Prep and Senior School girls focus on teamwork and the meaning of empathy during off-timetable retreat days.
Every term, we welcome representatives from The Bridgebuilder Trust into school to encourage students to reflect on how to become more empathetic and compassionate. In the latest visits, Year 9 pupils and girls in Years 3 and 4 enjoyed teambuilding games and thought-provoking discussions on how to gain a better measure of how someone else might be feeling.
For Prep School children the focus was definitely on fun as students engaged in a number of tasks to help them realise that good teamwork can lead to much better communication and greater consideration for the needs and wishes of each other.
In the ‘Long Forks Game’ groups of four had to figure out how to feed each other sweeties from forks on the end of extra-long sticks. In another hands-on activity, the girls also made ‘empathy glasses’ to encourage them to see the world through other people’s eyes.
Year 9s began their day with a game in which they silently mimed – and guessed – a range of different emotions to each other. Sometimes, they discussed, it is easy to read the feelings of others, but other times people are not an open book. If the girls could identity emotions more readily they would be better positioned to look out for the needs of others.
Working in small groups, the students also created short dramatic stories to demonstrate traits such as generosity, courage and loyalty. They finished the retreat by making inspirational posters emblazoned with slogans and catchphrases with compassion at their core.