Clay School

What is this project about?

The Clay School programme aims to provide children in Stoke-on-Trent with hands-on experiences with clay by bringing clay into schools. It was originally established in 2017, and we have worked with over 35 schools from across Stoke-on-Trent during that time.

The programme runs year-round, with increased opportunities in a British Ceramics Biennial year, where schools can book a guided tour of the Biennial and workshops within our engagement space. We innovate through a cross-curricular approach to workshops and projects incorporating elements of science, history, design, maths, literacy, and geography. This allows students to explore their creativity with clay while learning key elements of the curriculum.



What difference does Clay School make?

The ambition of Clay School is to give every school child in Stoke-on-Trent the opportunity to get clay under their fingernails and be excited by the possibilities of clay. Inspired by the heritage of Stoke-on-Trent, renowned as the home of British ceramics, Clay School will ignite the use of ceramics across all elements of the curriculum.


“The children absolutely loved it. The workshop was amazing and the girls that run the workshops are amazing and [the students] loved making things out of clay.” 

Teacher comment following a Clay School workshop


Another integral aspect of the programme is a series of CPD sessions for teachers to help them gain the skills and confidence to deliver more clay-based activities within the classroom. We believe in the empowerment of teachers to deliver more creativity in their lessons through ceramics. We champion clay as a tool for learning and creativity, while also promoting more sustainable approaches.



Where does this project take place? 

Clay School is working with schools across Stoke-on-Trent to make clay more accessible in the classroom. We are also working with teachers to provide training to increase their confidence in adding clay-based activities into the curriculum. 



Stay up to date with the Clay School programme

If you are a teacher or school administrator and want to keep up to date with project details, please add your name to our Clay School contact list.



Ferdinand the Bull 

Clay School is currently working with V&A Wedgwood on a project based on Ferdinand the Bull, designed by Arnold Machin. We are developing workshop activities and resources based around these themes:

  • Self-expression, anti-bullying and acceptance of other people
  • History of Arnold Machin and Wedgwood, themes of pacifism and art’s role in social justice
  • Curriculum links across key stages to PHSE, history and art


Clay & Communities

The Clay School project is part of the Clay & Communities programme, delivered through a partnership between British Ceramics Biennial (BCB) and Partners in Creative Learning (PiCL). Clay & Communities is funded by the UK Government through the UK Shared Prosperity Fund (UKSPF), which is managed by the City of Stoke-on-Trent Council.





Partners in Creative Learning logo.          British Ceramics Biennial logo.          City of Stoke-on-Trent Council logo

Funded by UK Government