Action for Children Scotland is holding a series of baby celebrations across the country this month to mark the progress of an innovative classroom scheme imported from Canada.

The Roots of Empathy programme has seen babies brought into classrooms in 16 local authority areas over the last school year, to help teach pupils about understanding the needs of others. The scheme has seen mothers and babies – described as "tiny teachers" – visiting each of 108 primary classes this year.

The events will give pupils the chance to thank their teachers, who are now aged between eight and 11 months, having started visiting classes when they were just two months old.

Paul Carberry, operational director of children's services at Action for Children Scotland, said: "Both the pupils and the tiny teachers have learned a lot this year. Classroom visits by the baby and parent are at the heart of Roots of Empathy, helping schoolchildren to better understand their own feelings and the feelings of others. Our Baby Celebrations give pupils and teachers, as well as staff from local authorities and Action for Children Scotland, the perfect opportunity to thank the tiny teachers – and their parents – for all their hard work over the school year."

The main aim of Roots of Empathy is to reduce problem behaviour, including fighting and bullying. A trained Roots of Empathy instructor guides pupils in recognising the baby's emotions, which it is claimed leads to a dramatic reduction in levels of aggression among children.