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Circles for Learning

Building positive foundations for mental health & wellbeing enablelling children to flourish & learn

Circles for Learning brings together a parent & their young child and a class of KS1-KS3 students allowing them to watch & interact once a month for a whole year. This amazing experience allows the children to watch relationships develop. observe learning as it unfolds, explore emotions and understand how they impact on their thinking and behaviour and watch as a baby's sense of self develops.



HundrED shortlisted this innovation

HundrED has shortlisted this innovation to one of its innovation collections. The information on this page has been checked by HundrED.

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Target group
Students basic
March 2024
That children develop the skills to keep themselves mentally healthy, more resilient and understand how their emotions can affect their thinking and behaviour. The project has also shown that it helps children and young people understand themselves as a learner and also develops their ability to self-regulate and become more self aware and supportive of others.

About the innovation

Why did you create this innovation?

Circles for Learning was created to help schools develop & promote the skills that underpin positive mental health & wellbeing. It's focus is twofold, firstly to help children observe, and explore the 5 key areas that underpin positive MHWB & secondly to develop teachers knowledge & understanding of the ways that they can support these skills grow and develop within their classroom.

What does your innovation look like in practice?

Circles for Learning brings a parent & their young child into the classroom once a month for a whole year. Each visit lasts 45 min. While the parent & young child visit children sit in a circle & observe, interact & explore what the young child is doing & why. The teacher leading the session helps CYP to focus on emotional literacy, relationships & interactions, how the young child starts to use its experiences & interactions to develop a sense of self, how learning grows & develops & the emotions that have to be managed & how emotions affect behaviours & interactions. The interactions & observations help the teachers to develop conversations about learning, emotions & behaviours & explore these with the CYP. The sessions focus on the 5 key areas that underpin positive MHWB. After the parent & young child have left teachers can use the resources to develop skills & abilities in these areas either through specifically designed lessons or by weaving them into their classroom practice.

How has it been spreading?

Mainly through sharing of the research and word of mouth. Circles for Learning is also active on Instagram, LinkedIn and Facebook and we will be visiting Educational Shows this year to share the project and the impact we have identified through our research.

If I want to try it, what should I do?

or visit our website

Implementation steps

Circles for Learning
Undertake the online training, supported by a CfL coach.
Circles for Learning
With the support of the CfL coach Identify a suitable parent & young child to come ito the classroom once a month for a whole year,
Circles for Learning
Undertake a wellbeing assessment on the CYP who will take part in CfL.
Introduce the project to the CYP & send information to parents so that they understand what you will be doing, why and how they can support the children's interests and questions.
Circles for Learning
Bring the parent and young child into the classroom. Seat the children in a circle around the parent and child so that they can see and interact. Help the children to notice the interactions, behaviours and learning that the young child shows. Help the children to talk about what they notice and why it might be happening.
Circles for Learning
Talk to the CfL coach and reflect on the session, what the children were interested in, how they responded and the questions that came out of the session. Reflect on the areas of need within the group and explore ways to follow up the session using the resources and lesson plans provided.
circles for learning
Plan next session and repeat process, talking to the CfL coach whenever needed to explore how to develop the skills and knowledge that the CYP need.

Spread of the innovation

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