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Circle time: New beginnings

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By Jenny Mosleyfounder of the Whole-School Quality Circle Time Consultancy

Deliver the theme of ‘new beginnings’ through fun whole-class circle games

This article was originally written in the context of the SEAL programme (Social and Emotional Aspects of Learning), but these circle time activities could be used within PSHE education, or to address specific issues which arise in your classroom.

These three circle meetings are designed to help children settle comfortably into their new classroom with you, their new teacher and focus on building strategies for managing feelings. Don’t forget to establish some ground rules for circle time, so that children know what to expect and feel comfortable expressing themselves in this environment.


Sit the children in a closed, inward-facing circle. Welcome them to their new class and introduce the idea that you are aware that, sometimes, it can feel worrying to be in a new situation. Reassure the group that everyone will soon feel settled, especially if you all work together.

Session 1 Flag it up

Learning objective

I know I can seek support from other people when I feel angry, worried or sad.


Make simple triangular flags from straws and paper. Let the children colour them in.

Meeting up

Ask the children to ‘flag up’ in response to simple statements. For example, Flag up if your name is Polly; if you are wearing socks; if you are a boy, and so on.

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  1. Helen Adcock
    on 31 August 2011

    New beginnings games

    Great ideas. Just what I need for my first day with my Year 1s after 14 years in Key stage 2! Thankyou.