"It is vital for all children to experience hands on learning and creative arts experiences from an early age. Clay is a part Stoke-on-Trent's DNA and the material is so embedded within the city."
Katie Leonard, Lecturer in Education
75 students from Staffordshire University training to work within early years education have been getting hands on with clay.
Creating and developing learning experiences aimed at 0-5yrs, BA (Hons) Early Childhood Studies students have been using clay in different ways to create exciting play based activity.
A grand clay feast was created to entice the students to use the material in a new playful way, inviting sensory exploration and promoting imaginative play based enquiries through the new Clay for Learning programme.
Katie Leonard, Lecturer in Education at Staffordshire University who devised and delivered the Clay For Learning Programme, explained: “It is vital for all children to experience hands on learning and creative arts experiences from an early age. Clay is a part Stoke-on-Trent's DNA and the material is so embedded within the city.
“I think it is important that students who are looking to teach children in nurseries and schools in the future have real opportunities to engage with clay to learn and experience the material. Using clay at all key stages encourages curiosity and develop visual literacy.”
Student Helen Wain said: “I fully enjoyed every moment of it I have taken a lot of skills and ideas away with me for future clay activities”
“I will certainly use clay within my setting and incorporate it into the EYFS curriculum, it was great to get so immersed with the material and see the endless possibilities for use with the children.”
The students created storytelling sculptures, created ceramic plates and innovative clay plaques to be used during work in placements in nurseries and primary schools across the city by clay based learning into schools in Stoke on Trent.
“The students were thoroughly engaged and their concentration on their practical work was intense and they were proud of their creativity.” commented Ruth Hudson Gill, Senior Lecturer Early Years Education.
“I feel confident that these students will be able to deliver clay-based activities in their professional experiences and settings in the future.”
The Clay for Learning programme has been developed by Katie Leonard using materials that were generously donated by Potclays LTD. For more information please follow @katie_leonard1 #clayforlearning #educlaytion
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