What happens in a London CLC virtual workshop?

Due to the challenges around school visits and covid security at the moment, the CLC’s teaching team has been delivering more and more of our pupils’ sessions virtually. But what actually happens in a virtual London CLC workshop? Teaching and learning consultant Rowan Roberts explains how it all works.

Our virtual workshops are designed to include a mixture of real-time instruction and demonstration, with interactive, collaborative tasks. For example, we might use Google Meet or Zoom to explain the first activity, so the children can see and hear us, but also using screen sharing to model the activity. We’ve found that it’s really important to keep these parts of virtual workshops very clear and concise, and to make sure that children have access to instructions in another format (such as video or PDF) so they can check back if they forget something. This also acts as an asynchronous resource that can be accessed by children who are at home. 

Pupils typically view live sections via their teacher’s laptop and class whiteboard and, if any clarification is needed, the class teacher plays a crucial role in feeding that back to us. Once the children know what to do, we point them towards a web service through which they can complete the activity. We love using Padlet for pupil activities (check out our guide to using Padlet with your class) as this allows us to watch them making their contributions in real time – sometimes as a paired task or sometimes individually. We can check for understanding, pull out any interesting questions or examples, and feed back on pupils’ work. 

Again though, it’s key for us to be constantly communicating with the teacher. Before running the session we  set up a short meeting with the teacher to run through the technical aspects of the session as well as familiarising them with the content, and during the workshop we ask the teacher to take an active role in communicating whether the children might need a recap on something or if they think it’s time to move on to the next task. 

For us, one of the most rewarding aspects of working in this way has been working collaboratively with teachers and empowering them to take a really proactive role in the sessions, something that we hope will better equip them to run similar digital activities with pupils in the future. It also allows us to model the use of online tools that can support blended learning, some of which may be useful for teachers in their own practice.

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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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