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Early Years: Migration of Birds

Submitted by Education on Mon, 22/10/2018 - 15:30

Artist Natalie Zervou-Kerruish worked with Ronald Openshaw Nursery for two days in June 2018 on a project exploring shadow play inspired by the migration of birds. The project began with a staff CPD where Natalie introduced her own practice and ideas.

Natalie was interested in focusing on the shadows, colours and momentary glimpses of birds we often have. Working with staff, they experimented with materials to create sculptures that made fleeting shadows. They also made telescopes and viewfinders to create a different experience of viewing the world around us. The teachers enjoyed the experimental nature of the project, which aligned with the nursery’s free-play ethos.


It was such a lovely day and the children are still fascinated with their work!

Teacher, RONEC


Taking ideas from the CPD, Natalie went onto deliver a day-long workshop for children and their parents/carers. She created a structure from large canes, which was both a hanging device and structure to move through. Children were given coloured acetate, cardboard tubes, lolly sticks, bamboo and tape to create flags and other objects, which they could add to the structure and make coloured shadows. Children were given prompts and ideas, but mostly given free rein to explore the qualities of different materials.


Children, parents and staff evidently engaged and there was lots of wonder at the appearance of shadows. Staff took pride in displaying creations around the garden and we discussed ways of extending the project beyond the workshop using other elements such as water as well as transporting the viewing tools and shadow sticks into different environments.

Natalie Zervou-Kerruish, Lead Artist

If you are interested in what an artist could bring to your Early Years setting, please get in contact at or 020 8980 7774