Aubrey Williams (Guyana), ‘Maya Series Cenote IV’ © Aubrey Williams Estate

Get Up Stand Up Now: Schools Day

Fri 21 Jun 2019
10.00 - 14.00

Somerset House invites local schools to join a free day of creativity and inspiration in conjunction with the landmark exhibition Get Up, Stand Up Now. The event will also commemorate the 71st anniversary of the arrival of the Empire Windrush MV.

The exhibition

Get Up, Stand Up Now is major new exhibition celebrating the past 50 years of Black creativity in Britain and beyond.

The exhibition offers schoolchildren a unique insight into the vibrant and diverse creative life of our nation, providing tangible links to the National Curriculum for Art and Design at Key Stage 2, including the opportunity to develop critical thinking by engaging with contemporary artworks that comment on issues that have shaped our histories and our identities, and by exploring ways that art and creativity can express ideas that are important to our local and national culture.

Learning activities

The event will explore themes from the Windrush generation through creative activity and critical thinking.  The day will connect, inform and inspire a younger generation who may not have had the opportunity to engage first hand with the history and cultural contributions of African Caribbean people in the UK, or to use art and creativity as a lens to engage with them.  Activities will connect explicitly to the National Curriculum for KS2 with a focus on Art and Design, but with links to History and English through creative activity. Gallery-based creative activity will be led by artist-educator Linett Kamala.

Learning resources to support this event include:

The film

Adapted by Baroness Floella Benjamin from her memoir of the same name, Coming to England is an award-winning film that tells the story of a Windrush generation girl who came to Britain in 1960 from the Caribbean.  Commissioned by the BBC, the film has been screened on CBBC many times, most recently in December 2018. 


Photo opportunity

To commemorate this significant anniversary we will be staging a photo opportunity with Baroness Benjamin and any children who have permission to be included in the photograph, in compliance with our safeguarding policy.  It will be a symbol of bright future we have in front of us, led by the next generations of creative pioneers.  The photograph will be shared with participating schools.  No other photography will be permitted.

Risk Assessment

Our risk assessment is available upon booking, to inform your own. Teachers are encouraged to visit in advance to plan for the needs of their group.

Lunch and refreshments

Fresh fruit will be available to visiting students, and drinking water is available from a public fountain in the Edmond J. Safra Fountain Court. Schools are advised to bring packed lunches to be eaten during the scheduled break.


10.00 - ARRIVAL
10.15 - Welcome and overview of event
11.35 - Inspiring talk: Baroness Floella Benjamin
12.00 - Lunch
12.30 - Photo opportunity with Baroness Benjamin
13.00 - Creative activity and exhibition visit
14.00 - Schools depart

If you are bringing a group to this event, please re-visit this web page for updates to the schedule.

Please note, this event is for local invited groups only, if you are interested in bringing a group to Get Up Stand Up Now! Please fill in our Learning Enquiry Form.

Baroness Floella Benjamin OBE DL

Floella left school at 16 with the aim of becoming Britain's first ever black woman bank manager but changed direction and became an actress, presenter, writer, award winning independent producer, politician and an active advocate for the wellbeing, care and education of children throughout the world. 

For the last 50 years she has appeared on stage, film and television, working with some Britain’s top drama directors. Her most recent film credits are Run Fat Boy Run, Rendition and Sarah Jane Adventures for CBBC. But she is best known for her appearances in the iconic children’s programmes Playschool and Playaway, which she starred in 44 years ago.

She has written over 30 books including My Two Grannies and My Two Grandads but her best known book is Coming to England, which she wrote 25 years ago. It is used in schools and covers Windrush history and was adapted in a film for the BBC in 2003, it won a Royal Television Society Award. The 20th anniversary edition of the book was a Guardian Children’s Book of the Year.  

Her creative work has been recognised with an OBE, a Special BAFTA Award and the JM Barrie Award for lasting contribution to children’s Arts.

From 2006 to 2016 she was Chancellor of the University of Exeter, the first African Caribbean woman to be a Chancellor in the UK.

In 2010 she became the first Trinidadian woman to become a Baroness in the House of Lords where speaks on children's, diversity and media issues.

She successfully persuaded the government to bring in legislation for Child Performance Regulations, tax credit for Children’s programming and legislation for Public Service broadcasters to commission UK made television productions. 

The Prime Minister has appointed her as Chair of the Windrush Commemoration Committee, to create a lasting monument to celebrate the contribution to Britain made by the Windrush Generation. 

After 43 years she still appears regularly on children’s television programmes.


Somerset House is grateful to Art Fund and to all other Get Up, Stand Up Now: Schools Day and Generation Get Up! weekend supporters