Tiny teachers take control

Primary school reading out their future wishes for the babies during the Baby Celebration event held in the Borough Hall. Picture by FRANK REID
Primary school reading out their future wishes for the babies during the Baby Celebration event held in the Borough Hall. Picture by FRANK REID

Tiny teachers have been thanked for the part they have played in helping them keep calm and collected.

More than 200 primary pupils from across Hartlepool gathered at Borough Hall to show their appreciation to the seven tots who have worked with them at a baby celebration held by Action for Children.

Mum Stephanie and Cara Dent sitting amongst primary school pupils at the Baby Celebration event held in the Borough Hall. Picture by FRANK REID

Mum Stephanie and Cara Dent sitting amongst primary school pupils at the Baby Celebration event held in the Borough Hall. Picture by FRANK REID

The event marked the end of the school year for Roots of Empathy, an innovative programme that encourages children to interact in a nurturing manner by bringing a baby – known as a Tiny Teacher - and parent into the classroom.

It is also an anti-bullying programme which teaches children to be kind. There are seven of the programmes run in Hartlepool, and a further 37 across the region.

Pupils from schools including Stranton and Brougham primaries thanked their tiny teachers by writing wishes for their futures and hanging them on a special tree at the celebration.

John Egan, Action for Children’s operational director of children’s services, said: “The celebration gave pupils and teachers, the perfect opportunity to thank our wonderful Tiny Teachers. Roots of Empathy helps schoolchildren to better understand their own feelings and the feelings of others.
 “We have delivered the programme to seven schools across Hartlepool, and we simply could not have done it without our Tiny Teachers – and their parents.”

I would like to take this opportunity to thank all of the babies, mums and dads involved for making the first year of Roots of Empathy such a huge success.

John Egan

As part of the Roots of Empathy curriculum, a baby and parent visit the class nine times throughout the school year.

A trained instructor guides pupils in labelling the baby’s emotions, raising levels of empathy among classmates and resulting in a dramatic reduction in levels of aggression among schoolchildren.

Action for Children’s project is supported by the Big Lottery Fund.

Tamara Trethowan with her daughter Lucy at the Baby Celebration event held in the Borough Hall. Picture by FRANK REID

Tamara Trethowan with her daughter Lucy at the Baby Celebration event held in the Borough Hall. Picture by FRANK REID

Sarah and Sophie Corkin at the Baby Celebration event held in the Borough Hall. Picture by FRANK REID

Sarah and Sophie Corkin at the Baby Celebration event held in the Borough Hall. Picture by FRANK REID

Parents and children pose for a historic picture with a selection of pupils from the different primary schools who attended the Baby Celebration event held in the Borough Hall. Picture by FRANK REID

Parents and children pose for a historic picture with a selection of pupils from the different primary schools who attended the Baby Celebration event held in the Borough Hall. Picture by FRANK REID

Lucy and Jacob Sedgwick at the Baby Celebration event held in the Borough Hall. Picture by FRANK REID

Lucy and Jacob Sedgwick at the Baby Celebration event held in the Borough Hall. Picture by FRANK REID

Jacob Sedgwick at the Baby Celebration event held in the Borough Hall. Picture by FRANK REID

Jacob Sedgwick at the Baby Celebration event held in the Borough Hall. Picture by FRANK REID

Mum Melanie with Seth Draper on the playmate during the Baby Celebration event held in the Borough Hall. Picture by FRANK REID

Mum Melanie with Seth Draper on the playmate during the Baby Celebration event held in the Borough Hall. Picture by FRANK REID

Seth Draper on the playmate during the Baby Celebration event held in the Borough Hall. Picture by FRANK REID

Seth Draper on the playmate during the Baby Celebration event held in the Borough Hall. Picture by FRANK REID

Sarah and Sophie Corkin at the Baby Celebration event held in the Borough Hall. Picture by FRANK REID

Sarah and Sophie Corkin at the Baby Celebration event held in the Borough Hall. Picture by FRANK REID

Isla Carchrie having fun at the Baby Celebration event held in the Borough Hall. Picture by FRANK REID

Isla Carchrie having fun at the Baby Celebration event held in the Borough Hall. Picture by FRANK REID