A time for listening;Reviews

22nd May 1998 at 01:00
EFFECTIVE IEPS THROUGH CIRCLE TIME. By Margaret Goldthorpe. LDA pound;15.95 LDA Abbeygate House, East Road, Cambridge CB1 1DB

CIRCLE TIME IN-SERVICE TRAINING MANUAL. By Carolyn Bromfield and Mollie Curry. NASEN pound;8 (inc postage) (10 per cent discount to NASEN members) NASEN, 4 Amber Business Village, Amber Close, Tamworth B77 4RP

Circle time, according to its best-known exponent Jenny Mosley, is not an easy option to be casually added on to the day. Margaret Goldthorpe, a special needs teacher who uses Mosley's model, writes at the beginning of Effective IEPs (individual education plans) through Circle Time, "It isn't carpet time. It is not a time when the children sit cosily on the floor... Neither is it a time when the children all talk about their problems, fears and worries in front of each other, in an unstructured way."

Properly used, she says, circle time follows a set pattern, and "promotes the capacity of the circle to plan, do and review."

Crucially, it is a time for listening - on the whole, not enough of this goes on in schools. Teachers are keen to teach; pupils are either keen to answer or anxious to withdraw. Careful listening, of a kind that values what the speaker has to say, is at a premium. This, more than anything else, is what circle time aims to put right. When it works, pupils feel valued, and become confident in expressing their worries and hopes. Not only does this have a direct effect on their academic work, it also increases the teacher's ability to assess their educational and social needs - hence Margaret Goldthorpe's book, which describes in detail how to use circle time in the construction of individual education plans for pupils with emotional and behavioural difficulties.

Mollie Curry and Carolyn Bromfield's manual cleaves to a similar philosophy, and can complement Goldthorpe's book in the sense that it is more directly intended to be used as a tool for in-service training. It is divided into sessions, with activities for delegates and instructions for the session leader, and there are photocopiable pages to be used as handouts or with over-head projectors.

Subscribe to get access to the content on this page.

If you are already a Tes/ Tes Scotland subscriber please log in with your username or email address to get full access to our back issues, CPD library and membership plus page.

Not a subscriber? Find out more about our subscription offers.
Subscribe now
Existing subscriber?
Enter subscription number


The guide by your side – ensuring you are always up to date with the latest in education.

Get Tes magazine online and delivered to your door. Stay up to date with the latest research, teacher innovation and insight, plus classroom tips and techniques with a Tes magazine subscription.
With a Tes magazine subscription you get exclusive access to our CPD library. Including our New Teachers’ special for NQTS, Ed Tech, How to Get a Job, Trip Planner, Ed Biz Special and all Tes back issues.

Subscribe now