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Teachers go potty over new skills

All fired up: Local teachers and UCLan staff from the School of Art, Design and Performance at UCLans PR1 Gallery

All fired up: Local teachers and UCLan staff from the School of Art, Design and Performance at UCLans PR1 Gallery

Teachers are getting all fired up after going back to school.... to learn how to teach their pupils to throw pots.

The age old art of ceramics is back on the timetable after art and craft teachers from across Preston joined up to brush up on their skills.

The age old art of ceramics is back on the timetable after art and craft teachers from across Preston joined up to brush up on their skills.

The teachers, based at five local schools, had a smashing time on an intensive six-week training programme run by ceramics tutors at the University of Central Lancashire and are now enthusing their own pupils by highlighting the importance and career possibilities of creating their own masterpieces.

The scheme, aptly named ‘Firing-Up’, is a national programme run by the Crafts Council, and was formally launched in the North West at an event held at UCLan last week.

As soon as Christ The King Catholic Maths and Computing College in Frenchwood heard about the project head of art Andrew Pearson, jumped at the chance to join.

He said: “We have good ceramics facilities already but didn’t want to miss out on the opportunity to work with UCLan and the Crafts Council.

“As my own degree was in ceramics it was really important for me to get involved and show our students the range of skills required in this subject in addition to the opportunities a possible career that ceramics may offer.

“We are now looking forward to seeing the positive affect this has over our students and the work they produce, including working with a visiting artist.”

Mark Arrowsmith, head of art and design at Fulwood Academy said: “This project has helped us to plug a skills gap in art education and the students have responded well to this very practical subject.

“We have brand new facilities at Fulwood Academy and look forward to working on a group project to produce a piece of ceramic art that the school can enjoy for decades to come.”

The lessons have included teachers refreshing their knowledge of working with clay as well as methods of enthusing pupils in the subject. They have also been learning how to pass on their skills to other teachers so they can get involved in lessons in their own schools.

UCLan graduate and ceramics artist Wendy Lawrence worked with the teachers on the project and will act as a visiting artist to one of the schools.

She said: “Art can be used to inspire children, build confidence and encourages them to use their imagination. The teachers I have worked with all made fantastic progress and I have no doubt that they will pass this enthusiasm onto their pupils.”

UCLan’s Dr Alasdair Bremner, Lecturer and Research Assistant from the School of Art, Design and Performance, is coordinating the project.

He said: “We were really keen to help out and promote this scheme. Making things with your hands is a really important part of any education and can help develop students’ dexterity whether they go on to become a craftsperson or a surgeon.”

The Preston schools taking part in the project are: Christ the King Catholic Maths & Computing College, Corpus Christi Catholic Sports College, Fulwood Academy and Moor Park Business and Enterprise School.

 

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