Hi Everyone, before Christmas I returned to a beautiful little school – the British Embassy School, Ankara – where I went to set up a Train The Trainers course for a small group of enthusiastic staff.
Katie Vincent, the Deputy Head at the school, has always loved the Quality Circle Time Model, and how it can transform a school. She has kept it going, and for over a decade has bought in training and resources. She thankfully knows the importance of Plan, Do, Review so that all aspects of the model get shined up regularly. But it is hard always pushing something on your own so she and the Head Teacher, Ken Page, made a decision to budget for me to return to work in the school. However this time it was even more exciting. Ken, the Headteacher, gave his backing for me to come in for a full week to train 6 staff to become accredited Quality Circle Time Trainers, to work with all their children, to run workshops for the parents, staff meetings and to enthuse the mid-day supervisors around all the ideas that they can put in to the playground and the dining hall to make life happier and calmer for all the adults and children. Now their staff are trained trainers, the plan is for them to help Katie keep everything moving forward.
It was wonderful that, while I was in the school, it received its latest inspection report which highlighted that “the personal development of pupils is excellent”… as was “the spiritual, moral, social and cultural development of the pupils is also excellent… older pupils are taught to keep themselves safe… and to talk about their feelings in circle-time wellbeing sessions… warm relationships are evident between staff and pupils.”… “pupil’s enjoyment at playtime is enhanced by the presence of well-trained supervisors”.
It is clear that a lot of the ideas from the Golden Model are really contributing to children’s personal development and happiness. (It’s also very relevant to mention that the LSE has just hosted a Subjective Well-being and Policy two day conference, opened by Lord Gus O’Donnell, former Cabinet Secretary… this springs from the growing movement Action For Happiness.) How wonderful that the inspectors noticed that “Older pupils are taught to keep themselves safe, both online and physically … and to talk about their feelings in the circle time well-being sessions … the pupils moral and spiritual awareness is excellent.”
Seeing all of our initiatives, implemented over the years, highlighted in the report was really the icing on the cake so we celebrated at the school with strong cups of tea and real cream cakes!
What also contributed to my happiness was that not only did I love my week with this brave little school but I got to play for a few days in Istanbul on my way home … hence this little video of me trying to be super cool and blend in with the locals.
Website Editor’s Notes
1. Jenny Mosley delivers keynote speeches, seminars and workshops at conferences and training events including headteachers’ conferences in the UK and overseas in local and international schools. For further information about Jenny’s work and availability please phone 01225 767157, email firstname.lastname@example.org or see our training section and international training section on the website.
2. For all enquiries about Closure Days and Working in School Days for positive behaviour, social and emotional skills development, staff well-being, circle time and lunchtimes and playtimes in mainstream, special schools and early years settings click here or phone 01225 767157. Jenny Mosley’s training, consultancy and conferences are for teachers, teaching assistants, headteachers, midday supervisors and everyone who works with children in schools and settings to promote positive lunchtimes and playtimes, SEAL, SMSC, PSHE, citizenship and British Values.
3. To see one of Jenny’s new books – “How to Create Calm Dining Halls’ – click here. This book has many initiatives, audits, photographs and ideas for the dining hall such as those mentioned in the article. If you are interested in school dining hall improvement, you may like to see our dining hall articles in Headteacher Update here and the TES here.