As part of my on-going artist residency at Evesham Nursery School, I get the opportunity to work with the parents in a one off, special evening session. Babysitters in place, the parents and carers enjoy playing with clay and having fun on the potter’s wheel – basically enjoying all the things that their offspring do during the day.
Over the last weekend in March, teachers and teaching assistants attended an Early Years Outdoor Conference at Leighswood Primary School in Walsall. The event included lots of different activities, such as storytelling in a Tepee, walking through the woods with a forest ranger, using tools, and risk taking. Staff were encouraged to evaluate their experience of the conference by creating two giant terracotta owls – Each one made up of individual ‘feathers’ illustrating the teachers take on the day. Gemma was on hand to facilitate the creativity and help construct the birds. Once the owls are dried and fired they will be flying back home to Leighswood Primary…
Head teacher Lynda booked the studio for a staff team/inset session on Thursday. The gang spent the morning taking turns to throw shapes on the potter’s wheel and making coil pots. The sun appeared at lunchtime so the teachers and T.A’s were able to picnic on the lawn.
I spent a couple of days this week working at Grace Academy in Solihull. Children could opt into either clay with myself or football in the school hall. I was somewhat surprised by some of the footballing teenage lads, who, at lunch break, plonked themselves down at the clay tables and proceeded to make stuff for half an hour or so- “It really gets you focused” was one of the comments.