header1.jpg header2.jpg header3.jpg header8.jpg

... is a place for news, comments, reflections.

Through subscribing (button below) you'll be informed of new posts.

Below are shortcuts to help you get to what interests you.

____________

Articles organised by Category and date ...

Diary Library

You can also access a specific Category through the list below.

Diary Library

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.
We have a Library View (see left column) to help you find past articles.

A diary page from visiting a preschool in Reggio Emilia, Italy

Typing up notes from a 2019 visit, it occurred to me that it could be interesting to share. Perhaps it will only work for those who in any case can picture the life of a preschool in Reggio, I don't know ... (there is a rather informative minute's video on our page 'Introductory Articles on Reggio Emilia's Preschools' which may help in filling out a picture.) ... anyway here it is....

 Spring 20019 visit to Otto Marzo Preschool

8.30 – 9a.m.

This is the preschool with the circular layout, by the canal; rich in its habitation and embedded in the close locality: quiet streets, dads and children walking or biking in. The spring 'snow' – blossom/seeds – is drifting around.

…a boy, 5, scoots through the internal piazza on his scooter (!) Other children meet, and two hold the door for a while meeting each other, possibly waiting for friends. Children bounce and skip around, meeting each other; there's a hum of easy voices and conversations of children and adults.

Projects documented in the entrance area show how they are joyfully developing their environment and relationships in it – the fence sculpture with 'secret ways' through to the canal path; relationships with the city e.g. project for everyone to travel by bike not car.

Continue reading
  133 Hits
133 Hits

Talking Plants - humans learn to listen better ...

Astro-physicist Jen Gupta and comedian Alice Fraser travel the parallel worlds of science and sci-fi.

 Summer listening: here is  a fascinating - and important - discussion of what is being discovered about how plants communicate. It's a must for all of us who are keen to understand more about the diversity and interwoven-ness of communication. We know various preschools keen to better undertand symbiosis in the plant world as well as in the human one - this is a valuable contribution, and a lively discussion to listen to this summer.

Talking Plants [click the link to listen]

In this episode, Jen and Alice investigate the science behind Sue Burke's book, Semiosis, about a mysterious breed of intelligent plants. They talk to Sue about how watching her houseplants formed the inspiration for the book. Then they ask the linguist Dr Hannah Little if we could ever learn the language of something that has a completely different understanding of what communication means. Finally, Professor Lilach Hadany explains how a radical new study might show plants are listening to each other - and maybe even to us.

This programme builds on the one which we listened t last year, on the subject - If you haven't heard it you can access it via our blog here:

Communication and relationships under our feet ...


  239 Hits
239 Hits

Here comes the SATs hammer again. But adults and children say - We Are More Than A Score!

The government and its departments continue to march  determinedly over the lives of children, with yet another round of its damaging test regime*. 

We have produced an inspiring film for SATs results day, reassuring children that the tests do not measure all that they can do. The film features famous faces including author Michael Rosen, actor Adil Ray, musicians Andy Gangadeen and Dunstan Bruce, Caroline Lucas MP, comedian Zoe Lyons and podcasting duo, the Scummy Mummies, as well as parents, teachers and children. It has received over 150,000 views in 24 hours on social media.

Sara Tomlinson, spokesperson for campaign group, More Than A Score commented: "The Department for Education's announcement comes at a heavy price for schools, teachers and, most of all, pupils. Over a third of year 6 pupils have been told that they have 'not reached the expected standard' based on a very narrow set of tests, taken under pressurised exam conditions. Branding children as failures just before they start secondary school risks turning them off learning altogether. Many of those pupils will have spent months focusing on just English and maths to prepare for SATs. They will have missed out on a broad and stimulating curriculum at a critical point in their education. It's not right or accurate to base a school's overall performance on the test results of 10 and 11-year-olds. There are more supportive ways to assess children and fairer ways to measure schools, without the need to turn pupils into data-points. The tide is turning in the assessment debate. Over 90% of primary school leaders want the current system to change and all opposition parties have pledged to a fundamental review. 

The time has come for the government to listen to those who know pupils best. Parents, teachers, heads and experts agree: our children deserve better."

See more about the campaign at More Than a Score

*In multiple Parliamentary questions, government ministers have re-asserted that they fully intend to continue with this regime (See The Cat is Out of the Bag)

  486 Hits
486 Hits