CMNetwork E-bulletin: August 2012

    © Copyright M. Worthington & E. Carruthers 2012

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The example below is from Redcliffe Children’s Centre and maintained nursery in Bristol. Timothy’s drawings allowed his to explore a range of imaginative ideas and experiences as he drew on his growing understandings. In addition to drawings of vehicles, houses, people and planets he indicated map-like elements and incorporated letters and abstract symbols to communicate his meanings.

Timothy - 3 years 11 months: ‘Rockets and trains’

‘This is the space shuttle. The space station is here - the rocket blasts off!’ Timothy drew a slender vertical form and made large circular movements with his pen to show this in action, following this by drawing further rocket-like shapes beside his original. Later he drew a circle that he divided into smaller compartments, with a line bisecting the shape. He wrote in each space, using letters that are in his name.

Pointing to various features he explained, ‘This is my house - this is at Bristol. This is Harry’s house – Harry is my friend. I think this is little London. This is little London bridge, this is Victoria Park.’ His teacher asked if her house was there and Timothy replied, ‘Oh, sorry about that, but it’s on the other side [perhaps drawing on his knowledge of a globe], so you cannot see.’ Pointing to a much smaller circle above this he added, ‘This is the moon, the moon is very small, the earth is bigger.’

Timothy then turned to another sketch he was in the process of drawing, which showed a long narrow rectangle across the width of the paper. Above it were 3 circles and inside each were abstract symbols, each attached to a long vertical line in the manner of a traffic sign. Referring to the two figures he had drawn beside them, Timothy explained, ‘These are the bus stops here. That’s my Dad, that’s my Mum at the bus stops’.

Inside the narrow box beneath he added a long tube shape with circles extending along its length, ‘Over here, this is the underground train. They have lights inside, tow lights. It goes through the tunnel.’ To illustrate his point Timothy drew a series of short horizontal lines to show the rays of light at the end of his train.

His final drawing consisted of an enclosed arc filled with black pen and with a circular enclosure on top: ‘These are the tunnels. It is very dark but there’s a light on top’ he explained.


Making meanings in pretence, imagination and role-play: including gestures and actions; speech and vocal sounds; found and made artefacts; drawing, maps and writing.

Gallery 3: Redcliffe Children’s Centre and maintained nursery

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