Thursday, 29 July 2010

Early intervention

Yesterday Sarah Teather, Children's Minister at DfE and Ian Duncan Smith Work & Pension Secretary announced the setting up of a new independent commission into early intervention, which aims to ensure that children at greatest risk of multiple disadvantage get the best start in life.   This will be chaired by the Labour MP Graham Allen (who has previously worked with IDS on a a similar joint review entitled "Early Intervention: Good parents, great kids, better citizens" in 1998).

The earlier report is well worth reading.   Essentially, they suggested that 'early' intervention means within the first 3 years of a child's life.  The earlier report was of course written when IDS was in opposition, but for this Commission to do a further review now interests me for 2 reasons.

Firstly, and I have to declare an interest here, Surestart.  The Surestart programme has been running since 1998 but NESS (National Evaluation of SureStart) found that there was little evidence of positive impact from the first part of the programme (and this was after a great deal of public money had been spent).  It was not until the programme switched to Children's Centre provision after 'Every Child Matters' in 2006, that impact was measurable although the evidence is still patchy and the evaluation is ongoing.  It's also worth bearing in mind that Surestart covers children aged 0-5.  (    

The future of the Surestart programme via Children's Centres has of course been the subject of heated debate over the part few weeks with Ed Balls in particular, suggesting that the Coalition government intends to cut and even abolish it.  But if 'Early Intervention' means anything it means Surestart. 

So I 'm wondering whether we are not seeing, with the setting up of this commission, a first step towards a re-organisation of Surestart, possibly narrowing the age criteria and also I suspect the number and type of programmes offered by Children's Centres.   Speaking both as a parent user and Chair of Govs of a Children's Centre, I have to say I would have no problem with this.  When the money was flush, it was perhaps not a problem that the majority of mums accessing services when I attended as a parent, were just like me ie over 30, middle-class.  But let's be honest - it was not set up for people like us.  

Secondly and this is simply an observation, made elsewhere too, that Ian Duncan Smith looks and sounds very different to how he did when he led the Conservative Party.   It renews my faith in human nature to observe how his views seem so entirely different now and that, no longer having any ambition to lead the party or the country, he is freed up to actually make a difference worth making, using research-based evidence and not simply ideology. 

My question I suppose is, was he always like this and was our view of him simply distorted by the prism of media coverage OR following his departure as Leader, did he undergo his own Damascene coversion on the Easterhouse estate in Glasgow?  Either way, he seems an altogether more human politician now and that is surely a positive thing and leads me to be cautiously optimistic about the future of Surestart.

Wednesday, 28 July 2010

What's not to love?

Dave or Ed Milibandwagon?

Not sure either of them have managed to jump-start it yet which is why it's not exactly electrifying.

Except several people seem to believe that the future destiny of the Lib Dems may well depend on who wins the most boring contest in electoral history, this September.  John Rentoul is not alone in hoping for a David win believing that surely Labour would not be so dim as to elect Ed.  Or would they?  UNITE is a big, powerful union with quite deep pockets.  That buys a lot of direct mailing to members reminding them, many of whom work in local authorities delivering the public services about to be cut and live in the council housing which will not now be improved because 'there is no money'  - the modern mantra - who fights their corner.  Note how they are also backing Ken for the London Mayoral nomination....

David would be the smart choice for Labour but these are unpredictable times.  People are worried and cannot be relied upon to do the sensible thing, preferring perhaps instead to invest in a Leader who has a track record of street-fighting (in the political sense).  Athough he has managed to avoid too close scrutiny over it, it's worth remembering that Ed M. presided over the worst of the Blair/Brown war years with his close allies, Charlie Whelan and Damian McBride in the Brown bunker at No.11.

Current thinking appears to be that Clegg and Cameron will strike some sort of electoral pact before the next parliamentary elections, assuming the coalition survives that long.  Sandra Gidleigh, on the Week in Westminster on Saturday, probably speaks for many in the party when she said that unless there was evidence the Lib Dems were having a serious impact on policy and law-making they would be 'toast' at the next election, as referred to by Matthew Norman today.    Which is where the debate over Dave/Ed comes in.  David M would be closer to Clegg than Ed although Ed has appeal to many on the left of the party.  Backed by the Unions who are squaring up for the fight of their generation however, would Ed even be interested in finding common ground wth the LibDems?

