What is gamelan? And why choose this creative arts and computing workshop?

Gamelan is the collective name for an ensemble, orchestra or group of instruments that come from the fourth most populated country in the world – Indonesia, and the islands of Java or Bali in particular.

The instruments are mainly but not exclusively percussion, and learning basic playing techniques is quite simple – so the gamelan is very accessible for collective music making for all children, and is an extraordinary multi-sensory experience.

Gamelan is deeply embedded in Indonesian culture and closely linked with drama, dance and story-telling, often through wayang kulit shadow puppet theatre.

This autumn a limited number of schools will be able to participate in our creative arts project through our partnership with the South Bank Centre.

The Javanese Gamelan ‘Essence of the Lotus Flower’, which was specially commissioned for education use will be in residence at London CLC during September, allowing us to combine music,technology and performance in a special way.

Peter Lillington, our teaching and learning computing consultant, has 20 years’ experience of teaching gamelan to children and adults and will be freshly returned from participating with the South Bank Gamelan Players in the International Gamelan Music Festival in Surakarta in Java, Indonesia during August 2018.

KS2 Workshop (whole day)

This creative arts project workshop combines music making and animation. It will be intensive and fun. During the course of the day the class will split into groups to undertake the different activities of animation and learning the gamelan and combine for the final performances in the afternoon, taking on several different roles.

National Curriculum coverage


Pupils should be taught to:

  • Play and perform in solo and ensemble contexts, using their voices and playing musical instruments with increasing accuracy, fluency, control and expression.
  • Listen with attention to detail and recall sounds with increasing aural memory
  • Use and understand staff and other musical notations
  • Appreciate and understand a wide range of high-quality live and recorded music drawn from different traditions and from great composers and musicians


  • Select, use and combine a variety of software… broken down into
  • Use a range of media to design and create a character, then capture into a storytelling app.
  • Make an animation of the character inspired by aspects of wayang kulit, sequencing dance moves or movements that typify the chosen character type, considering different aspects.
  • Play their animation or make their character perform ‘live’ during the afternoon performances on screen.


  • Pupils should explore and identify the way sound is made through vibration in a range of different musical instruments from around the world; and find out how the pitch and volume of sounds can be changed in a variety of way

Art and Design

  • To improve their mastery of art and design techniques including drawing.

In addition the workshop will have a geography and RE element in the cultural context and would be an ideal stimulus for further creative work.

Lambeth schools can access funded gamelan workshops (these are music only) at the South Bank Centre on the larger royal court-style gamelan, non-Lambeth schools as charged sessions.

After the residency the instruments will return to Sunnyhill Primary where the school is keen to collaborate with other schools on creative activities.

We will provide suggestions for follow up activities and links to further resources so that you can feel confident in following up on this exciting experience in school. It will also be possible to capture most aspects of the day on video.


EYFS/KS1 workshop (half day)

This workshop will run at a gentler pace but enable children to explore the wide range of sounds that the gamelan can produce and combine these with vocal sounds and body percussion in collective music making with a story telling element.

Children will capture the music using iPads and, again, this workshop can provide the stimulus of a wealth of cross-curricular follow up activity.


  • Use their voices expressively and creatively by singing songs and speaking chants and rhymes
  • Play tuned and untuned instruments musically
  • Listen with concentration and understanding to a range of high-quality live and recorded music
  • Experiment with, create, select and combine sounds using the inter-related dimensions of music


  • Use technology purposefully to create, organise, store, manipulate and retrieve digital content


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Does your school need a sustained programme in the use of digital technology to underpin your whole school aims and plans?

Our support package covers the following:

Professional learning

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Creative technology projects

Engaging, immersive educational experiences with corporate and cultural partners

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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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