Some thoughts on Assignment 1: Square Mile

I have been thinking about the Square Mile assignment, and hatching plans and scheming schemes! When I signed up for the course way back in April last year I read through all the assignments and started thinking about the first one straight away.

I had some clear initial ideas based on the childhood theme:

  • Go back to where I lived as a young child
  • Take photos of places that were important to the five-year-old me (front porch, cul-de-sac, school, sweetshop, library, grassy bank on the side of the road)
  • Take the photos from a low angle, to simulate the point of view of a small child.

I am a primary school teacher who specialises in supporting schools with using technology, and have worked with many Early Years practitioners to encourage them to hand the class camera over to the kids, and have always been struck by the surprise generated by staff seeing the child’s-eye-view of the Nursery…it looks very different from down there!

Anyway – this idea solidified in my mind and I was quite excited about going on a ‘shoot’, potentially having to talk to local residents to explain what I was doing snooping around their front gardens etc.

I had written a series of poems based on photos and events in my childhood as part of a Poetry course, and the idea seemed a natural extension of this.


I lost the plot with the course, and have been procrastinating until very recently. (Let’s not even go into why I would spend money on something I love doing, and then not do it for seven months.)

Now I am approaching the Assignment, I am having a bit of a radical re-think. I have re-read the brief, and although the places of childhood are integral to the idea, there is scope for using any familiar place as a ‘square mile’…and so Maz Walks has emerged as the new good idea.


6 thoughts on “Some thoughts on Assignment 1: Square Mile”

  1. I am always impressed with the images taken by the grandchildren (6&3) with borrowed iPhones, especially when they explain possibilities in post production! But Mazwalks look interesting too. So ….. either of your ideas would work really well I think. I have learnt as I go along this course that doing what feels comfortable is the right thing to do.
    Sadly taking photographs from ground level is no longer something my body finds comfortable!

    1. Hi Sarah, many thanks for your thoughtful comments and ideas – they have really helped me re-engae with the course over the last few weeks – I feel like I am part of a learning community and that is great. I am now following your blog and also enjying your learning journey.

  2. Hi Marion,
    Just found your blog.
    Things get in the way, I’ve just re-engaged with the course and got the second assignment out of the way. I’ve now looked at all the work for part 3 and come up with ideas for the exercises and assignment. Just need to sort out the time to actually take the photos now.

  3. Hi Marion, I agree with Sarah, go with the gut instinct and what feels the right thing to do. I think there’s a “risk” with this exercise of taking it too literally and my tutor gave me feedback that it could be anything; a house, room or, as I did, a square mile of land.

    The creative aspects of this course have been the most stretching for me, and at times I procrastinate too, but it’s worth the effort in the end. All the best with the exercise Marion. Cheers, Andy

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s