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pottery made by parents at washwood heath nursery school birminghamSome of the parents last week didn’t get the opportunity to try the potter’s wheel. Unbeknown to me they had been observing, very carefully their friends and fellow parents making their pots.

No sooner had we opened for business on Tuesday, a que of eager potter’s waited in turn to practice what they had quietly absorbed from the previous week.

The results were amazing – everybody just knew what to do with very little prompting. 

Some of the parents who’s children were taking a bit longer to settle at nursery, discovered a little peace and solace just from watching the other adults making their pots. Even though they didn’t engage directly with the material, they were still able to lessen their anxiety.

a finely decorated clay plate made by a new parent at washwood heath nursery school in birminghamIn an attempt to settle the new intake and their families into their first few days of organised education, Washwood Heath Nursery School in Birmingham provide a host of creative activities for parents to take part in whilst their offspring spend their first few hours in the classroom.

This system works remarkably well, not only in relieving parents anxiety by occupying their minds with things other than their child, but annualy revealing creative skills and artistic talents.

Participation is always very good, although we were greatly encouraged by the number of dads who got involved with the clay this year. Dads, mums & grandparents made press molded plates and pots on the potter’s wheel.

teachers creative development day at eastnor pottery herefordshire1/2 the teaching staff from Washwood Heath Nursery School were released from duty last week for a day of clay enlightenment and pottery fun here in Eastnor.

The team got to design and make terracotta sculpture based upon the children’s interests and themes. Once fired, the various artworks will live in the school grounds, provocations for learning and play. Super heroes, princesses and monsters proved popular with some stunning collaborative beasties produced.

Once the ‘serious’ team building activity had been completed, it was time for the potter’s wheel – the group taking turns onfive available machines. Althoughmost had never been on the wheel before, everybody managed to make a pot to be proud of – as well as having oodles of fun!

very young potters at washwood heath nursery school get to grips with the potters wheelIt’s been a week dominated by working with the under 5’s. As well as the fab moonbeams3 project at MAC, I also found myself at the totally creative hub of early years joy that is Washwood Heath Nursery School.

As it was the last time this academic year I’d be working with the children we decided to offer the potter’s wheel as a free flow activity, outside on the playground.

this little textured clay slab was created by a young potter at the inspiring and creative early years setting of washwood heath nursery school birminghamThe sun really did shine down on Washwood Nursery School this week and although we’d planned lots of exciting clay activities in the classroom, it was no match for the fantastic weather. Naturaly, and quite right too, all the young people headed for the door as soon as it was free flow.

If the mountain won’t come to Muhammad and as a champion of fresh air clay exploration, I decided to join them.

We squashed the clay into and onto all sorts of surfaces collecting marks and textures on biscuit sized slabs – McVities eat your heart out!

Some of the children who usually choose not to engage with the clay in the classroom took great delight in hurling lumps at the ground or using their whole body weight to squash it beneath their elbows – a much more physical and equally valid approach -great stuff!