Cycle of Reflection Tool

What is the Cycle of Reflection?

The ‘Cycle of Reflection’ is the tool which has been developed within the ‘Attachment Toolkit’ to assist practitioners to reflect on the minutiae of their everyday experiences with children and to consider the consequences of what they see or hear in relation to love, care and intimacy. Worked examples of love, intimacy and care are presented in narrative form along with a set of reflective questions. There is also a short video clip which accompanies each of the case studies to assist practitioners to view the examples for themselves.

The purpose of these case studies is to assist practitioners to reflect on the appropriateness of these examples within the concept of ‘Professional Love’. Practitioners are encouraged to use the ‘Cycle of Reflection’ alongside the ‘Thinking about Professional Love’ tool to increase their confidence about experiences of love, care and intimacy with children in their own settings before deciding on the implications for their own setting policies, procedures and practice which includes safeguarding.

Reflective Questioning

Reflective questions can only make sense when thought about in the context of the experience that individuals have either seen, heard or been part of as demonstrated in the three worked examples of constructions of love, intimacy and care. The ‘Cycle of Reflection’ can aid practitioners to engage in a regular critical dialogue with others about these experiences before deciding on whether these experiences are appropriate or not.

Cycle of Reflection

The following reflections questions are posed:

  • What was the experience?
  • Where did it take place?
  • Why was your attention drawn to this experience?
  • What was your immediate response?

In an early years setting the role of the practitioner is to understand the difference between professional and personal relationships to be able to provide children with safe and appropriate boundaries

This involves the policy and practice of the individual child within the context of his/her family, community and early years setting. Building professional reciprocal relationships takes time. It is only through regular and consistent communication practices, informed by a ‘Cycle of Reflection’, that safe, professional and loving boundaries can be maintained.

Cycle of Reflection Tool [pdf]