Why do I care?  Hard to explain really, except that politics gets under your skin so that even now, when we are no longer affected by it day to day, it's impossible to ignore...or maybe it's like a scab that you can't help but pick...either way, it is compulsive.  

Tuesday, 27 July 2010


Is this not the best (dark) comedy on TV right now?  This episode was particularly good but I have been unable to track down what for me, was the best scene ie the denouement between Adam, our eponymous hero and Darren, the happy clappy interloper with accompanying smoothie bar, in which Adam explains why clergy like Darren, with their absolute certainties, frighten him because faith and belief is and should be about doubt and overcoming that doubt.

Never mind, this is a clip of the wonderful Archdeacon and Adam discussing repairs to the broken church 'rose' window.

Monday, 26 July 2010

The Beauty Queen of Leenane - a review

BM missed this the first time round 15 years ago, when it made the writer Martin McDonagh a star and led to his subsequent success with "In Bruges" amongst other things.  Anyway, this play is where that success  began and it opened in 1995 at the Royal Court, around the time that another Irish play, "Dancing at Lughnasa" by Brian Friel also took the London stage by storm.  Both came at a time when modern Ireland was riding the Celtic Tiger and loving it; ostentatious consumption was almost de rigeur.  How times have changed.

This a terrific production, in no small part because the malevolent matriarch, Mag Folan is played so beautifully by Rosaleen Linehan, a legend of the Irish theatre.  For those who are interested in these things, Rosaleen is the mother of Graham Linehan, writer of 'Father Ted' and 'The IT crowd'.

Fifteen years ago, many Irish people watching this play would have shrugged off the references to emigration and employment hopelessness, but I was struck watching it, how those issues seem all too relevant today.  I wouldn't wish to leave the impression that it's all doom and gloom - far from it.  It's very, very funny and moving and incredibly tense throughout.

The play is on at the Young Vic until Aug 21st so book now - if there are any tickets left!

I leave you with a photograph of Leenane, not so many miles from where BM grew up, and a place of such utter loveliness that anything else I say will be superfluous.

(Photo: John Miranda 2010)

Poor neglected blog...

BM has been UNBELIEVABLY busy over the past 2 weeks or so, hence the shocking lack of posts and general neglect.  But that's not to say that interesting snippets to share with you, dear reader have not forced their way into my crowded consciousness during the break - au contraire - as ever, and no doubt I am not alone in this, items for the blog and my failure to actually blog them, have contributed to the ever growing list of things to feel guilty about.  But no more, I'm back and ready to roll!  

For those who might not normally visit the right hand list of interesting places to pass the time, I would point out that I have made some changes.  Some sadly have gone and others, arrived.   A Bloomsbury Life in particular is like nourishment for the visual soul, with pictues like this one of the work of UK guerilla gardener and artist,  Anna Garforth.  Why haven't I seen more of this and how come an American lady (much as I worship her) is the one drawing attention to her work ?

and up close...

(All photos Anna Garforth via A Bloomsbury Life)

You's a living thing...moss, suddenly beautiful.

Saturday, 17 July 2010

All the fun of the Fete

This was before the crowds gathered and is meant to show our lovely 'Bermondsey in Bloom' bunting on display outside River Room

and near the playhouse.

Then....things got a bit busy at the BBQ so despite the fact that literally, hundreds of people attended, games were played, faces painted, bouncy castle bounced on and loads of recycled toys and books recycled again - I have no further pictures of the day!  Except to say it was not as sedate as this, much earlier Bermondsey Fete

By Joris Hofnagel c.1569
(This is being indulgent because I have as you may recall, used this image before!  Click for greater detail)

Food as a political issue

During the recent local election in Southwark, Labour made a pledge to introduce free school meals to all primary school children across the borough.  This was unfunded.  They probably didn't expect to win (they weren't the only ones, sadly).  Anyway, they did and now they are trying to find ways to fulfil this pledge or maybe a way of backing out of it while saving face...

Primary schools in Southwark are being invited to take part in a local pilot beginning in September.  Schools taking part will choose 1 year group, those children will be offered free school meals and the school will be offered additional support in working with children, school staff and parents/carers on understanding the benefits of healthy meals on long-term health and wellbeing and maintenance of a healthy weight.  The findings will then be analysed alongside the results of 3 ongoing national pilots (in Newham, Wolverhampton & Durham) to inform the roll-out to all schools in the borough.

