Circle Times and Multi-culturalism

Well as I write this (some weeks ago now!!) you lovely people are probably just rolling up your shirt sleeves to start the new term.  Have a little thought for all those teachers in International schools who started back in August.  I’ve just returned from working for a week with 3 schools in Abu Dhabi.  The heat gets up to 45⁰c and it’s like a wall.  These teachers do lunchtime duty every day and some of the playgrounds have no shade.  They start working at 7.30am… yes, I know they have more contact time and more planning time but have a heart doing lunchtime play every day is tough… especially when I’m asking all the teachers, including the Arabic teachers to play traditional games out there as well.

I know I’m a very lucky person because I’m asked regularly to visit amazing countries.  Some times I work with government schools and sometimes they are British International schools.  I love the experience of multi-culturalism, the incredible blend of unique social contexts, religious beliefs and cultural expectations – amongst the children and the staff.  I personally think that the only way schools like these can realise their potential is to commit themselves for deep respect for each other.  It’s challenging to practice unconditional positivity to any people or customs so different from our own experience – and many of our inner city state schools live this journey every day.  But if we stick with it – and keep hold of the greater vision of a world where people practice empathy, tolerance, compassion and understanding – then we are that bit nearer comprehending that we are all part of one world.

I do passionately believe that a circle of children and adults is a mini world, a place where people are equal, where everyone gets listened to and solutions to each other’s problems come from debate, compromise and caring.  Individual’s triumphs are celebrated by the whole group.  No one has the answers and we all subscribe to a set of ground rules to keep the interactions between us safe and respectful.

Surely this is what we want from our world leaders – and today’s children will be the next world leaders.  So please, anyone reading this make weekly circle-time the heartbeat of your school.


Web Manager’s Notes

1.  Jenny regularly contributes keynotes, training and workshops at large conferences in the UK and abroad. If you are holding a conference or require training in the UK or abroad do phone 01225 767157 or email to see if we can help with keynotes and workshops.

2. For all resources relating to the Golden Rules and Golden Time, Quality Circle Time and golden lunchtimes and playtimes, go to our Circle Time Shop