Interest in ceramics education is dwindling: our response is a national clay programme to ‘refire’ kilns in schools and inspire learners.
To see the response of the participants after phase two of the scheme scroll down to watch the video ‘Firing Up – Year 2 Evaluation’.
About the programme
Firing Up is the Crafts Council’s national programme highlighting clay and ceramics. Now entering its second year, the initiative has been development by the Crafts Council through a steering committee of representatives from NALN, NSEAD, University of the Arts (London), Clayground Collective and Ofsted. The core elements have been designed to:
1. Raise awareness of the importance of clay in our everyday lives and in world cultures;
2. Support schools in using this medium creatively and confidently, and in optimising its educational value for students and creating sustainable local links;
3. Showcase and exhibit the work of young people; and
4. Demonstrate the links between clay-work and the wider creative industry sector showing that working in ceramics is a viable career choice.
The programme uses a ‘cluster’ format constructed around the ceramics departments within partner Higher Education Institutions (HEIs). Each regional cluster consist of one HEI who will supply a ceramics ‘ambassador’ (usually the ceramics course leader), a technician and up to ten students, and five secondary schools.
It includes the following core elements:
• ‘Kiln Rehab’ – the rejuvenation of clay facilities in participant schools, supported by the expertise of ceramic –specialist staff from partner HEIs.
• ‘Clay Skills Training’ – twilight CPD for cluster teachers to build confidence and expertise using clay in the classroom.
• ‘Project Clay’ – an innovative creative workshop programme designed by Clayground Collective and delivered by local practitioners to enthuse and inspire the school community through a collaborative project.
Firing Up is generously supported by a 3 year grant from the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation and Paul Hamlyn Foundation.
The Esmée Fairbairn Foundation is one of the leading independent grant-making foundations in the UK, and aims to improve the quality of life throughout the UK.Find out more
We do this by funding the charitable activities of organisations that have the ideas and ability to achieve change for the better. We take pride in supporting work that might otherwise be considered difficult to fund.
The Paul Hamlyn Foundation is one of the larger independent grant-making foundations in the UK. We make grants to organisations which aim to maximise opportunities for individuals to experience a full quality of life, both now and in the future. In particular we are concerned with children and young people, and others who are disadvantaged.Find out more
We would also like to extend our gratitude to the official suppliers of Firing Up; Technology Supplies Ltd, Potclays ltd. and Pottery Crafts Ltd., whom we are pleased to recommend as suppliers of high quality ceramic resources to educational institutions.
Outcomes of the first year of Firing Up, 2010-2011 © Tim Hyde Films/ Crafts Council.
In its first year, we estimate that approximately 60 teachers and almost 2,000 pupils have directly benefited from the scheme, and would like to thank each and every individual from the HEIs, schools, and the makers, and those behind the scenes that have made this happen.
Firing Up Clusters – where are they taking place and who is involved?
These regional clusters have been selected and composed according to our project criteria:
• Geography – underpinning an effort to ensure a good national spread;
• Presence – of a positive ambassador in each H.E. institution to drive the success of each cluster and provide expertise;
• Facilities/ Resources – including the presence of a kiln, departmental capacity for hosting teaching peers, and the economic situation of the school and its community (i.e. identification of ‘need’).
Phase 1: 2010-11
Year 1 of the programme will comprised the following 3 clusters:
• Greater London – with University of the Arts, London (Central St Martins and Camberwell colleges)
• South West – with Plymouth College of Art
• North West – with Liverpool Hope University
We estimate that approximately 60 teachers and almost 2,000 pupils will have directly benefited from the scheme by the end of the academic year, and would like to thank each and every individual from the HEIs, schools, and the makers, and those behind the scenes that have made this happen.
Phase 2: 2011-12
The Crafts Council would like to thank everybody who expressed interest in participating in Year 2 of the scheme. After careful consideration of regional opportunities, matched by interest and demand, Firing Up clusters are now underway with these 4 institutions:
• West Midlands & Staffordshire– with University of Staffordshire
• South West – with Bath Spa University
• North West – with Manchester Metropolitan University
• North East – with the University of Sunderland
The response of the participants can be seen in our phase two evaluation video above.
Phase 3: 2012-13
The Crafts Council would like to thank everybody who expressed interest in participating in the scheme.
You can follow us on Twitter – @firing_up
To find out about opportunities for Firing Up and other craft education projects, join our Craft Action Network
National Arts Learning Network
National Society for Education in Art & Design
University of the Arts, London