What is Circles for Learning?
Circles for Learning is a unique whole class or small group project that supports and strengthens the development of social skills, emotional literacy, discovery of self, neuroscience and learning to learn skills, all of which, research shows, impact on Mental Health and Wellbeing.
The project trains and then supports teachers to bring a parent and baby into the classroom once a month for a year. The children and young people are supported in observing the interactions, learning, relationships and the baby’s early developing sense of self. Then with the support of the teacher explore and think about what they have seen and how this may link to their own development, thinking, behaviour and ways of interacting with others. These observations are the provocation or stimulus to follow up work led by the teacher exploring one of the Circles for Learning’s five areas of work:
1. Emotional Competencies: including recognising emotions, managing emotions, recognising emotions in others and managing them.
2. Relationships: including social skills, the learning relationship and empathy.
3. Self Discovery: including self concept, self esteem, self efficacy, self regulation, self talk, self compassion, mindsets and resilience.
4. Learning to Learn skills.
5. Neuroscience and learning.
These key areas form the foundations for mental health and wellbeing. The follow up work is not a scheme of work to be followed regardless of the needs of the children or young people but a wide range of activities that the teacher can refer to and use that supports the needs of the group at that time.