A clay tea tray with clay cups, teapot and sugar bowl made by a primary aged child

The 7 – 11 October, 2019 is ACE Artsmark celebration week. We’re really proud of our fantastic West Midland’s Artsmark schools and we are sharing their stories of success.   

 Artsmark is a valuable tool for enriching arts and cultural life in a school or other setting. It provides a framework and support to ensure children and young people are accessing and experiencing meaningful and impactful arts experiences. 

Our spotlight today is on Goldenhill Primary Academy:

 At Goldenhill Primary Academy we are striving for our Artsmark status. As part of our Artsmark journey, we have participated in Clay Schools alongside BCB  (British Ceramics Biennial) celebrations and have been part of The Cast of Thousands.  

The Cast of Thousands project was launched through the CLAY School Programme . The project was a legacy of the Stoke-on-Trent City of Culture 2021 bid, with an ambition to create 270,000 figures to represent the population of the city. Through CLAY School the project has been taken on with the aim to have 40,000 figures created by children in Stoke to represent all of the school children in the city. Every pupil at our school has created a figure to be displayed in a variety of potteries until 13 October 2019.  We will then be swapping a selection of figures across our multi-academy trust to be displayed across all our schools.  

 On 2 October 2019, we took 8 children from our Academy Council from each year group, to take part in a workshop. The session was arranged by BCB (with Helen the artist). The young people created some amazing models with clay and natural materials. During the half-day workshop, we also had a tour of the bottle oven and took part in a sensory installation inside the oven! This is our third year as a Clay School and we will be carrying on this partnership into the next academic year. 

Our School Cast of Thousands figures are on show at Middleport Pottery, Hanley Museum and Art Gallery, Spode and Wedgwood alongside other schools from the city.


This story was submitted by Lisa Keay, Curriculum Leader, Art Leader, Goldenhill Primary Academy, Stoke on Trent.


Feeling inspired by this story? Want to find out how you can start your Artsmark journey today? Click here or email our Senior programme manager Helen @ Helen.Frost@wlv.ac.uk for more info.