“Plants don’t talk they make sounds” – A project exploring sound creation and composition.

Working with Dillon Howling, resident Atelierista (Artist) at LBO Horsham, children in the preschool are currently pursuing a long term research project with sound. The project started because children on a previous project told us that “plants don’t talk, they make sounds”. They tested this theory using an electric circuit board which produced different sounds when connected up to different species of plant. The project progressed using wire and mixed media to produce sound sculptures, drawing sounds, testing a range of instruments, listening to a large range of musical genres and teaching themselves to play the Melodica and write musical score using colour to define musical notations. They are working on recording their compositions  and editing them using software in the digital atelier, a space especially created for working critically with technology with creative potential.

Learning to play the melodica with colour bars children created to devise musical compositions

Learning to play the melodica with colour bars children created to devise musical compositions

Lara’s drawing of “A Monster playing the guitar”

Lara’s drawing of “A Monster playing the guitar”

Researching musical notation and representing notes with paint

Researching musical notation and representing notes with paint

Using the graphic pen to compose music using coloured sound bars on the computer, to later play on the keyboard

Using the graphic pen to compose music using coloured sound bars on the computer, to later play on the keyboard


 “World’s in our Head’s and Tunnel’s in our Minds” - Mind and Body Project

A long term project with 2-5 year old children researching the relationship between their bodies and their brains. Using the languages of drawing, composition, sculpture and movement, children spent many months researching skeletons, bones, teeth and the brain to work out how ‘thoughts make you do things’. This metacognitive exploration led children to make some very interesting conclusions about their thoughts which they collected in ‘thinking jars’ (their own idea of how to represent different thoughts and collect them).  They concluded that the brain is made up of “World’s in our heads and tunnels in our minds”.

We believe that reflective educational practice which builds on children’s ideas and predictions enables children to develop a strong sense of self to develop and test theories about themselves, other people and their place in the world.

Researching brains using wire and LED light

Researching brains using wire and LED light

Testing the theory that ‘plants have hearts too’

Testing the theory that ‘plants have hearts too’

Watercolour representations of organs inside the body

Watercolour representations of organs inside the body

Researching the skeleton and movement of our bodies using a digital projection screen

Researching the skeleton and movement of our bodies using a digital projection screen


Landscapes…or How to make yourself as small as a duck” - Perception and Perspective in Digital Photography Project

In 2014 a year long project researching how life through the lens of a camera can change perceptions and perspectives of it’s subject. With time and space to play with a tripod and digital SLR camera, a group of committed 2-4 year olds spent many weeks taking photographs in the LBO garden and clarifying their understanding of how trees, people, and ducks (amongst many other things) can appear smaller or larger depending on where they are placed in a photograph. Half way through the project a wonderful surprise took place, and an accidental photograph of one of the nursery ducks led the children to hilarious discovery… that “you can make yourself look as small as a duck in a photograph”. They decided to share their knowledge by creating a poster explaining how to do this, and this led to three months of honing their drawing skills including learning to draw a tripod in 3d.

This book has been published and sold around the world, with the aim of making visible the learning processes of children aged between 2 and 4 years old who constructed their own meaning and understanding of complex concepts such as perception and perspective in digital photography. The project unfolded in a socially constructivist context, where learning was deepened when children worked with other children and adults. We believe the children’s research documented in this book highlights the advanced capabilities, strategies and leaps in thinking of these young children that should be celebrated outside the boundaries of our nursery

Drawing of a tripod and camera for the final poster, by Holly age 3.5 years. Holly learned to draw in 3d over several weeks because she told us “the camera isn’t flat, it needs to POP off the page”

Drawing of a tripod and camera for the final poster, by Holly age 3.5 years. Holly learned to draw in 3d over several weeks because she told us “the camera isn’t flat, it needs to POP off the page”

Using the digital camera to explore perspective in photography around the farm

Using the digital camera to explore perspective in photography around the farm

Photographing the nursery ducks and children in the background to attempt to ‘make yourself look as small as a duck’

Photographing the nursery ducks and children in the background to attempt to ‘make yourself look as small as a duck’

Working together learning to draw a tripod in 3d for the final poster of the project

Working together learning to draw a tripod in 3d for the final poster of the project