What did OFSTED say about Quality Circle Time and Golden Time?

Over the last few years we have had many positive comments from Headteachers extolling the virtues of using the Quality Circle Time model and how this has positively affected their OFSTED inspections and reports. Most recently we received this report below from one of ‘our’ Golden headteachers, Trudie Cawthra of Brockenhurst C of E Primary School who very recently gained ‘Outstanding’ for PSHE and SMSC:

Why we use the Jenny Mosely Whole School Quality Circle Time model (WSQCTM)

“I have been a head teacher for over 16 years and have always used Jenny Mosley’s Whole School Quality Circle Time Model and have been consistently graded outstanding for Personal Social and Health Education PSHE development or Personal Development Education (PDE) and Spiritual Moral Social and Cultural – an important OFSTED section (SMSC). Although I now some schools prefer their own teachers to run Circle Times as it gives them a chance to form stronger bonds with children based on fun!

WSQCTM is excellent, you have to do it in its entirety as picking it up and dropping it when it suits doesn’t work. The whole school model works and is easy to implement.

The golden rules are a moral guidance for all children; it teaches them morality in simple terms.

Circle Time model is a high effective listening system, something that we have all forgotten to do in these busy demanding days. We use other listening systems too however circle time is the main one. Circle time works well under our duty of care to all children because they feel listened to and their opinions sought. Circle time supports our child protection policy and the SEND/ pupil premium children and all vulnerable children too. There are many times I have used this model with adults and again it works very positively for all concerned.

Golden Time is a chance for everyone including adults who run the clubs, to be creative and exciting.  It’s a show case opportunity to share talents and skills for everyone. My parents run mine with TA support while teachers have their PPA time. I take the whole school for worship for 20 mins, then the children go out to play then they have golden time and the clubs range from woodwork / first aid / cooking / art n crafts/ animation n cartoon / film appreciation (from ‘Love Films’ company), football (my caretaker takes that!) / gardening / drama / social (which is a load of children bringing in lego or games from home / DT club (we made an American fort out of large boxes)  poetry club / sock puppets / embroidery / fashion design/ all our children are really keen to  participate and only a few children occasionally miss Golden Time as they all love it so much.

It’s mixed phases so they get to work alongside their brothers / sisters and other friends.  It does need some thinking and careful planning (I’m lucky I have two TAs who just sort the clubs and children’s choices every half term) I pay them an extra  two afternoons per half term for doing it but feel it’s worth it. It’s sorted then and with little hassle.  Getting parents on board is good and many are keen to help out and pitch up bringing loads of lovely resources. Sometimes we ask the children/ parents to make a contribution i.e. woodwork club all made bird boxes so they were an expense; they worked out about £4 each child to cover the cost of the wood.

I will always run this model in any school because it works on so many levels.

Come and see it in operation for yourself at any time! You are guaranteed a warm and friendly welcome!”


Trudie is a truly inspirational Headteacher who we are thrilled to know She has taken the QCT model and fully implemented it within her setting with outstanding results. In my next blog I will list some of the OFSTED comments received.

Website Manager’s Notes and Further OFSTED comments

1. Jenny Mosley works both nationally and internationally. Her educational model is used in many different schools and Early Years settings and Jenny trains staff through conferencing and schools training.

2. The whole school model for positive behaviour for learning, happier lunchtimes and improved self-esteem works on the principals of promoting moral values and respect and as such, crosses cultures and continents with ease.

3. Jenny is available for training projects and conferences. Please get in touch to discuss your requirements and how we can help. For all enquiries please email circletime@jennymosley.co.uk or phone 01225 767157.

4. The QCT model has been quoted by OFSTED and City Councils in a number of research reports and schools reports. Please see a small selection below:

OFSTED recognises the importance of Quality Circle Time (QCT) in the re-engagement of disaffected and reluctant secondary pupils (2008)  29 secondary schools were surveyed by OFSTED to identify sustained good practice in re-engaging disaffected and reluctant students in their learning.  Also to find out what schools had done that was particularly successful in helping them meet the aims of students so that they could, once more, enjoy learning.  Amongst schools identified as being very successful at re-engaging pupils, an adapted curriculum that involved QCT, amongst other initiatives, was most common.  http://www.ofsted.gov.uk/Ofsted-home/Publications-and-research/Browse-all-by/Documents-by-type/Thematic-reports/Good-practice-in-re-engaging-disaffected-and-reluctant-students-in-secondary-schools

