy and healthy. The two boys, who introduce the video, wrote the subtitles telling the story.
My class didn't just learn about how to be compassionate towards animals and other people, they now demonstrate it on a daily basis: getting the water bowl ready when they realise the dogs are in the
classroom, taking the dogs out for toilet breaks throughout the day and rewarding them for good behaviour with healthy treats, making sure there is nothing on the floor that the dogs can choke on, not swinging on chairs in case they land on the dogs' toes, keeping our doors shut so the dogs can't escape, being respectful of everyone's personal space and interacting gently with the dogs, working quietly so the dogs can sleep and making toys and games for the dogs to play with so they don't get bored.
My dogs are lucky to have such wonderful friends looking after them and the benefits that the dogs have on our pupils' wellbeing in our school is phenomenal."
Holy Trinity CE Primary School, Burnley
"Year 4 are a compassionate class because, during Lent, they have been raising money for the RSPCA. They have been busy making and selling roses, playing 'guess the name of the doggy', making posters and also making a video with their own lyrics.
As part of our persuasive writing in English we wrote persuasive letters to local companies and even the Queen! We explained what we were doing and why and how the money would benefit all animals. We persuaded people to donate or match fund us.
In ICT we made posters and stuck them around school and in local businesses. Parents got behind us and let us put collection pots on the shop counters where they worked.
In addition, we have also been 'Tweeting' to raise awareness and generate more donations. We have been so successful that we even made the local paper!
Year 4 have put their heart and soul into making a positive difference to all the animals the RSPCA cares for."