Sightlines Initiative

promoting creative and reflective practice in early childhood education


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Dogs, Bones & Dancing

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Dogs Bones Dancing smHere are narratives and reflections from a two-year focus in two Foundation Stage settings in Kendal, Cumbria: Brantfield Nursery School and St. Thomas’s CE Primary School. It is an online PDF and we are currently making it free to download.

We wanted to continue developing our ‘Environments of Enquiry’ approach developed through previous Drama of Sound and other projects over many years. How would we get on in an entirely new context? 

We aimed for a decisive start, building on the more experimental beginnings of previous projects. 

DoS quote 4

We wanted the children to become competent and enthused in using music as a way of expressing their ideas and communicating; we wanted the adults (educators and parents) to understand the importance of music as a way for children to express themselves, develop high levels of competence and enthusiasm in working with children’s musical ideas, and rigorously explore and expand their approaches to learning environments in order to enable all this.

"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

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