This last term I had a lovely bunch of year 8s for a ceramic unit. I got them to make some 'practice' tiles so they could experiment, understand the process, make mistakes etc before working on some animal sculptures. Many of the tiles didn't make it to the first firing, but I wanted them to persevere, as part of the learning. I wasn't going to mark them or anything - I have a strong allegiance to the idea of learning through play. Before glaze firing, I realised that I could take it further by using all of their experimental bits in a mosaic. It is small, only the end of a wall, but it constitutes the first permanent student art work on campus, and is a bright spot amongst all of the gun-mental grey that someone thought was the best background colour for a vibrant place of learning! Beyond that, the kids learnt that mistakes don't matter and can even lead to something beautiful, that even seemingly insignificant components can contribute to the significance of something greater, and recycling is easy and doable. A very good term's work, I reckon. Their animal sculptures are awesome too.