UCL East


Engaging with schools and young people

The UCL East Schools Engagement team works to connect schools and young people who are local to the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park with expertise across the university.

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.

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Who we work with 

primary school children handling UCL institute of archaeology objects as part of a ucl workshop.

Primary schools

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.

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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.

About us

Our core team is made up of professional services staff who offer support across UCL in engaging with schools.

Celine West_web

Celine West

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.

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Salma Mohamed

Schools Engagement Assistant (STEP Trainee)

Salma recently completed a BA in Ancient History and credits her access to museums during her time at university, as positively shaping her studies. She supports the school’s engagement team in connecting schools with museums through various workshops and enrichment activities.

Emma Bryant

Emma Bryant

UCL East Senior Schools Engagement Officer: 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.

Profile photo of Ella Rule.

Ella Rule

UCL East Senior Schools Engagement Officer

Ella has experience across the university and charity sectors and has been working with East London schools for several years. She builds partnerships with East London schools, creating a variety of programmes and projects to support schools’ needs.

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Emma Bull

UCL East Senior Schools Engagement Officer

Emma has worked in education, culture and the arts since 2003 with experience including teaching, project management and programme development. She connects with East London schools creating engaging and diverse projects and partnerships to support learners and teachers. 

Explore our work

School pupils speaks to an audience sat on the steps of UCL Portico building.

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.

Three students on a video call.

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.

Blue line drawing.

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.

Museum curator handles artefact.

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.

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Online resources 

Students meeting staff at UCL campus.

Creative Careers

Are you interested in working in the creative industries? Explore the brand new interdisciplinary courses running at UCL East.

Two people looking at an art exhibition.

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.

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Careers Pack

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.

School pupils sit in a lecture theatre.

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.

Latest news  

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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.

A secondary school student interviews a fellow student with a microphone.

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.

Participants on a UCL East Careers Zoom call.

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.

Find out more

Project presentation at The Bartlett summer showcase 2017.