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Pottery – Basic Skills course timetables

Brief description

A supported course for people with learning disabilties/difficulties.
Learn how to work with clay, make pots and models in a relaxed and supportive environment.

Course Outline

Who is the course aimed at?

  • Individuals with learning disabilities/difficulties
  • People who have no experience, or very little experience, of pottery
  • People who require a supported environment

Course description in brief

  • To learn about a variety of pottery techniques.
  • To develop individual creativity through the use of clay.
  • To gain confidence at working with clay.
  • To meet new people and socialise within a pottery class.
  • To develop an understanding between people of different abilities.
  • To co-operate in a group situation.
  • To make choices and decisions.

By the end of the course I will have learned:

    • Learnt new skills using clay
    • Developed more confidence in my creative ability.
    • Met new people and co-operated with them in a group situation
    • Developed and practised some key skills such as making choices and decisions, joining in a group discussion and using the coffee bar.

    Finished a number of clay objects demonstrating the learning of pottery techniques and development of own individual creativity.

Do I need any skills, experience or qualifications before I join the course?

No – just enthusiasm and a desire to learn creative things.

What equipment will I need for the course?

You will need money to pay for your finished pots. Otherwise, everything is provided.

What materials will I need for the course?


What activities will I take part in and how will my course be structured?

There will be no set scheme of work for the whole year. Flexibility is important as the course content will be negotiated with learners and volunteers. Class members will suggest ideas for pottery projects. What projects are done will, more often than not, be democratically decided by the class. We will mostly work on pottery techniques. Learners will choose their own project within the technique, thus allowing the development of individual creativity. There will be some instances where the learners will all work on the same project (suggested by students), but they will tackle it individually. These will mostly be projects for festivals such as Valentines Day.


Coiling; slab building (hard slabs); use of moulds; pinchpots; soft slab building; modelling; throwing; decorating techniques

We will use some of the following clays:

St.Thomas (brown stoneware); white stoneware; raku (gritty); porcelain; terracotta (earthenware). (The kilns are fired at stoneware – a high firing).

We will learn to decorate the pots with colour using glazes, oxides; slips; underglaze.

The first session will broadly be structured as follows:

1. Register and settling in.

2. Introductions (names)

3. Tutor to tell students about the course.

4. Induction – tour of pottery, fire exits, health & safety, key places in Swarthmore.

5. Group discussion about projects – students to input ideas, tutor to write up.

6. Start a short project to be finished in one session, eg pinchpots

7. Tea break.

8. Continue project.

9. Tidy up & review session.

What will be expected of me in terms of personal or time commitment?

  • You will work as part of the group and on your own work.
  • You will work towards your own learning goals negotiated between you and the tutor.
  • You will need to be punctual and attend the class regularly.

How will my learning be assessed and reviewed?

  • Learning will be recorded informally and formally using progress-monitoring sheets.
  • Photographic evidence will also be used.

What could I go on to do after I have finished the course?

  • There are a range of ‘supported courses’ that are available at Swarthmore

This course could be a first step to joining courses at other centres

How will I say what I think about the course?

  • A simple feedback form is completed at the end of the course.

Discussion with your tutor

Available timetables for this course

Please make a note of the course Ref for the course you are interested in.

Course Ref Hours per week Days(s) Time Course Dates Costs
L155 2 Thursday 1pm – 3pm 27 Sep 2018 to 20 Jun 2019 (30 weeks) One Off £84.00 (funder_code:L)

Course Funding

Swarthmore provides a variety of courses some of which are subsidised by public funding.

Courses with course codes pre-fixed by a letter ‘F’, ‘L’ or ‘N’ are subsidised and have age restrictions.

  • ‘F’: courses are accredited and are funded by the ‘Skills Funding Agency’ for those aged 16 and over.
  • ‘L’ & ‘N’ courses for those aged 19 and over.
  • ‘L’ courses are supported by Leeds City Council for Leeds Metropolitan area residents, priority given to those living in disadvantaged areas, people not in employment and/or in receipt of benefits, those with low skills, no qualifications, disadvantaged groups or individuals with specific needs e.g. lone parents, BAME groups, adults with LDD.

For information funding and eligibility see the ‘costs’ page.

Unless stated otherwise - all courses take place at Swarthmore Education Centre Leeds

What next?

To enrol in a course complete the enrolment form on the download page using the correct course reference (Course Ref) from above.