St Peter Chanel

Discover Tasman

Commemorative Tiles

Room 1 is the junior class at St Peter Chanel School in Motueka. We are 5 and 6 year olds who were really excited about the school having a birthday!

The whole school decided to make a clay tile each to commemorate the 50th birthday of the school.

This is Room 1's journey to produce individual clay tiles.

Step 1: PLAN

In conjunction with the other classes at our school it was decided that each child should produce a clay tile measuring approximately 15cm x 15cm that could be displayed permanently in the school library and foyer. The finished tiles would need to fired, painted, varnished and then glued onto display boards.


The whole school visited Macmillans Pottery in Richmond to learn how to handle clay and how to create a variety of pottery objects from animals to teapots. We were shown how to join clay and how to make a built-up tile.




Bruce the potter was on hand to answer all our questions and to demonstrate his ability with the pottery wheel. He showed us the big kilns for firing and examples of fired pots.

We had great fun experimenting with the clay and we all left a piece of work for Bruce to fire for us.

On the same day we visited the Nelson Provinicial Museum to view their pottery display. To make us more aware of what can be produced from clay we sketched some objects and had a lesson from the museum educator.


We especially looked at colourings and shapes.


Back at school we had a 'practice run' using playdough. We visited the St Peter Chanel Church beside our school to copy ideas of icons and objects to include in our tiles.


Step 3: CHOOSE

After completing the playdough tiles …..


….. we discussed ways we could improve them. Then we were ready to make our real clay tiles.

Our tiles were then dried, fired, painted and varnished.

Step 4: CREATE

As a school it was decided how to arrange and display the finished tiles. The room 4 teacher and students did a great job with varnishing boards, arranging 75 tiles and gluing them to the display boards.

They were ready to be viewed at the school Jubilee opening at Labour Weekend 2007.