Sightlines Initiative

promoting creative and reflective practice in early childhood education


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Documentation & Narratives

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Adventuring in Early Childhood Education

Robin Duckett and Mary Jane Drummond 

How do we translate our values and beliefs into practice?
Action-research narratives and reflections on establishing creative, reflective early childhood pedagogy: early childhood educators and creative enablers describe their collaborative work for others who want to explore and grow.

  • When we say we value children as competent, sociable, imaginative and expressive learners, what do we do about it in practice?
  • When we say we need to be critical, reflective and creative in our practice, how do we realise these aspirations?
  • When we try to create environments of enquiry, with space for children's fascinations, what will help - or hinder - us in doing so?



"We are the explorers of the Diana School, we’re the strongest of all, even though strength doesn’t really count that much it’s better to be intelligent… we’re the best experts on dinosaurs, insects, tricks and jokes… we’re writing some things for you so you can learn them." The Big Kids of Diana School

The 5-6-year old children of Diana Preschool recount to the 3-year-olds the school they are coming to. In the book a game of stickers to find one’s own way in the new school.

Edited by Paola Strozzi and Vea Vecchi
Graphic design by Rolando Baldini and Vania Vecchi

Published by Reggio Children

An inspirational book for anyone involved in creating experiences of encounter and transition for young children



A3 folder of ideas, drawings, and interpretations of animals by children of the Municipal Preschools of Reggio Emilia.


 Publisher: Reggio Children (1995)


Browsing Through Ideas

A collection of wonderful ideas, microstories, children's thoughts and theories, fragments of 23 projects from Reggio Children.

Designed for educators' group discussion and professional formation.

"An open and engaging A3 folder of new and different contributions of children and teachers that, with a particular narrative and iconic synthesis, keep a trace of the basic project but express new concepts that can generate enormous educational potentials, able to elicit new ideas and new proposals."

Sections from the Reggio exhibition "THE WONDER OF LEARNING"

Published by Reggio Children (2009)



A mother cat and her kittens living in the schoolyard: an extraordinary experience for the children at Villetta Preschool.

A3 folder of drawings and ideas.
Published by Reggio Children (1995)


Crossing Boundaries

Ideas and experiences in dialogue for a new culture of education for children and adults.

The book contains the proceedings from the International Conference held in Reggio Emilia in February 2004 entitled "Crossing Boundaries".

The Conference offered itself as an international opportunity for dialogue and exchange around themes such as the rights and potentials of children and adults, learning processes and the school's strategic role.

Contributors include Jerome Bruner, Howard Gardner, Peter Moss, Irene Balaguer, Aldo Masullo, Susanna Mantovani.

Including a DVD with conference video-interviews.


Published by: Edizioni Junior (2006)


Dogs, Bones & Dancing

DoS quote 3

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.


Everything has a Shadow Except Ants

The experiences and emotions of children at the Diana and Gulliver Preschools of Reggio Emilia at work with shadow, immaterial companion in our lives.

"Shadows live or die only when there's light. When I can't see my shadow it's because it's gone back to its place. The shadow place is inside of us"  "When you don't see the shadow, it's gone back to the sun."

A project between science and play.

 Published by Reggio Children (1999)



This booklet tracks the development of one of the many ideas that the children conceived. Lots of theories and stories emerged through the inspiration the natural evviroment had of the children's creative and curious minds. An interplay between staff and children, the environment and the imagination.


I tempi del tempo/The Times of the Time

This video narrates the project “The Times of Time” that involved children from the infant-toddler center to primary school carried out within the context of the  international photography festival Fotografia Europea 2008.

Photographs and thoughts of children and adults tell of the times, many different, perceived and measured, awaited.

The images are organized in three sections: the catalogue of the exhibition “The Times of Time”, a short documentary on the project in the Reggio Emilia infant-toddler centers, preschools and primary schools, and the photography ateliers held in the town.
The video creates an interweaving between the learning experiences of the adults, the experimentation of the children, and the photographic images, highlighting an approach to the visual language that is constructed in a context of many relationships.

The Exhibition running time: 9’25’’
The Times of Time - Video Documentation in the infant-toddler centres and schools running time: 5’09’’
Photographic Atelier - Video Documentation running time: 12’13’’
Audio: Italian stereo
Subtitles: English
Video format: 4:3


Mobility of Expression

The importance of looking at yourself for constructing your identity.

An A3 folder collection of portraits made by the children at Pablo Neruda Preschool for giving themselves a face, a body, speech, thought, and emotion.

Published by Reggio Children (1995)


Mosaic of Marks, Words, Material

With this investigation we tried, as much as it is possible, to gain a better understanding of this interweaving of languages of meaning-making and expression with the aim to restore to drawing, to the instruments and materials, to words and to the children, all the cognitive and expressive richness they generate. Though drawing and words are autonomous languages, for the children words and stories, silent or spoken, almost always go hand in hand or interwine with the drawing, creating an intelligent and often poetic mosaic.

Drawing and telling stories means imagining, analyzing and exploring spaces, forms, colours, words, metaphors, emotions, rhythms and pauses, entering into a narrative dimension that is both internal and external to the self, playing on reality, fiction and interpretation.

With contributions by: Paola Cagliari, Claudia Giudici, Daniela Lanzi, Deanna Margini, Antonia Monticelli, Annalisa Rabotti, Mirella Ruozzi, Paola Strozzi, Ivana Soncini, Vea Vecchi


Participation Is An Invitation

Citizen, Citizenship, Participation

This DVD was created during the preparation of the exhibition 'Participation is an Invitation' in relation to the exchange with the international photography festival Fotografia Europea. The theme of the 2012 exhibit, which served as the framework of this project, was “Common Life: Images for the Community of Citizens”, and involved local schoolchildren from the infant-toddler centers to middle school.

During the meetings, as the children used different expressive languages to investigate and interpret the themes and meanings of community and citizenship, their words and ideas emerged more and more clearly.

It was immediately visible (and audible!) that we were building a sort of alphabet, a lexicon that inventoried the value of citizenship, participation, city, public places, migration, rights, duties…

The children’s reflections represent a special occasion to re-launch, also in other contexts, the themes of welcome, borders, and democracy, and to elicit, we hope, new stories and new opportunities for listening.

running time: 23 minutes

DVD – NTSC and PAL; Audio: Italian stereo; Subtitles: English


ReFocus Journal Issue 01

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

Articles include:

  • 'Everything is a Beginning'  by Mary Jane Drummond
  • 'In the Jungle with the Children of Adderley' by Debi Keyte-Hartland
  • 'The Racing Car Boys' by Jude Noble, Nicola Balfour, Chris Holmes
  • 'Practically Speaking' by Emma Pace
  • 'The Four Beasts and the one Dad with No Child' by Sasha Laskey and Ed Harker
  • 'Focus on Cambridge' by Mary Jane Drummond and Sue Bainbridge
  • 'Dedicated to Loris Malaguzzi, the town of Reggio Emilia and its Schools' by Peter Moss


ReFocus Journal Issue 02

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

Articles include:

  • 'Woodland Kids' by Linda Lines
  • 'Making Learning Intriguing' by Ed Harker
  • 'Bilston Nursery School' by Catherine Webb
  • 'Practically speaking - Clay reigns supreme' by Elaine Mason
  • 'Creature Worlds' by Chris Holmes and Elaine Mason
  • 'The Life of an Idea' by Robin Dickett and Elaine Mason
  • 'A knowledge building project about birds' by Ann Aberg
  • 'In the Best Interests of Children' by Jenny Brain