Several things about this idea trouble me.  Firstly, the 3 national pilots have been up and running for 1 year already and are being co-ordinated by the DfE, with research ongoing by NCSR , into not simply the issue of obesity but also behaviour, concentration and academic attainment.  The Southwark approach seems a bit of a stop-gap, 'on the hoof' idea with no real focus.  Why do this when a national, properly funded study is mid-way along and will report its findings about 18 months from now?   How is the study of 1 year group per school going to, for instance, inform the Council about the capital investment necessary to enable that school to offer free school meals to all its pupils?   It just seems a bit pointless - as if they have to be seen to be acting on their pledge, so they have come up with this.   In the meantime, it will be increasingly obvious that it is unaffordable and they will be able to say that they tried but the Coalition government policies made it impossible.   

Maybe the real question is why, after 13 years of a Labour government the key measure of child poverty ie FSM take-up, is relatively unchanged in Southwark.

Wednesday, 14 July 2010

A child of the universe

Been a bit bogged down with work and other commitments over the past few days hence the lack of posts.  In addition, although lots of issues have prompted an inner debate, (eg Roman Polanski affair, Zenna Atkins' comments on incompetent teachers) to be completely honest I'm not sure that I have anything fresh to add by blogging about them.  Although they do make me cross. 

So, I thought instead I would share with you the site linked to on the right, Sagan's Brain, which at times like this when I am slightly preoccupied with the everyday and stressed about things I cannot control,  allows me to escape out into the wider universe....and wonder.......

When I've caught up with what the universe has been up to, I feel a fresh sense of perspective dawning.  Although I've always been interested in space and science, Sagan's Brain is the first site I've come across which is quite accessible to a non-scientist.  And by way of final recommendation, the younger Dr Who aficionado of the household is also a fan.  What greater recommendation is there?

Monday, 12 July 2010

Bermondsey (Square)'s new bookshop

So, it's official:  Woolfson & Tay, Cafe Gallery and Bookshop is opening in Bermondsey Square on 11th September.   Good to see that it's an independent bookseller and it's got a full programme of Autumn events to look forward to.  

Is this further confirmation of Bermondsey's improving profile?  Yes, I know it's at Bermondsey Square which is hardly The Blue, but still...the last nearest bookshop was Riverside at Shad Thames but that became another coffee shop several years ago, leaving just the Riverside Bookshop in Hays Galleria.  

I wonder if they'd be interested in some outreach work with local schools...?

Seed Cathedral update

Not only has the Seed Cathedral won the RIBA Lubetkin Prize 2010, it is also turning into one of the most popular of the pavilions at the Shanghai Expo 2010, passing the 2m visitor mark a few weeks ago.

This is a just another excuse for me to post more pictures of this beautiful construction/apparition on the landscape...

(click on this one for greater detail of the seed head)
I think it's inspiring that, at the end of the Expo, the rods will be distributed to schools throughout China and the UK...just like dandelion seeds.

Sunday, 11 July 2010

We are complete

Time was, when Holy Communion money was not touched until you were 18...but those times are gone and so, following much negotiation a proportion of the said Holy Communion money went today to the purchase of the Doctor Who 11 Doctors Action Figure Set.  Behold:-

I am told by the DW fans in the household that this is covetable, since it includes the Paul McGann figure, William Hartnell and Patrick Troughton, not seen before (well not by me anyway).  In the Forbidden Planet shop today, they were restricted to one per customer.   So, 2 very happy boys in the BM household this afternoon - and that's before the football starts!

Can Oona do it?

It's been a few weeks now since the Labour nomination contest for the Mayor 2012 campaign got going and as expected, it's a two horse race.  The pundits took an early view that Ken has it in the bag but whispers on various blogs over the last week or so, suggest that Oona is sharpening her message and as a result may just pull off an upset at the Party Conference in September.  That said, there's a long way to go and several more hustings to get through before then.

Earlier today, both contenders appeared on the Politics Show.  It's well worth a look (go to 36 minutes in, unless you want to watch the whole show) and for my money, Oona was impressive.  Ken loves a good fight and that seemed to be all that he was offering in dealing with cuts to services across London, if he is elected in 2012.   Oona on the other had some interesting things to offer on housing, youth and knife crime and as she correctly pointed out, by 2012 cuts will have been implemented and whoever is in power will simply have to find imaginative ways of delivering services to Londoners.     If she can win the nomination, she will be a very attractive cross-party candidate.   In the debate over whether government exists to provide public services or to provide jobs for people to deliver those services,  we know where Ken stands but Oona seemed less tribal.

