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Circle Time in primary education

This blog post examines the benefits of circle time in education.

Circle time is a strategy used in classrooms where children sit in a circle, and they can communicate with each other face-to-face. The primary focus is to promote positive relationships amongst students while enhancing communication, social and emotional development.

Evidence from research reveals that circle time is an effective teaching method for primary education as it can improve student engagement, self-confidence and academic achievement. The blog post reviews relevant literature that supports circle time in primary education as an effective teaching strategy.

The primary years are essential to the development of children. Primary education needs to focus on developing students’ personal and social attributes, as well as their academic skills. In recent years, many primary school teachers are using circle time as a teaching strategy. Circle time is a technique that brings the younger generation closer by entailing group discussions where every child takes part.

This teaching strategy has increasingly gained popularity, as its benefits in enhancing students’ social and academic achievement are well documented. This blog post will examine the benefits of using circle time as a teaching strategy in primary education.

Benefits of Circle Time in Primary Education

Improved student engagement

Circle time can be used as a tool to enhance student engagement in primary classrooms. This is due to its interactive and student-centred nature. When children participate in circle time, they feel more engaged and motivated to learn. The children develop a sense of responsibility and become active learners. The children are provided with an opportunity to express themselves, and their views are given equal weight as others. Engaging students in discussions and activities during circle time enhances their critical thinking, reasoning and problem-solving skills.

Enhanced self-confidence

Circle time has been shown to boost students’ self-confidence, primarily through its ability to encourage children to express their feelings and share their experiences. Displaying an emotional connection with the students is fundamental. When children feel safe to express and share their feelings about their learning experiences, it strengthens their social and emotional connections, leading to enhanced self-confidence.

Improved academic achievement

The use of Circle time is seen to promote students’ academic achievement, significantly in enhancing communication skills.

Circle time provides opportunities to develop oral language skills and helps to create a positive learning experience where children can experience social and emotional connections. These interactions have a positive impact on children’s language acquisition; this can improve their communication skills and academic performance.


The benefits of circle time as a teaching strategy in primary education are well documented. Circle time has been shown to enhance engagement, self-confidence and academic achievement. It is a valuable tool that teachers can use to support social and emotional development, as well as promote effective communication skills. Circle time helps children interpret the world around them through active communication and feedback exchange. Teachers use their interpersonal skills and attitude of understanding to build positive relationships, and this creates a sense of inclusiveness which leads to a better learning experience for children.

While circle time is not a panacea for all the challenges experienced in primary education settings, its use can enhance student performance, foster social connections, and provide an enjoyable and memorable learning environment.

Our set of 30 circle time cards has a statement on each card that the child can read out to the group and finish with their own ending, I.E "I am good at" this gives each child the opportunity to discuss their strengths, opinions, emotions to the group in a safe environment giving each child a voice, and strengthening listening skills, empathy and an awareness of their peers abilities and strengths.


Davies, N. (2005) Developing Social Competence with Circle Time: 85 Activities to Create Flexible, Confident and Responsible Learners. Speechmark Publishing Ltd.

Nind, M., and Flewitt, R. (2011) Multi-modal Interaction in the Classroom: Sensing Embodied and Embedded Social Presence. Springer Science & Business Media.

Webb, R. et al. (2003) Circle Time in Primary Education. RoutledgeFalmer.

Evans, P. (2013) ‘Circle Time in the Primary Classroom: Structuring the Learning Experience’, Journal of Curriculum and Pedagogy, 10(1), pp. 53-68.

Steward, S. (2004) ‘Circle Time with Children in Anti-bullying Work: Building Self-esteem and Positive Behaviours’, Pastoral Care in Education, 22(1), pp. 30-37.

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