Local children make arty armour 

PUPILS from a local school were going crazy for clay at a workshop organised by the First Campus team at the University of Wales Institute, Cardiff (UWIC) and Communities First Ely/Caerau.

Children from St Francis Primary School in Ely were given expert guidance on how to make perfect pottery when Kelly Campbell, from UWIC’s Cardiff School of Education, visited them recently. Under Kelly’s guidance pupils had the opportunity to create pots and masks using basic ceramic techniques, their creations were then taken back to UWIC to be fired in the kiln before being returned to the pupils to take home.

The visit was part of a two-day programme called the Modern Terracotta Army which will introduce pupils from two local primary schools to the basic skills of working with clay whilst exploring its traditional uses in other cultures throughout history. For the second day of this project the children will be invited to UWIC to develop a range of ceramic figures, based on the theme of armour, using the techniques learnt on the first day. These figures will then be exhibited at the Caerau Fun Night and Ely Festival in July.

Chris Webb, First Campus Officer at UWIC, said: “This project provided a fantastic opportunity for First Campus to work in collaboration with Communities First and continue to build our relationships with local partner organisations.

“The three stage approach to this project will create a fantastic developmental environment for pupils to learn new skills and develop these skills within a university setting. The pupils will also have the opportunity to share their work with family and friends by exhibiting at forthcoming community events.”

Gemma Hicks, from Communities First Ely/Caerau, said: “To work in Partnership with First Campus has been a great opportunity. It has given us a chance to establish a relationship with another organisation who are as passionate about working in the community as we are.

“By running the pottery workshops we have had a chance to show the children in each school what they can achieve creatively. It has also given us a chance to develop stronger links within the schools, both with teachers and pupils.

“The children have worked extremely well and all seem very excited about the opportunity of displaying their work at Ely Festival this year. This will give them a huge amount of pride personally, within their schools and within the community in which they live. It will be an honour to see this and my thanks to First Campus for their ongoing support.”


The aim of First Campus is to engage further with schools to raise the awareness of progression routes into Higher Education for pupils. In particular highlighting that learning is fun and to plant the idea that university is an option for all. Making university facilities available to young people raises their educational aspirations and achievements and hopefully encourages them to progress to higher levels of learning.

Communities First is a Welsh Assembly initiative that is run in some of Wales most deprived areas. It aims to work with the community to make the place they live a better place. Communities First Ely/Caerau are actively working towards eliminating deprivation issues within these areas with a population of over 25,000. Their over-arching goal is to build strong and sustainable communities by improving health and well-being, promoting education and training, creating jobs, making neighbourhoods safer and crime free, improving housing and the quality of the environment and encouraging active citizenship.

For further information contact Kelly Harper, Communications Assistant:

Tel: 029 2041 6041
Email: kharper@uwic.ac.uk
Web: http://www.uwic.ac.uk/