Setting up circletimes is the start of a process of involving children in school citizenship. Though the early stages may belong with external control they help create an environment conducive to real consultation, shared responsibility and decision-making.

Children’s emotional and social needs may get routinely squeezed out by a busy curricular-driven day. Circletime
exists to nurture emotional health. It offers children a place in which to develop social and emotional literacy; learning to provide supportive listening, feel empathy and acquire a language for sharing feelings and ideas. Regardless of home circumstance every child can experience this nurturing and healing environment that protects them, and society, from cycles of abuse.
By sitting in a circle every one is visible to every one else. This physical visibility also fosters emotional visibility. Each child’s chance of feeling significant is enhanced. This is important to everyone taking part but essential for the healing the emotional wounds of those who have been abused or undermined. Circletime promotes inclusion.
If circletime is to become an integral part of the school day it is important that children are able to co-operate and acquire some essential skills to make it work without conflict.

Circletime helps children develop a positive self-image. This frees them emotionally to behave more co-operatively and look outwards at ways of addressing the needs of the wider society. It places children in role as citizens not subjects.

Next Page

1. Making the circle - worth taking time over before circletimes can move on to give everyone an equal chance to contribute.
2. Turn-taking and listening skills. Learning to be co-operative and offer the quality of listening essential for circletime to work.
3. Building a supportive group. Healing for children and transforming for the behaviour of the whole class.
4. Sharing thoughts,feelings and concerns. Helps children feel empathy and develop social and emotional literacy. Heal emotional hurt and low self-esteem.
5 .
Working together for the benefit of the group - school citizenship.
6 Taking action for the benefit of the wider community - global citizenship.