Engaging with schools and young people
UCL has been partnering with schools in east London since the early 2000s to improve access to the university, to enrich teaching in schools and to equip students with skills they'll need for work and apprenticeships as they grow older.
Over the past five years we've increased our offering to reach over 5000 young people in the last year of face-to-face activity.
We support schools in Newham, Hackney, Tower Hamlets, and Waltham Forest, with a wide range of subject-related and extra-curricular activities. Find out how you can get involved below.
Who we work with
If you work for a primary school, please note that we are currently developing programmes of engagement to launch in 2023, when we'll be using the 'Engagement space' on the ground floor of UCL's new Marshgate building. Below are examples of our work with primary schools.
Secondary schools and colleges
From creative writing to bio-robotics, printmaking to poetry - our workshops offer a wide range of subjects to inspire students. We are now taking bookings for activities to run in the 2021-2022 academic year. If your school is in Hackney, Newham, Tower Hamlets and Waltham Forest we'd like to hear from you.
Our core team is made up of professional services staff who offer support across UCL in engaging with schools.
We will soon be recruiting for two more Schools Engagement officers and a trainee and are especially keen to hear from those who already live or work in east London. Keep an eye on our news section for updates.
UCL East Schools Engagement Manager
With a background in museum education, Celine has worked at UCL for nearly 20 years. Celine is leading the team and is the first point of contact for schools new to working with us, and for colleagues in UCL departments looking to engage with schools.
UCL East Schools Engagement: Museums
After many years at the Wallace Collection Emma has created a wonderful programme of activities at UCL. She brings school students together with museum collections and experts in everything from Computer Science to English Language & Literature.
Explore our work
Over the past year, we have again adapted to respond to challenges raised by Covid-19, which halted many eagerly-anticipated face-to-face activities.
By creating relationships with experts across the university we were able to embrace new technologies to deliver programmes remotely. It has been especially rewarding to involve young people in this decision-making, often learning from their experience as 'digital natives', as we took these projects online, resulting in unexpected and imaginative outcomes.
In the past year, UCL academics, students and schools engagement staff have worked on 24 workshops (21 online, 3 face-to-face) and created 15 films as well as 3-D-printed materials and a range of both digital and printed resources for schools.
Grant Museum Takeover
This virtual tour of the museum celebrated a year of collaboration between UCL students on the Museums and Galleries in Education MA, with George Mitchell Primary School in Leyton, east London.
Make an Impression II
For its second year, Make an Impression II showcased 86 drypoint and chine-collé prints made by six east London schools and colleges on our printmaking workshops.
Discovering Ancient Sudan
The Petrie Museum of Egyptology's ancient Sudanese objects come to life in this fascinating video with the museum's curator. This is one of several resources developed by UCL students to support school children learning from home last year.
“The students loved that the workshop [Animal Movement in the Grant Museum] was delivered entirely by other students. They said that they could imagine themselves doing something similar in a few years.
Teacher - Bio-robotics and Animal Movement Project
“Coming here, [to the Bloomsbury Campus] there was a protest about the gender pay gap. It shows that at UCL, they’re aware of current problems, like the students are aware of current problems that affect everyone and they want to make a change.
School student - Hackney meets Indonesia: UCL Eco-Engineering Schools Project
Working with museums and collections
Home to elephant hearts, ancient sandals, prints and portraits and dangerous scientific tools from the Victorian era, UCL has four public museums and many more hidden collections of objects used for teaching and research over the past 200 years.
Our unique series of projects combine the university's collections, academic expertise and UCL students' enthusiasm into curriculum-enhancing activities.
To arrange a class trip to our museums, please contact the visitor services team.
Ask the Expert
Whether you’re deciding what to study for your GCSEs, thinking about applying for university, or just curious about a subject, we are here to answer your questions. For KS2-5 pupils.
We've created a free downloadable careers pack. It's full of bitesize bits of info about jobs and careers, aimed at young people as they start thinking about how their talents and interests might translate to future work.
Other activities at UCL
We work closely with UCL’s Access & Widening Participation team, who offer a wide range of activities for young people and teachers across the country.
East Bank activities
UCL East is one of the first institutions to open at East Bank, a new cultural and educational quarter based on the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.
We are already joining up with other east London organisations and our new neighbours including the London College of Fashion and V&A East, to increase our capacity to benefit local schools.
East Bank partners are also developing some CPD for teachers. We’ll post opportunities to our news section as they are announced.
East Summer school
East Summer School 2021 included 9 activities from UCL, ranging from collage and illustration workshops and writing poetry based on museum objects to working with the UCL Ventura engineers and making a documentary in a day. There were also sessions in sound engineering by BBC music, tech and dance with Sadler’s Wells, and many others.
East Careers Week
East Careers Week launched online in 2021, offering school students panel discussions with industry experts and skills workshops where they could learn how to develop transferable skills for the world of work. This will be an annual event tying into National Careers Week in the first week of March.
Discover more about UCL
UCL East brings together nine faculties, delivering around 50 degree programmes at all study levels, that look beyond the traditional divide between subjects, many of which are the first of their kind.
With the ethos of ‘learning by doing’ we will equip students with sought-after critical skills so that they can become thought leaders in their field.
We are always looking for ways to work with local schools to start these conversations early. If you have an idea for a project you'd like to work with us on, please get in touch.