I caught this morning on the radio a snatch of conversation between an author and a painter.
They were extolling wonders of the world, and the delicacies of representing them in words and images; thinking of the fascination with edges, other-worlds, human experience and communication, 'thinking hands.' I heard a brief sentence or two, but it struck so many chords with how creative educators are striving to connect with children's imaginative worlds and 'hundred languages', and create worthwhile educational environments in which children can relish them.
It was such an inspiring lift: I discovered that the two were Robert Macfarlane and Norman Ackroyd (surprise and delight!)
"The landscape painter and print-maker Norman Ackroyd meets the writer Robert Macfarlane.
Norman, who celebrated his 80th birthday this year, invites Robert to his studio in Bermondsey, London. They discuss their fascination with wild landscapes and islands, and how they attempt to come to a deeper understanding of place. They also share their thoughts on their working methods: for Norman, printmaking is like writing music - trying to capture and fix light and weather. For Robert, writing is a strange and solitary process: he reflects on the rhythm of prose and reads his latest "selkie" or seal-folk song.
Norman has been etching and painting for seven decades, with a focus on the British landscape - from the south of England to the most northerly parts of Scotland. His works are in the collections of leading museums and galleries around the world.
Robert has written widely about the natural world: his book The Old Ways is a best-selling exploration of Britain's ancient paths. Last year he published The Lost Words, a collaboration with the artist Jackie Morris, in which they aimed to bring nearby nature – the animals, trees and plants from our landscapes – back into the lives and stories of Britain's children." (BBC)
Here is the 'listen again' link: I hope that you will also find his inspiring and remindful of what is important for us as educators, in our quests to create heartening educational approaches, and to all children. (If the link doesn't work for you, do email me, as I downloaded the file.)
Brilliant sparks: In reading up today, I've found that Macfarlane & Morris' book has inspired at least 17 crowdfunding campaigns to make the book freely available in schools, and the John Muir Trust has made an Explorers Guide to the book. It's so heartening, isn't it, when popular actions like these are inspired by heartfelt connections and beautiful expression?
[images from Norman Ackroyd's website; BBC; Amazon]
Are you looking for ways in which your children can explore their world through music and movement?
This slideshow/video summarises our 2-year project with a nursery and primary school in Kendal. Discover what we did, what we learned, what obstacles we faced and how the children engaged.
Production has been supported by Youth Music, and so we are able to make this free to download.
"Dogs, Bones and Dancing richly expands the story I have been trying to understand, in two ways.
First, it is clear that, for each of these three-to-five-year-olds, the growing vitality of a human body with its many clever parts has become a thrilling adventure.
Secondly, this life adventure is one to be explored in play with companions who love to share the energy and grace of moving, and the new stories it tells.
Such advances in cleverness with cultural understanding depend on the vitality of natural self-expression, and the enjoyment of co-creating with others in making actions and memories meaningful and productive of common good."
Professor Colwyn Trevarthen, Edinburgh
We hope you will enjoy meeting the children, the educators, their ideas and explorations and learning, and reading the accompanying Commentary by Colwyn Trevarthen, Professor (Emeritus) of Child Psychology and Psychobiology, School of Philosophy, Psychology and Language Sciences, University of Edinburgh
A prominent Midlands Nursery School in our network are seeking a new staff member:
'The Governors at Madeley Nursery School are seeking to appoint an Early Years Keyworker / Educator to join the team at this friendly and creative school. The role requires the highest level of professionalism, creativity and enthusiasm for the education and care of young children and deep commitment to personal professional development.
Madeley Nursery is a dynamic school with fantastic children and families, set in the south Telford area.
If you are fascinated, energised and inspired by the approaches of the preschools in Reggio Emilia; if you wish to be involved in a school that offers great professional development and a friendly and supportive school community then contact the school for more information.
A job share will be considered but only between 2 applicants working either 5 mornings or 5 afternoons to cover the whole day.
Madeley Nursery School is committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children and young people and an enhanced DBS disclosure will be requested for the successful candidate.
Informal visits to the school are welcome.Please telephone the school to arrange an appointment on (01952) 388210.
If called for interview you will be required to make a short presentation to the interview panel.'
37 hours per week term time (plus 1 week for PD days)
Closing date for applications Monday 15th October at 12:00 noon