Primary school teachers from across Yorkshire went back to the classroom in Harrogate to learn some new skills to inspire their pupils.
For the past six years, the Yorkshire Agricultural Society, best known for organising the annual Great Yorkshire Show and its sister event Countryside Live, has run a series of short courses throughout the year for teachers and teaching assistants from across the region.
Run by the society’s education department, the courses have included a wide range of subjects, including willow weaving, poultry keeping and vegetable growing.
Now a new course has been launched – Textile Techniques in the Classroom – which has proved an instant draw, attracting teachers from across the Yorkshire region.
Hazel Baker, the society’s education adviser said the courses had proved extremely popular with teachers from across Yorkshire over the years – and the new textile course was no exception.
“They are designed to meet national curriculum guidelines and, as well as learning new skills, teachers leave the courses inspired, and with confidence and the ability to adapt skills to their own school environments,” she said.
Viv Chapman and Margaret Murphy, founder members of North Yorkshire-based Art Box, taught traditional textile skills, including weaving, appliqué and sewing, as well as working with recycled fabrics.
Viv said: “The aim is to give teachers ideas to pass onto their pupils, and show them that this sort of practical work is not too daunting. And once they have learned the basic techniques, they can expand on them.
“It is a great way for children to express themselves and be creative. Once learned, they are skills for life, and can be enjoyed by children of all ages and at all levels of ability.”
During the day, teachers went out into the showground’s woodland area and drew up a colour bar to reflect the colours in the local landscape. After making a basic card loom, Viv and Margaret taught weaving techniques before moving onto appliqué work, with bondaweb fabrics and hand and machine sewing.
“I think sometimes people can be frightened of having a go – this is what the course is all about, letting the teachers have a try and seeing what they can achieve,” added Viv.