Often children only speak when holding "a talking object" such as a teddy bear. On one occasion, Dr Cremin had seen a teacher "asking children to share how they feel about bullying whilst one child was clearly being bullied in the circle by children who wiped the talking object after she had held it so that they would not get her germs." The teacher was either not confident or was following the session plan too rigidly and not taking account of how the children were responding, she says. The emphasis of circle time should be on positive experiences, congratulations, school life and exploration. It should not be used as "pseudo-therapy".
"The more sophisticated uses of circle time to deal with problems and feelings are highly effective in the right hands, but they need to build on a well-established programme with proper staff training."
'Circle Time: Why it doesn't always work' by Hilary Cremin. Primary Practice No 30, Spring 2002