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Swarthmore Education Centre

Want to learn a new skill? From sewing to Spanish, poetry to pottery, you can choose from a huge range of courses at Swarthmore Education Centre. Find out more...

Whether you’re topping up your skills or picking up a new hobby, Swarthmore Education Centre is the perfect place to do it.

Their doors have been closed for all too long, but now Swarthmore Education Centre is reopening with a new term of must-try courses. From fantasy art to digital animation and French for beginners, you can learn a new skill in a fun, friendly environment. But first, why not try before you buy at their free taster week? Choose from 30 workshops across five days and decide where you want to focus your time.

What is Swarthmore Education Centre & why haven’t you heard of it?

Swarthmore Education Centre

A hidden gem in the heart of the city, Swarthmore Education Centre has transformed six Grade II-listed houses on Woodhouse Square into a lifelong learning centre. The facility, which has its own dance and art studios, offers a range of courses on everything from sewing and sketching to painting and pottery, so you can develop your skills in a fun, friendly environment.

This is a very different experience to a college or school. Their class sizes are deliberately small, limited to just 10 people, so you’ll get more time with your tutor and more time with your classmates. Even better, they offer morning, afternoon and evening sessions to help you fit your lessons around your life. Art after work? Spanish before your shift? You want it, you got it.

So why haven’t you heard of it? When the pandemic hit, Swarthmore was forced to close its doors. They quickly replaced their face-to-face courses with online learning, but now, as the city reopens, they’re preparing to welcome students back with a packed programme of online and in-person courses. First, however, they’re inviting you to join them for a week of free tasters.

Get a taste of what you could learn with five days of free lessons

To celebrate their return, Swarthmore is offering five days of tasters from Monday 26th to Friday 30th July 2021. You can sign up for free and attend any or all of their classes, so it’s the perfect opportunity to learn a new skill and meet their tutors. The only question is – what will you do? With a huge range of sessions, all at just 2 hours long, you’ll be spoilt for choice.

On Monday, you can try your hand at watercolour painting, experiment with mixed media or learn to crochet a coaster. Tuesday brings even more options. Want to play the ukulele? Anna Smith will teach you the basics. Fancy making jewellery? Charlotte Whitmore will help you make a simple wire ring. And if you’ve ever dreamed of drawing a dragon, James Armstrong is your guy.

If you’re free Wednesday, you can practice somatics to release tension or use watercolour doodling as an exercise in mindfulness. Want to learn to sew? Join Alison Monroe for Sew Easy. On Thursday, you can create a crazy patchwork with scraps of fabric or a flower necklace with cut-offs and cardboard. And Friday promises the wonders of printing with polystyrene.

Turn your taster into a hobby as they launch the new autumn term

Swarthmore Education Centre

Swarthmore’s new autumn term kicks off this September with a wonderful medley of courses – and they’re as fun as they are useful! Craft enthusiasts have all manner of options ahead of them – from pottery to creative writing, oils to jewellery making, you can develop a new skill that keeps on giving long after your course has finished. And that’s just the beginning.

Want to learn an instrument? You can choose ukulele or guitar. Planning to make wellness a priority in the year ahead? They have everything from somatics to mindful art and astrology. And if practical skills are your go-to, you can master sewing, upcycle your wardrobe and perfect your pattern cutting. Alternatively, embrace a new hobby with life drawing, pottery and fused glass.

Want to learn a new language? They do French, Spanish and Italian, as well as Portuguese, Romanian, Arabic and Urdu. You can even learn sign language! And if you’re looking for core skills that will increase your employability, they offer GCSEs in maths and English or you could try one of their counselling courses and learn the concepts of active listening.