Sightlines Initiative

promoting creative and reflective practice in early childhood education


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Sightlines Initiative publications

Over the years, as we've conducted action-research work, we've sought to learn from them step by step. In our publications we seek to provide ongoing resources for other educators in their researches and creating of fit learning environments.

RFJ ArticlesList

Our ReFocus Journal, published bi-annually between 2004 and 2010, commissioned and collected a wide variety of articles from across the national and international network of educators inspired by the work of Reggio Emilia's preschools.  The journals are an excellent source of reference and learning: here is a compilation file of all the articles in numbers 1 - 10 which you can download for reference - click the image to download.

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ReFocus Journal Issue 10

ReFocus is the UK network of early childhood educators, artists and others influenced in their practice by the preschools of Reggio Emilia

Articles include:

  • Ways into the Woods by Deb Wilenski
  • Inspiring Creativity by Johanna Scott
  • Reggio Children International Network by Debi Kyte Hartland/Emma Pace
  • Traces from Reggio by Margot Meuwig and Tienke Van Der Werf
  • Venturing out by Chris Holmes
  • Opening up to ideas by Tracey Hutchinson
  • Focus on North Yorkshire by Paula Willis
  • Artists' Interventions by Penny Hay
  • Materials and Imagination by Gail Alder
  • Watch the Ripples Spread by Andrea Gray
  • A Community of Learners by Nicki O'Brien and Vicki Whittaker
  • The Developing Brains and Minds of Young Children by Mary Fawcett


ReFocus Journals (set)

The ReFocus Journal is Sightlines Initiative’s early years publication exploring reflective and creative pedagogical practice in the UK: it draws on the wealth of experience and expertise developed in the UK and is a means of sharing learning journeys, philosophy, and experiences amongst the ReFocus Network and wider and international early years community.

The set contains issues 1 to 10 of the Journals, and is a massive resource bank of articles exploring  creative and relational pedagogy, book reviews, position pieces, articles project accounts and much more.

A downloadable full list of all the articles in ReFocus journals 1 - 10 is HERE


Rising Sun Woodland Preschool Project

"A dragon in a tree, blossoming bluebells and daffodils, fungi, an enormous muddy pond, a chance to make fire...

Whenever the nursery children from Redesdale First School in North Tyneside go down to the nearby Rising Sun Countryside Park, they're sure of a few surprises.

Their weekly visits have introduced them to the great outdoors and allowed them to discover it at their own pace - and to discover new talents and abilities along the way.

It makes for enchanting viewing, as the children discover the magical environment of the woodland and make it their own. In the process, different individuals hone different skills and gain in confidence." (from Alison Mercer, Nursery World 2001)

A transformative film for early educators wanting to ground their creative practice in nature.


The Drama of Sound

 - exploring musicality as an expressive language in early childhood education.

In this set of projects the focus has been around musicality.  We explore how we can better offer the concept of music, of listening, of aural capacities, in the early years learning environment.

We work together to support an educational practice which maximises the potential for children to explore, to make enquiries, to exchange their ideas with one another and to express them.

This DVD presents a year-round experience of collaborative work between musicians and educators in two early years settings and an infant school. It is constructed around themes to illustrate the growing strands of learning of both the adults and the children.

'Musicality is an intrinsic part of the possible languages of expression that we as human beings have as a potential to understand the world.'


The Mouse House

A Woodland Children booklet: it tracks the development of one of the many ideas that the children conceived, and is an interplay between staff and children, the environment and the imagination.

The narrative focusses on the growth of one boy's imagination, and the developing relationship, through it, between him and the group.  Included also is a book of his stories, written two years after his 'mouse house' project.


The Sounds of Leaping

This DVD narrates the reflective practice of a group of educators exploring a group of reception age children's use of music and movement as expressive languages.

It shows the evolution of children's and adults' thinking and experience, in the framework of a reflective cycle, and is an excellent tool for educators developing their reflective pedagogy: it has been constructed to illustrate the evolving stages of engagement, thinking, learning, expressive languages which came into the group learning journey.