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

mum and babyCircles for Learning enables young people to observe the behaviour of a mother/father and child and involves them in discussing and thinking about what they have seen and 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 anxiety and stress are other areas that the Learning Guide or Teacher and the children will 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 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 will visibly be able to watch this skill develop and the many and inevitable failures experienced before success. These rich observations act to facilitate young people to develop an understanding of perseverance, allowing discussion and exploration of how this develops. This knowledge then 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 Learning Guide Teacher can support discussion and facilitate a range of activities to promote the development of a range of 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

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 by a well trained Learning Guide/teacher about the skills involved and the need to develop these.

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

mum and babyCircles 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.