Whilst it’s nice to celebrate kindness on a specific day or week, the notion of being kind shouldn’t be for a day, but a constant theme. Creating a culture of kindness in schools can provide a basis for a caring classroom and benefit the whole school community. It reduces bullying and disruptive behaviour and helps to increase social and emotional wellbeing.
The teaching of kindness can be integrated into your classroom with simple strategies. We’ve gathered a few of our favourite ideas to help you promote kindness in your school.
Kindness is best taught by modelling. Your class are more likely to behave with kindness if they see it shown all around them. The teachers can lead the way by using a positive tone of voice and demonstrating how to speak kindly to one another. Compliment your class like crazy for anything and everything you can. Awesome ideas, interesting word choices or fab friendship skills, acknowledging and commenting on small things will set the tone for your school.
Using visual cues to let your pupils know that you value kind conduct is very effective. Hang posters that show kind, helpful behaviour or designate a display board to kindness in the school hallway.
Set up a ‘kind station’ in school with pencils, paper and a mailbox for students to deposit thank you letters or ‘kindness reports’ about their classmates. Go one step further and draw out a name at random from the box during assembly each week. This person then receives a prize, sticker or certificate for their kind act.
Take time to share with your class. This could be a kindness themed circle time where you share stories of kind acts or things that made you smile and say things you are grateful for. This encourages self-reflection and helps bring meaning to actions.
Start the day in a positive way. Have a motivational quote about kindness or positivity on the board, share an inspiring video about kindness before your lesson begins or play a piece of meaningful music each day as your class arrive.
Surround the children with resources that encourage kindness, stock up and read books that promote kindness, compassion and empathy. There’s a great list of suggestions from the Book Trust here.
Create a classroom kindness book and send it home with a different child each week. Ask each pupil to add a page of pictures and descriptions of kind acts they have completed or received.
A lunchtime kindness club run by the children can be a valuable peer support system. Can they organise secret buddies to take part in random acts of kindness at break times? Secret buddies also work well with the staff!
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