Category Archives: news

Spontaneous action

    One of the pupils at the BNC asked Marybeth, the director of the programme, if she could have private time with me. The pupil has been attending ecl group activities for about a year.
    We started the session with a little stilling exercise, followed by a short discussion around the theme and then did an ‘in my minds eye’ constellation.  When asked to imagine how the bully felt, the student was surprised to feel loneliness and insecurity, this led to a sweet heart connection and understanding of ’the other’.  We sat in silence for a while allowing the embodiment of her experience.  
    As a homework exercise I suggested that in future, when tensions arose between her and her cousin, the perceived bully, she deeply inhale while placing her hand on her heart to remember the heart experience and then to follow this by a long exhale of the contracted feelings.
    A few days later she shyly gave me the letter below:
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    April 2015

      ecl Namibia takes part in the Directorate: Social Welfare Services 1st Namibian Parenting conference 14-16 April 2015

      ‘Today’s Children, Tomorrow’s Parents: The Dynamics of Parental and Community Involvement’

      Running joint workshops with ‘CLaSH’ on child sensitive communication

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      20th of March UN International Day of Happiness

        ‘International Day of Happiness aims to promote the idea that the pursuit of happiness is universal.’
        ecl wishing you smiles and a happy day
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        February 2015 ‘Parenting conference Namibia April 2015’

          The ecl foundation has been invited to take a place on the steering committee to organize this conference.  It is the first conference of its kind in Namibia and ecl has been identified as a key player in the response to empowered parenting.

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          February 2015 evolutionary purpose ecl foundation (or self-organising principles)

            The ecl Leadership team come together in South Africa, with thanks to the Goldblatt family for hosting us. The purpose shifted from the design of a catalyst development program to a deeper enquiry into 3 questions (many of which had been triggered by our reading of the Frederic Laloux book, ‘Reinventing Organizations’:

            • What is the Evolutionary purpose of the ecl foundation?
            • How can we organize so as to carry this practice effectively out into the world? What are the self-organizing principles that will enable this?
            • What qualities in people do we want to attract as catalysts and how does a development program look?


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            February 2015 Developing a Systemic pedagogy

              ecl foundation invited into a 2 day enquiry to explore developing a Systemic pedagogy for Teacher Training in Higher Education in the Netherlands, Germany and the UK that goes beyond the gates of the university (i.e. includes community partnerships) and beyond national boundaries.

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              February 2015 Teacher workshop Connecticut

                Teacher-workshop-ConnecticutLinda Baker ecl catalyst facilitated a systemic Teacher Workshop at Conte West Hills School. Teachers explored creatively how to bring the connection that children feel to their parents, into the classroom. All teachers left with a feeling inspired that they could work with the insights in their classroom.

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                January 2015 ecl Namibia and BNC developing partnership

                  NamibiaJanuary2015ecl Namibia has been requested to become a full partner of the BNC essentially becoming the emotional backbone of the BNC. This centre serves over 130 of the city’s most vulnerable children. ecl works directly with children within the centre and with their parents. For teachers we have just begun running ecl trainings to equip them to take the practice into their classroom. Mary-Beth Gallagher (Director) has this to say about our work, “it works magic with the children, it brings out the best in everyone and it has had a huge impact on our centre”. The ecl concepts are becoming an immersion ‘course’ for all BNC learners, teachers and parents in the BNC ‘system’/community.


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                  January 2015 Inset day at Netherfield Primary School

                    The UK ecl team leads an Inset day at Netherfield Primary School. Together with we enquired into and explored the concepts and practices of systemic work in schools. The purpose was to engage staff in the writing of the Fieldbook.


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                    December 2014 The Fieldbook

                      Fieldbook2With generous funding from the Smurfit Kappa Foundation the ecl foundation is writing a Fieldbook whose purpose is to strengthen systemic practice in education. The book is an invitation to step into a creative space and to explore worlds that may not yet live in education but which form well-springs for ecl practice: quantum physics, neurobiology, mindfulness, creativity to name a few. We want to create something that invites you – the reader – to mark it up, fill in the gaps, question and inquire, add pages and pass it on. With the book will go a website that will allow practitioners all over the world to share practice.The-Fieldbook1

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                      November 2014 ecl in the U.S

                        ecl-in-the-USIn the U.S. ecl is unfolding amazingly in Connecticut (contact Linda or Janet). Quoting from an email from Linda, ‘A Sixth grade teacher talked about how the children are setting their own goals and working to improve work with their other teachers. A third grade teacher talked about doing the Hula hoop exercise and how completely blown away she was about how deep the discussion was with the children and how they bonded and supported each other. A fifth grade teacher tried it later on that day and she was brought to tears. A second grade teacher talked about how she was using the secret friend exercise and what a difference it made in the whole class dynamics. She was seeing how the children were being kind and caring for each other. A fourth grade teacher changed the paper chain exercise to make a banner made up of each child’s chain. She came in the room hugging the papers and talking about how much, their writing positive things about each other moved her.’

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                        October 2014 ecl centre of practice

                          ecl-centre-of-practiceThe foundation was successful in its first big proposal to the Smurfit Kappa Foundation. They have agreed to fund the building of an ecl centre of practice at Netherfield.

