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Diary

In this blog we are posting news from around the network, reflections on general news items and other broad-ranging items of interest. Current contributors are Sightlines Initiative directors Robin Duckett, Liz Elders, Debi Keyte Hartland and Chris Merrick.

Lessons from Plowden

​For educators and parents, fresh and seasoned: here is news of a very informative seminar for all who are minded to protect and develop a broad experience of education.  

It comes at a time when (again) the current UK government is proposing new assessment regimes for young children in its continuing march down the narrow avenues of instruction. 

"2017 is the 50th year since the publication of 'Children and their Primary Schools', better known as The Plowden Report. 
Plowden has been a consistent reference point since that time and has come to stand for child-centred, socially conscious primary education. It prompted an international interest and educators from across the world visited English primary schools – notably in the West Riding of Yorkshire, Oxfordshire, Hertfordshire and Leicestershire. Our conference invites teachers and others concerned with primary education to recall Plowden and ask what we have learned since and what we have forgotten."

The event is free, funded by University of Cambridge & History of Education Society.

  • Dr Joseph Featherstone (Emeritus Professor of Education, Michigan State University)
  • Dr Emily Harper (Teacher at Lyndhurst Primary School, Camberwell, London)
  • Dr Ken Jones (Senior Policy Officer NUT & Emeritus Professor, Goldsmiths)

Sat 18 November 2017 | 13:30 – 16:30
Mander Hall, Hamilton House, National Union of Teachers, Mabledon Place, London, 
WC1H 9BD

click for More Information and Booking

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The Many Faces of the Assembly

The Many Faces of The Assembly

For all educators and parents who are interested in:

  • how children can be supported in flying with an idea
  • how many languages of expression can interweave in places of intelligent education
  • how documentation can be winningly created to show the intricate evolution of an 'educational story'  

Here is a new video from the preschools of Reggio Emilia, illustrating the conversations and processes of children  and teachers relating experiences of their morning meeting and discussions.  This video is a must! It is ideal summer viewing for educators looking for some inspiration before the new year.

"A study on the human figure in drawing, clay and photography.

The human figure is explored in the context of the morning assembly that brings together all 26 children of the class. The investigation interweaves drawing, clay, and photography, seeking in the connections between the three languages the expressive and cognitive elements for understanding and evolving."

We were introduced to this work last year in Reggio, whilst it was still being edited, and we've been eagerly waiting for it to be available for you. Now it is!

It follows a five-year class in Reggio, as they wonder how they can tell the story of their morning assembly, to children who perhaps don't have one. And the editing relates their complex learning, and the many intricate stages, in a particularly engaging and filmic manner. 

Both the content and the multi-layered video-editing style has much to say to all of us who are keen to make visible to a wide audience the engaged learning of children, and of intelligent education. Don't let it pass you by.

You can get it here from our website


"What holds a collective intelligence together is not the possession of knowledge - which is relatively static, but the social process of acquiring knowledge - which is dynamic and participatory, continually testing and reaffirming the group's social ties." 

Henry Jenkins, Professor of Communication, Journalism, Cinematic Arts and Education, University of Southern California

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Seeking an early years educator - the American School in London

One of the International Schools of our network is looking for an educator:

"We are looking for an assistant teacher who is excited to learn more about the Reggio philosophy and who wants to work with 4 and 5 year olds in a joyful, play based environment.

We are an American International School with students from 4 to 18 years of age.In Kindergarten (Reception and Year 1) we believe learning through playful inquiry is the foundation for intellectual, physical, and social and emotional growth. Inspired by Reggio Emilia and The Project Approach, we value children's natural curiosity and inclination to explore the world around them. The picture shows some work the children did on a project about Sound...they were making up ways to represent a composition using various percussion instruments and with a picture as a provocation."

ASL are making a real focus on their professional development at the moment, with all of the team having been to Reggio (or coming this April) and the core early years team are participating in our Skylight programme this year. It could be a very exciting school to join, at this point!

You will find their application form here (Lower School Assistant Teacher), and you'll also be able to read more about the school on their site, through the link.

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