Creative clay modelling at Chilton Primary School

Pottery fun gallery at Chilton

Young children at Chilton Primary in Ramsgate have taken their first steps towards their own great pottery throw down.

The Year 1 group has been learning how to make thumb pots by first sticking their thumb into a ball of clay, then rotating the clay round and round in the palm of their hand, trying to pinch an even thickness with thumb and fingers to form pots.

Another technique pupils have explored is how to create simple coil pots by first squashing small amounts of clay into sausages, then gently pushing the sausages forwards and backwards with flat hands until long thin tubes took shape.

It was quite a tricky technique to master so pupils had to show resilience each time they accidentally pressed too hard and their tubes turned out more of a cuboid shape.

Undeterred, they started again making sure to be gentler in order to make more cylindrical tubes. Next they took the tubes of clay and coiled them round and round to build a pot.

The inspiration for the creative clay learning was a pop-up exhibition outside the classroom of Year 1 teacher Polly Bryson – and the guest artist was her mum Pamela, a pottery enthusiast who has been learning the craft for two years.

The children discovered more about the display by reading the exhibition flyers before being introduced to the medium of clay and encouraged to explore the various pieces on display.

As pupils walked round they discussed what the exhibits were, if they considered them art and how they thought they were made. They also used the pictures and pieces exhibited, along with the written blurbs, to find out more about the making process. This got the children excited and led to creating different pots in the following weeks.

Deputy Head of School Hannah Cheshire said: “This is an exciting and challenging task for our younger children. Showing real determination, they persevered when some of the techniques were tricky to complete at first.

“The exhibition was set up outside the classroom in the learning zone. The idea was to inspire and to generate discussion and to teach the children simple sculpting skills.

“The results have been interesting and pleasing – they learned new skills and had a lot of fun making their own pottery creations that they will decorate and display in their own exhibition.”