Developing Circle Time


Teresa Bliss, George Robinson & Barbara Maines

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    We would like to thank Jim Ballard for his “Circlebook” (1982). In it we found the first book that went beyond games and activities. It inspired us to begin to look beyond the content of Circle Time and to explore the process and our belief system about the power of the Circle.

    Foreword. The Meaning of Circles.

    Individuals meet to form societies which perform a variety of functions. The purpose of these meetings might be understood by observing the physical formation of the individuals in the group. A naive observer would recognise a view of parliament as an adversarial contest between opposing participants. She would also recognise a court room scene as the imposition of power by high status individuals upon a deviant or rejected member. A discussion held in circular formation or a dance in the round would probably be interpreted as co-operative and non-hierarchical. The image of North American indigents passing the peace pipe around a circle, the link-armed singing of Auld Lang Sine in a circle or even the preparation for war in a circular dance convey a unified purpose shared by all members of the group.

  • Bibliography.

    Askew, S. and Carnell, E., (1995) Approaches to work with Individual Young People. Pastoral Care in Education. March 1995.
    Ballard, J., (1982) Circlebook. Irvington, New York.
    Bliss, T. & Tetley, J., (1993) Circle Time. Lucky Duck Publishing.
    Bliss, T., Robinson, G. and Maines, B., (1995) Coming Round to Circle Time, (Video). Lucky Duck Publications.
    Canfield, J. and Wells, H., (1976) 100 Ways to Enhance Self Concept in the Classroom. Prentice-Hall, Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey.
    Curry, M. & Bromfield, C., (1994) Personal and Social Education for Primary Schools through Circle Time. NASEN Enterprises Ltd.
    Fountain, S., (1990) Learning Together: Global Education. Stanley Thomas.
    Gordon, T., (1974) Teacher Effectiveness Training. David McKay.
    Johnson, D. & JohnsonF., (1987) Joining Together. Prentice Hall.
    Lawrence, D., (1988) Enhancing Self-esteem in the Classroom. Paul Chapman Publishing Ltd.
    Mosley, J., (1993) Turn your school around. L.D.A.
    National Curriculum Council, (1993) Spiritual and Moral Development – a discussion paper.
    Rutter, M., (1991) Pathways from Childhood to Adult Life. Pastoral Care in Education. Vol. 9 no. 3
    Tuckman, B., (1965) Developmental sequence in small groups. Psychological Bulletin, 63, 384–399.
    White, M., (1992) Self-esteem, its meaning and value in schools. Daniels Publishing.


    • My Achievements.
    • My Goals.
    • Ways we co-operate.
    • Ways we do not co-operate.
    • Name Calling.
    • Bullying.
      • Where, when and what happens.
      • If bullying happens we could.
    • Who I am, an example.
    • Who I am, proforma.
    • Tessellations.

    For more information and a fast growing slection of Circle Time resources contact us at:

    Lucky Duck Publishing Ltd.

    3 Thorndale Mews, Clifton,

    Bristol BS8 2HX

    Phone 0117 973 2881 e-mail

    Fax 0117 973 1707 website

    Worksheet 1

    My achievements …

    Worksheet 2

    My goals are …

    Worksheet 3

    Ways I co-operate with …

    Worksheet 4

    Ways I do not co-operate with …

    Worksheet 5

    Name Calling – why it happens…

    Worksheet 6a


    Worksheet 6b


    if bullying happens we could:

    Worksheet 7

    Who I am….

    Worksheet 8

    Who I am….

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