This paper discusses the findings and implications of a semi-randomised control trial study on the effectiveness of circle time (CT) on primary school students' social and emotional learning, as well as classroom teachers' and students' experience of CT. A social and emotional learning programme was delivered through CT by trained classroom teachers across the years in one primary school, with other classrooms serving as control groups. The classroom teachers completed the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ) at pre- and post-intervention, while the CT teachers also completed a questionnaire on their experience of implementing CT in the classroom. The CT students also completed a questionnaire on their own experience of CT. The SDQ scores suggest that CT students showed less internalised difficulties when compared to their control peers, while the qualitative data from both teachers and students suggest that the CT students also exhibited less behaviour problems and more prosocial behaviour. The study identifies various strengths and weaknesses of the programme and makes recommendations on how it could be organised more effectively in the classroom. The paper concludes that rather than taking CT as the default option for nurturing such values as student empowerment, inclusion and equity, there is a need for further rigorous studies on the impact of CT not only on students' social and emotional learning and behaviour but also on the classroom relationships and climate.
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