Circle Time is promoted by OFSTED to help young children achieve positive behaviour and reduce exclusions (2009)  OFSTED quoted 13,450 infants being temporarily barred from school in 2006/7 – and a further 250 permanently excluded. They looked at schools with low exclusion rates to see what they were doing well and found that in schools with low exclusion rates: “’Circle time’ approaches were widely used, which enabled children to develop the skills to negotiate, listen and respond with empathy, as well as to express themselves and to solve problems…In the best practice, children were taught and encouraged to be highly aware of their own behaviour, including the possible triggers for poor behaviour, and to regulate it accordingly. https://www.circle-time.co.uk/site/news/circle_time_promoted_by_ofsted_to_help_young_children_achieve_positive_behaviour_and_reduce_exclusions_june_2009

Outstanding OFSTED inspection 2011: We took the opportunity of having Jenny back to work with us at the beginning of the academic year in which we were due to be inspected. It was a tremendous way to start the new academic year and gave everyone the boost we needed.

Six months later when we had our inspection we had achieved what we had set out to do in that we had moved from being a ‘Good school with outstanding features’ (2008) to being ‘An outstanding school’ (2011). The school has a high number of free school meals, an MLD Unit and well above the average number of statemented pupils. The catchment area is very mixed and not without challenges. However the Ofsted report stated that ‘Pupils’ exemplary behaviour and highly positive attitudes towards learning promote their fast progress.’ The Inspection team recognised what a happy, positive place Westfield Infant School is and what a welcoming and purposeful environment the children enter each morning.

Over the years Jenny has certainly inspired me in my leadership of the school and I have seen how she has raised self esteem within the staff and supported us to believe in finding the time for Circle Time, whatever other curriculum pressures there are. For me WSQCT is the link between raising self esteem, a calm positive, well ordered school environment and ultimately pupils achieving their full academic potential. Jill MacLauchlan, Headteacher, Westfield Infant School July 2011

Motcombe School:  “Jenny Mosley’s Golden Model is at the very heart of what makes Motcombe an “outstanding” school.  It inspires confidence and high self-esteem in all members of the school’s community, enabling all children and adults to achieve their best”. Fizz Starkey, Headteacher, Motcombe Community School, East Sussex.

Leeds City Council Recommendation for Quality Circle Time (2009) “Effectively delivered Quality Circle Time can have a profound impact on the ethos of a school, through enhanced inter and intra personal skills and improved emotional wellbeing of pupils.  No surprise then to find that the vast majority of Leeds primary school heads ensure that every teacher regularly facilitates circle time lessons.  Many secondary schools, keen to build on these tremendous skills now include Quality Circle Time in the PSHCE curriculum.  It is a democratic and creative approach used to consider a wide range of issues affecting the whole school community.  The Quality Circle Time model provides a safe environment in which all children feel equally valued and learn to develop mutual respect, trust, empathy and understanding.” Leeds City Council – Education Leeds (accessed 04.09.2009) www.leedsadviceforschools.com/services/health_initiatives_healthy_schools_standards.htm

Reflections on Quality Circle Time by Jean Gross, former Director of SEAL. (2008) “QCT was a light-bulb moment for me. It seemed a magic way of addressing all three of the reasons for behaviour difficulties. The framework of golden rules and golden time provides the motivation. Circle sessions provide the teaching of the skills children need in order to manage their feelings, develop empathy, and make and keep friends. The sessions also provide the kind of nurturing environment that reduces children’s distress and hurt by enabling them to share it with others and receive support. That is why circle time is important in the government’s approach to the social and emotional aspects of learning materials (SEAL), on which I was privileged to work. More and more teachers are using circle time routinely in their classrooms, and looking for guidance and support in how to use it well.”  Jean Gross – formerly responsible for the Primary National Strategy’s work on behaviour and inclusion then directing Every Child a Reader the ECaT initiative.

Sheffield City Council Working in Partnership with Jenny Mosley on Achievement for All / Social and Emotional Aspects of Learning (2009) “In Sheffield this has complemented areas of our work including SEAL and Achievement for All. It has allowed the “trainers” to look at how best to support the individual needs of the children they teach and to be able to personalise their learning, in turn increasing confidence and wellbeing both with staff in schools and their pupils.  There is already significant evidence gleaned from SIP reports that the engagement with QCT in many of our participating schools has lead to positive impact on both the culture and ethos of the school as well as the progress and engagement of pupils.”  School Improvement Adviser SEN and Inclusion; Engagement with Learning Consultant; Senior Engagement with Learning Consultant