Instead of “miserable” memorizing a poem, students in a school in England play with clay. As a result, they still know the poem.
A late morning in the classroom of 11-year-old children is preparing for a public speaking lesson. Maybe you will think of this scene right away: a red-faced student stood “deadly” in front of his classmates, struggling to pull from the memory of a new poem that he had learned an hour earlier.

However, in Stoke, England, there will be no such thing, because students can do everything in a completely different way.

“It’s a pleasure to use your hands,” said Mohammed Abouebaida, a seventh-grader at Thistley Hough Academy, cheerfully showing off while molding and molding a piece of wet clay.

Around him, classmates are also molding soldiers and creating tanks and barbed wire – symbols in the First World poems they are about to present.

As explained by Alison Ward, the teacher in charge, the idea here is that children will learn better when they are active.

“They really like and enthusiastically participate. If you tell them to remember a poem, it sounds dry. This forces them to use other techniques to help them complete their tasks, not must learn only parrots “.

In schools across Stoke, clay is being brought back to the classroom to preserve the city’s proud ceramics heritage, and also to maintain creativity in its teaching program.

Nearly 1,000 students in 15 schools across the region have traditionally made pottery, Staffordshire Potteries, were introduced to clay for the first time this year according to the program of putting clay in schools.

The program wants every student in Stoke to use clay in the classroom by 2021, when the city hopes to be the cultural city of England.

At the pilot schools, teachers reported positive results for “difficult” students, especially boys.

“They are really involved in this work with creativity and the ability to express themselves in the image through clay,” Julia Rogers – design director of Thistley Hough, a large high school in the periphery of Stoke city center, said.

Thistley Hough recently had students from Afghanistan, Iraq, Cuba and the Philippines, and of the 719 students in the school English is not the native language of 309 children. This also means that clay is a particularly effective way to teach.

“It’s a visual language, so there’s no barrier,” Rogers said.

Schools participating in this program brought clay to topics throughout the curriculum, from science to English, history and art.

In math, students will use clay to learn geometry. It is still too early to say that this new approach has affected the test results, but the teachers said that students seem to be more actively involved and the number of students choosing to study arts has increased – left contrary to the trend across the country.

At St Peter’s, clay’s “incredible” return seems to have increased student pride in the Staffordshire Potteries area. This city, like many other places in post-industrial areas, used to struggle to overcome the decline of the ceramic industry, but now people are full of hope.

With Lizzie Critchley, 13, an art student at St Peter’s, pottery can be something she pursues as a true career to follow her grandfather. “That’s what we have known – we have an area filled with ceramic kilns,” she said proudly.

Her classmate, Jorja Wright, 14, said during her family’s vacation in Florida two years ago, she was “stunned” to accidentally flip a plate over and know it was made in Your home city.

Pottery is probably not included in her future plans, but Jorja is now interested in participating in this pottery work: “You have to do whatever you want, no rules.”