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Most of the children at Washwood Heath Nursery have settled in and are enjoying the creative opportunities offered to them by the industrious staff. There is little need for the parents to stay behind now (see previous blog entry – Smooth Transition).

However, so taken by the arts and crafts based diversions laid on for them during their child’s transition to Nursery school, a hardcore group has evolved who still remain at the nursery to practice their pottery skills. So, Jon carried on working with the grown-ups making a large vase form on the potter’s wheel for the ‘gang’ to decorate.

The children in small groups and individually, came out to experience the potter’s wheel, the parents taking obvious delight in watching the youngsters feel their way around the spinning clay.


Washwood Heath Nursery School in Birmingham, has an excellent approach to help the new intake of some 180 children and their parents ease into school life. Creative activities are offered to parents in the school hall, whilst their offspring settle in the adjacent classroom. So far they have been woodworking, felt-making and for the next few weeks, working with Jon making pots on the wheel. The activities are designed to alleviate anxiety with the advantage of parents being never too far away to console the inconsolable!

Jon and the nursery staff were struck by the creative talents of assembled parents, particularly the intricate, decorative skills of some of the participants.

I’m so lucky to work with people who understand totally the benefits of creative learning. Washwood Heath Children’s Centre in Birmingham is another good example of an educational setting with creativity at its core. They have a talented artist in residence, who works part time on a weekly basis and who I’ve known for a few years through my Creative Partnerships involvement http://www.creative-partnerships.com/

Sarah asked if I could come along and supply a ‘clay provocation’ to excite and inspire both the children and staff. We all had a lovely time playing on the potter’s wheel, sometimes with six or seven children hands-on enjoying a collaborative potter’s wheel experience.