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Circles for Learning has demonstrated positive impact on emotional literacy, self-awareness and self-esteem.

Circles for Learning has demonstrated positive impact on emotional literacy, self-awareness and self-esteem. Within the Whole School Approach Project an 85% increase in emotional literacy was found and a 60% increase in self-awareness. Within the Secondary Research Project a 41% increase in self-esteem was found and a 46% increase in self-awareness. 46% of CYP who took part in the project demonstrated an increase in emotional literacy. To read about the impact of Circles for Learning click here: Circles for Learning School Project Report

Playing with bricks

How does Circles for Learning fit with the Whole School Objectives?

Schools need to promote personal development, behaviour and welfare. It is important that children manage their own feelings and behaviour and how they relate to others. Better Inspection for All. 2015

Circles for Learning enables children and young people to observe the behaviour of a parent/carer and child and involves them in discussing and thinking about what they have seen and how both parent and young child might feel. It enables CYP to watch how a child seeks out and is soothed by their parent/carer before they learn to self soothe. These observations and discussions naturally link to conversations about themselves. Strategies to soothe or self-regulate can be shared and talked about. The ability to think and understand others can be developed and through discussions emotional literacy is extended. Managing anxiety and the stress response are other areas that the Teacher and the children might explore.

Schools need to support young people to develop self-confidence, self-assurance and knowledge in their potential to be a successful learner. Better Inspection for All. 2015

Watching learning unfold as a child tries to get the correct shape into a shape sorter or fit a lid on a box is a powerful stimulant for discussion about what learning is and how it develops. This opens up a range of areas for discussion and work around self-esteem, academic resilience and the importance of a growth mind set.

Schools need to develop whole school approaches to promoting resilience and improving emotional wellbeing. Future in Mind. Government Paper 2012

Within the Circles for Learning Project young people will watch their class baby learn to crawl or walk for the first time and watch this skill develop with the many and inevitable failures experienced before success. These rich observations enable CYP to develop an understanding of perseverance, allowing discussion and exploration of how this grows and develops. The knowledge gained through observation and discussion supports self-reflection and self-development within the group. The importance of early years in child development provides the focus for discussion about emotional wellbeing and how we use strategies we may have learnt from our parents as well as new ones that other members of the group utilise. The Class Teacher is in an ideal situation to support discussion and facilitate a range of activities to promote the development of many positive psychological skills using the resource materials.

At the heart of health and wellbeing for young people is their relationship with others. Future in Mind. Government Paper 2012

Relationships among learners and staff reflect a positive and respectful culture. Leaders, teachers and learners create an environment where bullying, peer-on-peer abuse or discrimination are not tolerated. If they do occur, staff deal with issues quickly and effectively, and do not allow them to spread. The education inspection framework May 2019.

Watching the interaction between a parent and child is a very powerful experience and demonstrates the importance of social interactions, verbal and non-verbal communication. Circles for Learning enables the CYP to observe the skills involved in developing these with the support of their trained class teacher.

Through the observations CYP can watch how a young child finds out what is acceptable and what is not, and see how a parent manages behaviour. Through these moments the Teacher can help CYP consider what the baby needs to be able to manage and how this can be accommodated. These interactions can then be used as discussion points to reflect on how a parent feels, and how a young child feels. They act as a catalyst for thinking about behaviour and the emotions that drive it in a safe way – by looking at another. This can then be gradually developed by the Teacher into helping CYP look at themselves and the how and why they behave as they do or more importantly what they need to manage.

Research has demonstrated that the CfL project has a positive impact on relationships and behaviour within the classroom. During the Whole School Approach Project with 60% of CYP becoming more self-aware and 42% of CYP demonstrating an improvement in social skills. Within the Secondary Schools Project 50% of CYP showed an increase in Learning Relationships and 57% on social skills. To read more about the impact of Circles for Learning click here: Circles for Learning School Project Report

Children with higher levels of emotional, behavioural, social and school wellbeing on average have higher levels of academic achievement and are more engaged in school. The impact of Pupil Wellbeing on Educational Outcomes. Department of Education 2012

Circles for Learning incorporates both the development of skills for Learning, and emotional growth. It supports the belief that one cannot be achieved without the other and that both are intertwined. It helps young people understand the link between learning and state of mind, and supports them in developing positive strategies to address a range of issues including positive self-talk, mindfulness, goal setting, and the link between thoughts and behaviours. The Class Teacher has access to a range of resources and lesson plans to explore these areas with their group from the Mental Health and Wellbeing Teacher’s Toolkit.

Meta cognition and self-regulation strategies have been found to have the highest impact on learning for the lowest costs. The Teaching and Learning Toolkit. The Sutton Trust. 2011

Circles for Learning allows young people to focus on learning and what this means. It enables them to explore the skills that make a good learner and how these can be strengthened. Through participation in the project the group will create a culture for learning looking at skills, beliefs values and environments. By observing, noticing and discussing the learning that their class baby undertakes the CYP will be more aware of their own learning. This awareness stimulates conversations about learning and allows for exploration about different strategies, skills and ways of achieving. This increase in dialogue has a positive impact on classroom culture and allows all children to learn from each other.

Promoting a culture for learning, including beliefs about self, and learning to learn skills, impacts on academic performance. Resilience and Academic Performance. A Review of Literature. Christine De Baca 2010

Circles for Learning enables the Teacher and the CYP to explore both the skills needed to be a successful learner as well as the emotional implications of learning. The parent and young child sessions engage the children and young people and support their developing understanding of learning. These observations also enable them to link their own experiences to how they think about themselves supporting self-reflection and giving them the understanding that they can make choices.

Improving children’s attitudes for learning and developing a growth mindset impact on performance within school. A Review of Literature. Christine De Baca 2010

The Circles for Learning project enables the Class Teacher and the young people to create a culture for learning within their class/group and to share positive learning as well as wellbeing strategies with each other. The project is an all-inclusive one and relies upon the group sharing knowledge and understanding with each other so that the group itself becomes a valuable resource.

The curriculum extends beyond the academic, technical or vocational. It provides for learners’ broader development, enabling them to develop and discover their interests and talents.

The curriculum and the provider’s wider work support learners to develop their character – including their resilience, confidence and independence – and help them know how to keep physically and mentally healthy. The Education Inspection Framework May 2019.

The Circles for Learning Project is unlike any other session children may be engaged in. It focused on how we as individuals develop and the aspects of our lives that create our sense of self. CYP can watch an individual grow and develop and then think about themselves, their interests, ways of thinking and behaving towards others. The observations sessions offer a rich opportunity for CYP to watch interactions and relationships and to think about their own resilience, confidence, and self-awareness. These sessions are then extended in activities to develop key character traits and self-awareness.

Circles for Learning has demonstrated positive impact on emotional literacy, self-awareness and self-esteem. Within the Whole School Approach Project an 85% increase in emotional literacy was found and a 60% increase in self-awareness. Within the Secondary Research Project a 41% increase in self-esteem was found and a 46% increase in self-awareness. 46% of CYP who took part in the project demonstrated an increase in emotional literacy. To read about the impact of Circles for Learning click here: Circles for Learning School Project Report