At the Bermuda SPCA our mission is to encourage and promote kindness to animals, to provide effective, lawful means for the prevention of cruelty to animals and to promote the education for the general public on care and well-being of all animals. All of our education programmes operate with this mission in mind; from our Compassionate Class (see below) to our camps, to our Reading to Rescues programme. Changing the way we view the treatment of all of the animals in our community has a lasting impact on our overall social and emotional wellbeing.

How to nominate your school or sponsor this programme

If you would like your school to take part, would like more information, or you wish to sponsor this wonderful programme to ensure we are able to continue reaching out to all public and private schools on the island, please contact Jacqui Frith:

Who benefits from this programme?

Initially Key Stage Two (7-11 year olds) – Primary school children with an aim to expand our programme to lower primary and senior schools. We have now worked with several schools across the island, private and public, and have had very positive feedback from both teachers and students.

What does the programme offer?

Bermuda SPCA is thrilled to share an innovative new programme with our community: “Compassionate Classroom.”   Adapted from the RSPCA for Bermuda, it encourages children to develop compassion and empathy through the lens of animal welfare.

It is a six-week programme led by our qualified primary classroom teacher, designed to be taught within primary (specifically Key Stage 2) classrooms across the island, public and private.

This interactive, discussion and enquiry-based programme allows children to consider what it means to be compassionate and understand the welfare needs of animals in Bermuda, in turn, helping them to develop emotional literacy.

The programme is an ambitious and innovative solution to encourage a more empathetic understanding of animals and what they need to experience good welfare, helping to prevent neglect and cruelty from happening in the future. Students work collaboratively to develop empathy skills for their school lives, family, community and beyond.

How will we measure success

Baseline assessments will occur in each lesson with recorded discussion responses. These initial responses are revisited at completion of the lesson; their new knowledge, skills, and understanding discussion responses will be recorded for comparison.

Each class involves the students completing a project based on their learning, and at the end of the programme, students have the opportunity to share their overall understanding. Many different ideas are available for the students to choose from which directly tie into academic studies.

Why this programme?

The Bermuda SPCA’s mission is to encourage and promote kindness to animals, to provide effective, lawful means for the prevention of cruelty to animals and to promote the education for the general public on care and well-being of all animals.

We aim to be part of a society where no animal suffers unnecessarily. Where thoughtfulness, care and respect are shown towards all animals, and that starts with young people.

We have recognized that our efforts through camps and outreach in previous years, although strong, have not reached all parts of the community. By providing a free school based service all children will have the same opportunity.

We aim to collaborate with local farms, animal charities and with local animal professionals. We intend to provide the opportunity for schools to visit various establishments that work with or own animals thus showing the importance of their feeding, environment and care no matter the reason for owning the animals.

During our research we noted that many school children have not had the opportunity to visit with many types of animals. The farms, animal charities and animal professionals will provide this opportunity that otherwise would not be available.

Who will be teaching the programme?

Meet Jacqui Frith:

I completed my Bachelor of Arts in Sociology at the University of Victoria in 2006, followed by my Master of Science in Elementary Education from Wheelock College in Boston in 2008.  While completing my master’s degree, I worked full time as an intern at the Martin Luther King Open School in Cambridge, MA, and remained there for another year as a teaching assistant.  This is where my passion for social and emotional teaching and learning began! 

In Bermuda, I have worked in both the public and private school sectors as a primary classroom teacher and currently work with a middle school student facilitating his home school programme.  I strongly believe, supported by extensive research, that student success is directly related to social and emotional learning (SEL) and that this must be explicitly taught, in meaningful and developmentally appropriate ways, to our young people.