However, Ken did seem untroubled by her on today's performance, which makes me wonder whether the pundits aren't right after all and he has the unions in the bag and therefore sewn up the nomination.   I understand union members' concerns and desire to have a champion fight their cause - but not every Londoner belongs to a trades union and will Londoners' best interests be served if Ken is allowed to re-run the 1980's from City Hall?

Wednesday, 7 July 2010

Cristina Odone blogs for the Telegraph

Today her theme is the battle between working and stay-at-home mums, or rather whether there is a qualititative difference in the care provided by these different types of mum.  Not that she is really curious - her mind is firmly made up and guess which type she believes is's not a stretch.  

Two things strike me as noteworthy from the blog (and I take into account the fact that blogs are by nature opinion pieces but nevertheless):-
1.  Her current position is described in the Bio as 'Research Fellow as the Centre for Policy Studies'.  So I'd like to know what level of research rigour was applied to the bald statement of fact (without any evidential references) that:-

"Then along came the chest-thumping professional women who scoffed at the domestic goddess, mocked the mumsy attitude and, even if they happened to spawn a baby or three along the way, ensured there was someone else to do the boring tasks of feeding, nappy-changing, reading The Hungry Caterpillar six times in a row. The message was clear: women should be like men, not mums.
Soon, many of these professionals held high-flying jobs and influential posts and had the ear of government. They persuaded ministers that national policy should get women out of their homes and into work. No one, it was clear, should be a full-time mother."

I'm particularly interested in the assertion that this unnamed group of women, directed government policy.  If the subject matter weren't so serious then this and the idea that this is written by someone described as a Research Fellow, would be laughable.

2.  She goes on to describe full-time mothers as 'angry and resentful'. 

Again no research link, no evidence base for any of this, how shall I describe it -  nonsense, I think sums it up best.

The simple fact is that much of government policy on family, welfare, child development and bridging the inequality gap has been driven by sound research and analysis of data collected on a continuous basis by the ONS. (for stats nerds like me, invaluable tool for knowing your local area but that's another story)   

It may serve Ms Odone's career and imminent book release well to incite controversy with this sort of provocative opinion piece but she has nothing of any substance to say.

There's something about Mary

Portas, that is.  Clearly I am not alone in admiring her chutzpah and drive, not to mention her head-on, direct approach to her TV retail challenges - she is much admired by the gay community, although she is not defined by her sexuality and by fashion bloggers, particularly those featuring fashion for the over-40s, a woefully neglected consumer group.    

She clearly has a keenly developed sense of trends, which you see in the way she approaches her TV challenges but more recently I was suprised and yes, delighted to see via the Women Like Us website, a call for women over 40 interested in fashion to get in touch with her.  She is setting up an online fashion outlet for this group and wants to do some focus group testing!  And the reason this is particularly relevant to Bermondsey is that the groups are due to convene at the Fashion & Textile Museum in Bermondsey St.  There again, Mary has 'taken the trend temperature' and decided that Bermondsey is hot!

Couldn't resist a little clip from th fruit and veg shop episode- also because I loved the whole 'Three sisters' thing going on!

Tuesday, 6 July 2010

Changing the nappy curriculum

Much as been made today on blogs and in the newspapers about the DfE's proposed review of the EYFS ( Early Years Foundation Stage).   For the uninitiated, this became mandatory for early years providers for children aged between 0-6 from September 2008.  For all the brouhaha it caused at the time, it's not new really.   It replaced 2 earlier frameworks which provided guidance for children aged 0-3 -Birth to 3 matters- and Foundation Stage curriculum which covered children aged 3-6, ie up to the end of Reception class.  One of the aims of the EYFS was to provide a seamless 'curriculum' or framework with age appropriate developmental goals against which a child's progress could be measured.   This is actually important because if a child is not developing within the expected age phases between 0-3 in particular, additional support from external agencies can be sought.  The record-keeping it requires also means that there is evidence to provide to those agencies where necessary.

What many of the articles I have seen today miss is that the EYFS is a framework for learning and it is meant to be PLAY-based.  I stress that because it's easy to characterise it as 'testing for toddlers' when in fact such practice is not part of the guidance and would be considered on any Ofsted inspection to represent very poor practice.  However, it does require appropriate observation of the child and planning in accordance with the child's interests and yes, it requires childminders to do this too.  Why not?  Would we be happy if they simply placed the child in front of a TV all day?  And if not, what do we want and how do we want to monitor that it is taking place?  

