As part of their history topic work learning about the Ancient Greeks, Year 5 have had the opportunity to develop their creative skills to design and make their own Greek Vase.

After looking at photographic evidence of Ancient Greek pottery, the children were eager to design their own vase.  Using clay can connect children to an important natural resource that has been used for the creation of objects for thousands of years – so the link to Ancient Greece was perfect.

The children were given a piece of clay and they were instinctively motivated to explore its qualities and worked with the clay whilst learning how it responded to their manipulation.  They quickly learnt how clay behaves and how they could use it to make their design take shape and form.  They also learnt that the heat of their hands can quickly dry the clay out during the skill of hand-building.

The children were taught and given the opportunity to experience two hand-building methods, one being a pinch pot/forming method where they roll the clay into a ball and use their thumb and fingers to pierce a hole in the middle and use a “pinch and push” technique to create a pot.  The other was coil building, where the children used the clay to roll it out with their hands to produce coils, which they then attempted to form rings on top of each other.  
Great fun was had by everyone – including the adults!
The children are now waiting for their pots to dry and then painting can commence.

“Clay reigns supreme as the greatest and most marvellous toy possible…Clay is something that is nothing…but which can become anything and everything.” (Making Learning Visible – Project Zero)

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