What we do

How the project fits with 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 young people to observe the behaviour of a mother / father and then with the support of their teacher think and explore what they have seen, as well as how both Mum/Dad and baby might feel. It enables the young people to watch how a child seeks out and is soothed by their parent before they learn to self sooth. These observations and discussions naturally link to conversations about themselves.

Strategies to sooth can be shared and talked about. The ability to think and understand others can be developed and through discussions emotional literacy is extended. Managing stress and anxiety are other areas that the children and young people may explore with their teacher during follow up sessions where strategies to manage can be shared and thought about together. During follow-up sessions reasons for any being triggered can be discussed and strategies to manage shared.

At the heart of health and wellbeing for young people is their relationship with others

Future in Mind. Government Paper 2012

Watching the interaction between a mother/father and child is a very powerful experience and demonstrates the importance of social interactions and communication. Circles for Learning facilitates this and enables the young people to be supported in developing their ideas and thinking about the skills involved and ways of developing these with their Circles for Learning practitioner.

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 supports young people understand the link between learning and state of mind, and supports them develop positive strategies to address a range of issues including positive self talk, mindfulness, goal setting, and the link between thoughts and behaviours. The Learning Guide/Teacher has access to a range of resources and lesson plans to explore these areas with their group.

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 children and young people 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 Learning Guide/Teacher and the young people to explore both the skills needed to be a successful learner as well as the emotional implications of learning. The Mother/Father and baby observations engage the young people and support their developing understanding of learning and of the nature of interactions between people. It also enables them to link their own experiences to how they think about themselves and to support self reflection and the understanding that they have 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 Learning Guide and the young people to create a culture for learning within their 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.

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