As I mentioned above, the EYFS for 3-6 year olds replaced the previous Foundation Stage curriculum and while the themes have changed the 13 developmental areas have remained the same.  Children score points on a scale of 0-9 against these 'curriculum' areas, which sounds very calculating when we are talking about toddlers and reception classes. 

However, it was well established before EYFS a score of 6 points or more across the curriculum areas ie 78 points in total at the end of Reception class, is the best indicator we have of GCSE and subsequent education/career success and life chances.  A score of less than that is almost a clear predictor of educational failure, welfare dependency and in some cases depending on the area involved (eg Personal Social and Emotional Development) can predict how likely that child aged 6 is, to end up in prison.

I for one am happy with the EYFS; it's not easy and it takes a lot of time and effort on the part of the carers or teaching staff involved with those children aged 0-6 but are we saying that those children are not worth it?
And yes, childcare and early years education is not cheap to provide and nor should it be.  We should value the people who put the work into helping our very young children develop a lifelong love of learning.  The question of who bears the cost is another matter for another time.

Monday, 5 July 2010

The Fez

Not BM's first choice of headgear but for the Doctor Who fans in the household, it is a thing of beauty.  And now, following a successful eBay bid, we will soon have one of our own.  Playgrounds of Bermondsey will soon play host to the boy in the Fez....and suit...and bow have been warned.

Interesting and exciting times

Nice article in today's Guardian by Julian Glover, expressing but much more eloquently, what BM has returned to several times over the past few months - Labour and the Trades Unions howl over the Budget cuts and anticipated cuts in the spending review but have no realistic alternative policy agenda to offer.   And yet, while they hog all or most of the media attention, moaning and being self-righteous, it seems to me that they are missing what's going on under their noses.   Wedded as they are to 'process' often at the expense of outcomes, it seems that this extends even to the Labour Leadership contest, which Polly Toynbee despaired of in Saturday's Guardian.

There are loads of examples of fresh ways of looking at things like welfare reform and new ways of making the public services work better for everyone.  BM wrote last week about Southwark Circle and about Participle's new vision for the welfare state 'Beveridge 4.0'.   Even those affected by the reform agenda which makes me most nervous (Education) are not simply sitting and waiting - conferences are taking place all over the country, looking at new ways to deliver essential services within a tightened financial framework.  As a school Governor, I have been impressed at the way in which Southwark had the foresight to introduce traded services for schools, with the result that while the impact of any cuts from central government will undoubtedly be felt, the impact on Southwark schools and children is likely to be less severe.  

More widely, I noticed at the weekend that the Prince of Wales is facilitating some of this brainstorming:  'The Garden Party to Make a Difference' will run from 8-19 September at Clarence House, Lancaster House and Marlborough House.  It will involve the arts, science and business and will include mucic from Jools Holland, debates by Jonathan Dimbleby, Sanjeev Bhaskar & Clive Anderson, comedy by Marcus Brigstocke and Hugh Dennis, a discussion and demonstrations of Ecocars by Roger Saul and Kevin McCloud and fashion by Dame Vivienne Westwood. 

Another article which caught my eye at the weekend was a piece for 'Think Tank' in the Sunday Times, entitled 'Stop the aid - it's cash that ends poverty'.  (Sadly cannot link to it due the paywall..)  Claire Melamed is head of the growth and equity programme at the Overseas Development Institute and Joseph Hanlon is the author of 'Just Give Money to the Poor'.  Their article discussed the success in countries such as Brazil & Mexico of simple cash transfers to the poor, rather than disparate multiple aid programmes.  In Brazil this has resulted in a near halving of child malnutrition and in rural Mexico, high school enrolment has doubled among children whose families receive cash transfers; and for the first time, girls are just a likely as boys to go to school.    They suggest that this idea of giving money to the poor, is essentially copying what we in Britian have been doing (successfully as it turns out, in terms of eradicating extreme povery and death from famine) for 200 years or so.  It's not a panacea for the reasons they go on to set out but it's interesting.  And it seems, their opening gambit in the lead up to the UN's search for a successor to the millenium development goals programme.

You see what I mean; it is possible to re-think the process.  Just because it has been done a certain way for a period of time, does not and should not mean it cannot be done differently and better.    Julian Glover has it about right - the public accept not only that cuts to public services are are coming but that long overdue reform is also on the way.    Which is why I suspect that Labour need more than a change of leadership to begin to appeal to the public again.

