Teach­ing kids to care for each other

Whitsunday Times - - WHITSUNDAY KIDS -

LEARN­ING how to work and play with oth­ers is an es­sen­tial part of grow­ing up.

St Catherine’s Catholic Col­lege Mercy Cam­pus kids have been get­ting a head start on this, learn­ing when a joke can cross the line with their in­te­grated care groups.

The groups, run by the Year 6 stu­dents, teach kids from Prep to Year 3 to recog­nise how oth­ers are feel­ing.

“That’s a very im­por­tant part of so­cial skilling be­cause if you don’t have a look at the signs...then you might be out there play­ing and you think it’s fun to poke some­body, but how do you know when they’ve had enough?” said Di Stevens, as­sis­tant prin­ci­pal at St Catherine’s Catholic Col­lege Mercy Cam­pus.

Dur­ing the pro­gram, the chil­dren watch short clips about an alien with poor so­cial skills and talk about ways he could bet­ter treat oth­ers.

So far the pro­gram has been a hit with both teach­ers and stu­dents.

“The teach­ers have said it’s been great,” Ms Stevens said.

“They feel that it’s good for the kids.”

Ms Stevens also said hav­ing the pro­gram run by the older stu­dents was a way to have the ju­niors take the lessons more se­ri­ously.

“Teach­ers and par­ents, as you know, can talk and talk and talk, but if it comes from some­body else, a role model here at school, it might have a more solid im­pact,” Ms Stevens said.

“And it’s great for them too to be ex­posed to other kids in the school in a work­ing sit­u­a­tion.”

CAR­ING KIDS: Year 6 stu­dents El­lie Con­way and Ariel Bandow teach their group.

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