Golden Rules 4: We listen

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

These activities are based on The Handbook of Golden Rules and The Golden Rules Story Set

In the fourth article of our six-part series, Jenny Mosley shows you how to encourage careful listening

We Listen

Effective listening is one of the most important skills in any caring community, because how well each of us listens has a major impact on how we learn, think and understand. The quality of our listening skills also affects the relationships we build with the people around us. Each of us needs to feel cared about and valued, and we can only feel these things if we believe that we are listened to when we express our feelings and opinions.

When we are attentive, we listen with our whole body and mind. We look at the speaker directly and make an effort to avoid being distracted by whatever else is going on around us. We are also watchful and take notice of the speaker’s body language, while making sure that we nod and make appropriate facial expressions to show that we understand what is being said. We also need to learn how to wait our turn, because interrupting frustrates and annoys the speaker and means that we have not heard the whole message. These are all skills that you need to model and teach in your setting.

The following games and activities will help you to develop attentive listening skills in active and enjoyable ways.

Nutty nursery rhymes

You will need: space.

What to do

It can be a great confidence-building exercise for young children to listen to familiar rhymes and point out your mistakes.

Tell the children that you are going to read them some favourite nursery rhymes, but sometimes you get them wrong so you need their help.

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