The Revolutionary Communist Party

Interesting piece in the current issue of the London Review of Books by Jenny Turner about the RCP and its activities, specifically the activities of Claire Fox (Institute of Ideas) and regular panellist on Question Time  and Prof. Frank Furedi, who, from time to time provides fodder for the Daily Mail of the 'Outraged of Tunbridge Wells' variety.

BM and Frank Furedi have a bit of a history since back in the day when she was a practising Solicitor, acting on behalf of injured workers, Mr Furedi was putting himself about as a sage on the risk of 'Health & Safety gone mad' following the publication of his book 'Courting Mistrust: The Hidden Growth of a Culture of Litigation in Britain', (Centre for Policy Studies, 1999) and several articles in the national media at that time. 

BM's response at the time was featured in the trade magazines 'Hazards' and 'Occupational Health', which we won't go into now save to say that workers' rights have been hard fought and won but despite this, workplace injury is far from uncommon and the litigation which ensues is often lengthy with no guarantee of success.  Any compensation recovered is often poor consolation for the long-term consequences of an injury or work-acquired illness.

So it was a surprise to learn of Dr Furedi's past and current connection to the RCP.  Not sure what to make of it except to consider the delicious irony of his views being lapped up by the tabloids.

Friday, 2 July 2010

It's been this sort of week...

Ireland catches up!

...and passes its first Civil Partnership legislation.   And this despite opposition from the Catholic Church on constitutional grounds (do they really want to go there...?) although it had overwhelming popular public support.  

Sometimes the law is a bit slow in catching up with changes in culture.

Making politics work

In my Normblog profile last week, I mentioned that the single change I would effect in government would be to the electoral system, because I think it would/will change everything else.  It looks as though the referendum on AV will take place first Thursday in May 2011.  AV is not perfect and there are many critics but as James Graham sets out today in Comment is free, it's AV or nothing and for that reason, campaigners for electoral and political reform should support it.

There has been a lot of blogging/comment about the LibDem 'obsession' with electoral reform, much of it dismissive as not addressing the real, more pressing issues people have to face every day.  It's certainly the case that it's a complex subject but then so are many others such as public sector reform, how to stimulate a private sector recovery etc.  I suppose it's harder to find emotive ways of explaining it in simple terms which would resonate and make ordinary people care.

But I suspect that's the whole point.  So often it seems to me in a system which favours a 2 party duopoly, politicians don't have to really try very hard to explain complex issues, instead relying on old emotive slogans to bolster support.  Then see what happens when they are not forced to 'work harder' to explain for instance, why membership of Europe is important (UKIP emerges) or welfare reform and immigration issues (BNP emerges).  They then use examples of these, more extreme parties who nevertheless represent the concerns however misguided of real people, to warn of the dangers of electoral reform since it might allow those parties access to real power. 

The current system is a mess - electorally and politically, since it allows our currently elected politicians to dodge the tough issues.  It always worries me that mainstream politicians appear horrified by the emergence of the BNP as happened for instance in Barking & Dagenham , ignoring the fact that however despicable these parties may be, they have gained legitimacy because of a monumental failure of leadership by those self-same, mainstream parties.

AV will not make an enormous difference, it's true.  But it's a start and that has to be a good thing.   I believe that in certain areas (not all I accept), it will force incumbents to address and explain uncomfortable issues and debate with and defeat extremist parties legitimately, in order to win. 

As James Graham mentions in the article linked to earlier, AV is essentially a Labour policy.  It will be interesting to see whether they campaign for a Yes vote, especially since Toby Young suggests in the Telegraph that David Cameron may be forced to, to save the Coalition.

You see, already electoral reform is up-ending the way politics is done!

Thursday, 1 July 2010

Serendipitous fabric design - Update

Readers paying attention will recall that a company called 'Old Town' offers a print fabric called 'Bermondsey in Bloom' and they have very kindly now sent a bolt of the fabric in the blue colourway (see the options below).

We at the nursery school are about to reciprocate with samples of the following, which were designed by the children, following a trip to the temperate house in Kew Gardens, in association with the fabric designer Hanna Cottrell, to represent a 'River' and 'Rainforest' environment.   See if you can guess which one is which.

Both now hang as curtains in their respective rooms.

'Bermondsey in Bloom' (blue) is about to be made into some lovely bunting and will adorn the School come July 17th. 

It has been a good day!