Tate Exchange 2020

What does ‘power’ mean to you? It’s a concept we’re going to be exploring with more than 100 schoolchildren from London and northern Europe at Tate Modern next month

For the fourth year running, London CLC is a Tate Exchange associate. On 10 March we’ll be taking over the Exchange floor on level 5 of Tate Modern, giving pupils the chance to create digital and non-digital art inspired by Tate Modern’s collections in the gallery space.

‘Power’ is a huge notion to play with but, rather than narrow the definition during our time at Tate Exchange, we’ll look to expand it. We’ll be exploring notions of power, from energy to efficacy, automation to autonomy, through a range of digital and non-digital creative activities.

Our annual project at Tate is always exciting – in previous years we’ve tackled movement,  the ‘lifetime kindergarten’ and living cities – but this year we’re adding a whole new dimension. We’re going to be joined not only by 10 London schools but also three European schools, from Denmark, Finland and Sweden. We’ll be welcoming 36 children – 12 from each school – aged eight to 11 to join the 100 or so from London. The children will explore the space, the theme and the activities together in a spirit of open exchange.

The European schools are partners in the #Co-think Erasmus project we’re involved in, which is looking at inclusive teaching of computational thinking approaches in primary schools in different European countries. 

Inspired by our international audience, we’ll be looking at meanings and roots of ‘power’ in their languages:

  • Magt
  • Kraft
  • Energia
  • Potens

We will use digital and non-digital tools to explore these ideas, finding out what power

means to all of us. There will be three main activities:

Mini workshops

Each workstation provides the children with an activity to work on and learn through making and creating, scaffolded and supported by adults. From past experience this results in a phenomenal level of involvement and creativity.

As in previous years, the children will have the power and autonomy to choose from a range of creative activities, being trusted to navigate through and take part in workshops for as long as they like, tailoring their experiences to their own needs and interests. Here’s just a flavour of some of the workshops on offer:

  • Building with Strawbees: Strawbees is a construction set – material for playful building, testing, sharing ideas and thinking creatively. In this workshop we’ll explore ways to read and make sense of things by making and remaking them, empowering ourselves, understanding and shaping the world around us.
  • Power boats: before it became a museum/gallery, the Tate building was an electricity power station, called Bankside power station.  Barges used to bring oil from the refinery on the Thames Estuary. In this workshop we’ll make their own model boats powered by elastic bands. 
  • Machine learning for AI: developing a code of ethics for AI development. We’ll engage with a “teachable machine” by training it to identify objects and drawings. With this knowledge, we’ll discuss creative uses of this technology – and potential threats. We’ll also explore a code of ethics.

There will also be a tour of some of the gallery artworks that are especially pertinent to the theme of power.  

#Co-Think Showcase

At the #Co-Think Showcase station, run by the European schools, all pupils will have the opportunity to get a taste of our Erasmus+ project. The project was a collaboration with schools and partners in the UK, Sweden, Denmark, Finland and the Netherlands exploring how computational thinking and programming can be taught inclusively by writing and programming animations in Scratch.

Two-minute talks


The two-minute talks give pupils a chance to give a short talk to the public about one of the art works they have seen. We are hoping that a few of the European pupils will take part and give a short talk in their language. 

Get involved

We’ll be live blogging and tweeting throughout the day – follow us here on the blog or on @LdnCLC

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Upcoming CPD

Summer primary school computing conference
Summer primary school computing conference

This event will build upon the Autumn computing conference by inviting subject leaders to reflect on their year in the role, sharing their successes and challenges. It will also introduce new ideas, tools and approaches through talks and practical activities led by members of the CLC team, with opportunities for attendees to share their own expertise and experience. Over the course of the conference activities will touch on the three main areas of the computing curriculum: computer science, digital literacy and information technology. We will also feature advice and examples illustrating the use of technology to support blended learning.

- 15:30
Computing subject leaders, Teachers...
Creative Arts, Digital and children – CLC meets More Than Robots online
Creative Arts, Digital and children - CLC meets More Than Robots online

Combining forces for the first time, the Connected Learning Centre and More Than Robots have created a session for teachers, youth organisations, researchers and policymakers interested in the digital provision of creative arts for primary aged pupils.


The Play Observatory - Prof. John Potter

“In their own words”: Westminster Abbey & CLC digital projects - Sian Shaw

Building (and maintaining) a city-wide primary arts curriculum to raise attainment - Kate Fellows

More to be added soon

This interactive and inclusive meet up will include inspiring examples of how technology can be used to support learning in music, visual art and drama in person and online at home drawing on our experiences as Tate Exchange associates and our partnership work with a range of cultural institutions.

This informal event is an opportunity to discuss real examples of what does/doesn’t work, meet colleagues from other sectors working on similar challenges and share useful research, news or updates

The morning will include case study presentations (details below) followed by a Q&A. There will also be an opportunity for a rapid sharing round for launches, project updates or requests for help and a short break to avoid zoom brain drain.

- 11:30
KS1, KS2
Subject leaders, Teachers...

Upcoming Special projects

The News Project
- 14:25

Special project in collaboration with First News Education

For a third year, building on two successful previous projects, we are once again partnering with the children’s newspaper First News, fellow member of the national Making Sense of Media and News Literacy networks. This special project with a literacy, PSHE and citizenship, as well as computing focus, highlights our specialist interest in this important aspect of digital and critical literacy.

The News Project will enable participating classes from year 5 to immerse themselves in news and current affairs using First News and the Bett award-winning First News iHUB, which will be provided free of charge during the school-based part of the project over a six week period. Under the guidance of their teacher, pupils will be supported in their development as a community of fully informed news readers. Classes will test their new critical skills and knowledge in the culminating virtual celebration event which will include a news competition and team-based critical literacy and editorial activities. After the event, schools will be able to use the resources from the day in their school.

The project will launch with an introductory CPD session for teachers to set the context, demonstrate resources and to plan for the school-based activities. 

Initial CPD session - Thursday 21st October 4pm-5.00pm. 

Project work undertaken in school - October and November.

Special event - Thursday 25th November 9.30am-2.45pm.

The Garden Museum

The CLC is once again partnering with the Garden Museum to offer a partnership project for KS1 pupils (primarily suited to Yr2). Located next to Lambeth Palace on the bank of the Thames, the museum has an inspiring collection that provides the ideal stimulus for young learners to explore the world around them.

Pupils will use technology alongside the museum’s collection to explore the wonderful world of seeds.

  • How are they planted?
  • How do they spread?
  • What is inside them?

 The Garden Museum has a large collection of seeds and tools that pupils will engage with.

These half-day sessions will take place at the Garden Museum.

There is a limited number of dates available, so please book early to avoid disappointment.

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