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Magic Circles

Magic Circles
Self-Esteem for Everyone in Circle Time

Second Edition
  • Murray White - UK Representative , Interntional Council for Self-Esteem

168 pages | SAGE Publications Ltd
Murray White was the first British author to write a major work on Circle Time. His publication Magic Circles was a classic, helping to raise the profile and popularity of Circle Time during the 90s. This new and revised edition provides a practical, up to date resource that will help raise self-esteem and assist young people's learning and behaviour.

The book has a new format and 50% new material. The resources will provide a range of exciting ideas to use in Circle Time to develop:

- security

- identity

- belonging

- purpose

- competence

- well-being.

As well as being a practical resource, Murray provides a theoretical underpinning to explain the value of Circle Time and reinforce self-esteem as an important aspect of mental health and well-being.

What exactly is it? How it affects the lives of everyone and the significance of it for society.

Your self-esteem
Your awareness of it and some steps towards nourishing it and it.

Facilitating Circle Times
Your responsibilities and the preparations required to lead a group well.

The Theory of Self-Esteem and the Structure of Circle Times
The benefits that can be expected from participation by all ages

Magic Circles
The Motivation for Circle Times and the original 1989 TES article

Activities in the Circles
The Special Day, discussions, brainstorming, rounds - banners, badges and books

Circle Times for All
The teacher's role - circles to promote the five key issues relating to the possession of a high, healthy level of self-esteem

Circles to Promote a Sense of Well -Being
Activities for use anytime

Picture This: Guided Imagery for Everyone
Guidance on how to use the CD and explanations of the self-esteem concepts in the stories


'This is an 'upbeat' book. White is convinced that self-esteem impacts on people's behaviour and learning, and that it is something that can be developed. In his book he seeks to: define it; show how the reader can develop a healthy self-esteem; look at the wider use of Circle Time (for all ages and in all contexts); and, demonstrate how Circle Times can be run with structure and purpose. He includes outlines for Circle Time sessions, photocopiable material, and an audio CD with examples of guided imagery...This book is at its strongest when it is dealing with the practical side of setting up and running Circle Times. There is good advice about: being in a strong place yourself if you are leading a Circle Time as it involves modelling expected behaviour; and, it being a whole school approach, going beyond Circle Time and embracing the quality of the relationships across the whole community...As Circle Time is common in schools a copy of this book should be in each EP school service library. It has everything needed on a practical level to support a school in using Circle Time as a whole school approach enhancing self-esteem' -
Educational Psychology and Practice: Theory, Research and Practice in Educational Psychology

'This book is an essential starting point for practitioners who are new to Circle Time as it includes activities specifically for adults, helping to familiarise themselves with the process' - Early Years Update

'This is an excellent book full of practical circle time activities and experiences that will help build self-esteem....The benefits of the potential life skills acquired through the use of this resource are immeasurable...There are certificates and photocopiable resource pages among the clearly laid out, and easy to follow, activity pages ' - Early Years Educator

'In this book, Murray White, who was instrumental in introducing the concept of Circle Time in the 1990s, sets out very clearly the principlesand practice that underpin the use of Circle Time with children of all ages. It provides practitioners with clarity on the process of Circle Time...The book is an essential starting point for practitioners new to Circle Time as it includes activities specifically for adults, helping to familiarise themselves with the process' -

'Now in its second, revised edition, Magic Circles...has been devised to enrich student self-esteem within programs of Circle Time. The new presentation maintains a student centred approach - embracing the child as a thinking and feeling individual, of imagination and spiritual depth. Working as a supportive reference, reource manual and catalyst, the text affirms the partnership between school, family and community. It highlights the role of Circle Time in establishing balance within the soul - together with a sense of belonging and purpose. Nurturing of the fragile mind, and encouraging to all others - Magic Circles...will boost the effectiveness of Circle Time - as a respected program in social / emotional learning /, and tool for empowering youth' -
Jacqueline Perryman

'Working as a supportive reference, resource manual and catalyst, the text affirms the partnership between school, family and community…[It] will boost the effectiveness of Circle Time - as a respected program in social / emotional learning, and tool for empowering youth' - Bendigo Weekly

'The beauty of this book lies in the simplicity of the activities. Anyone can follow the instructions and get amazing results. Individuals who have developed walls around themselves as a defence to cover up their low self esteem also react with wonder and bewilderment during these activities. A good self affirming experience during Circle Time goes a long way in helping us manage the darkest moments of our lives. Even the most reticent people open up during Circle Time' - Aroona Sharma, Ex-Head PSHE The British School, New Delhi, Counsellor, Psychotherapist

'Murray White's Magic Circles is a wonderful book that clearly demonstrates the importance of self-esteem in the life of every human being….The book is very readable and offers the layman many practical and easy-to-follow suggestions for implementing his theories. Therefore, as a retired educational and clinical psychologist of over 20 years, I highly endorse this book' - Dr.Robert Oberheide PhD, Canada, author of Unlocking the Subconscious: The Key to Self-Esteem

This is a practical guide to developing circle time activities in support of self-esteem. The book provides many useful ideas and would be widely used in the primary sector.

Mrs Andrea Morgans
General Education, Cardiff and Vale College
February 18, 2013

Murray White

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