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                          October 2014 ‘Thank you Mr. Ingham’

                            Thank-you-Mr-InghamThank you Mr. Ingham – a book for Terry from all of us We asked for your contributions and love and gratitude towards Terry poured back. Not just from those we originally asked, but from ever widening circles of people wishing to honour this man. We ran around trying to catch each drop whilst behind us Karl at ideasofthemind in Bath and Rasada in ecl Johannesburg quietly worked their magic transforming every contribution into a work of art that we could share.  The book is dedicated to everyone and everything that resourced this extraordinary man. In one story in this book you can read his answer to that very question: what supports you? ‘Family, Meditation and Manchester United’ being his instant reply. So to his wife Sue, his children Matt, Lily and Aidan and their loved ones, Sean and Sam, his beloved grand-children, Esme and Charlie, to his mum and his siblings (and with a mischievous smile) to Meditation and Manchester United  – we dedicate this book. It has been the container for an outpouring of love and appreciation. We hope that it becomes a living book, that it remains a book at the heart of the foundation, that we can add to, dip into and resource ourselves with. Click here to read the book

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                            October 2014 – ‘You’re one of us’

                              Yor're One of UsSandi Hager ecl Associate in South Africa has signed the contract for world publication rights for the English Version of Marianne Franke Gricksch’s, “You are one of us” with a page dedicated to ecl.

                              ‘You’re one of us’ was written be Marianne Franke Gricksch over a decade ago, yet it as fresh and relevant to everyone, everywhere in education as it was then. It opens with the words of the poet Rilke, “If you live the question, perhaps you’ll gradually without even noticing it, find yourself experiencing the answer some distant day.” I truly hope that the ecl foundation is becoming one of those living answers. The foundation is being set up as an international research and innovation charity dedicated to transforming the education and care of children and young people. Our research and practice over the past decade, building on the work of Marianne shows that it is possible to provide environments in which children and young people flourish, where emotional well-being, creativity and learning is attended to. And when this happens, joy in learning returns and children and young people gain access to their fullest human potential – a creative intelligence that is grounded in a love of life and a deep sense of belonging to the community of life.

                              To order a copy, please contact Sandi.

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                              September 2014 – Peer mentoring

                                The work of the foundation with the Ruth First Trust scholarships students coming from the townships of Johannesburg to attend Jeppe High School was a great success. Video footage and a full report is being compiled by the South African team contact Janet or Raymond.

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                                September 2014 – Terry

                                  Our Founder and trustee, Terry Ingham moves into a hospice. There are no words to describe the impact that this man has had on the foundation, his generosity, the magic of relationship with him. Even in the hospice he was enquiring with Jane Reed into the ontology – the DNA of ecl, “The key that unlocks the door, that brings it alive is embodied knowing. The doorway is phenomenology”. And in typical Terry fashion saying, “Oh I am so enjoying this conversation!”  We ask everyone to hold him and his family in your prayers.

                                  Terry Ingham





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                                  September 2014 – an ecl classroom at Netherfield

                                    The foundation submitted its first big proposal to the Smurfit Kappa Foundation. The request is for funding to support the building of an ecl classroom to be attached to the nurture center at Netherfield primary (scheduled opening January 2015). It is also to fund the development of a Fieldbook that brings together ecl practice with the outstanding Netherfield nurture practice.

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                                    August 2014 – Basecamp mushrooms

                                      After months of patient enquiry, encouragement and shear dogged determination from Mia the entire ecl community decided that ‘Yes it was going to use basecamp’. Since then the number of active users, the material uploaded, the quality of the sharing of ideas and the shear playfulness has increased exponentially. Rasada our ICT expert in Johannesburg is now stepping in to take over the coordination, allowing Mia to breathe a sigh of relief.

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                                      August 2014 – The Two Tunnels Challenge

                                        On 30th August our amazing Trustee Matt Ingham and colleagues from the Immigration Group at London law firm Mischon de Reya rode the bicycle challenge, the ‘Two Tunnels Cycle Route’ and raised some £16,000 for the foundation! We are most grateful. Matt and the team wanted to raise funds for the foundation’s work with vulnerable children and their communities in Namibia, South Africa and Northern Ireland.

                                        Two Tunnels





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                                        July 2014 – Just Giving!

                                          After weeks of training, on Saturday 2nd August Sam Claydon and five of his friends, Catherine Fischl, Amy Maher, Alan Thomson, Charlie Bosworth and Stephen Feeney participated in the Virgin Active London Triathlon. The course involved 1.5km swimming, 40km cycling and then running 10km. The teams completed the course in a healthy 3 hours. For ecl their endeavours represent a special milestone. It is the first time we have raised money through public donation, which has been made possible by achieving charity status in June this year The funding raised will be used to help fund two ecl projects including providing extra support after school for vulnerable children at the Bernard Noordamp Centre, Katutura, Windhoek in Namibia. Here Rowena Mould is running a nurture group for 8 to 12 year olds who have difficult family circumstances, bringing more stability and motivation for learning into their lives. Rowena comments that after just a few months of working with the children, …how much more articulate the kids are at expressing and dealing with their emotions.  Their ‘physical expression’ is markedly less”. Thank you Sam and team – it means we can continue our work there for at least another six months.

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                                            Whether you have been searching for fresh ideas, or maybe looking for a community of like-minded others or whether you have simply stumbled across this website by chance – welcome to the beginning of a creative adventure guided by a question:


                                            How can we release the inherent creativity and desire to learn of our children and young people – how can we help them flourish?