London primary schools join Steve McQueen’s Year 3 project

Steve McQueen's year 3 challenge, in partnership with Tate Britain, has been adopted by more than half of primary schools in London.

1,340 schools have already signed up to take part in one of the world’s most ambitious contemporary art projects, conceived by Turner Prize-winning artist and Oscar-winning filmmaker Steve McQueen. Schools can still join by registering at tateyear3project.org.uk before 5 April 2019.

Since being announced on 18 September 2018, over 55% of all the schools in London with Year 3 pupils have now confirmed they will be taking part. Through a partnership between Tate Britain, Artangel and A New Direction, all these classes are being specially photographed to create a mass portrait representing an entire age group of Londoners. Over the course of this academic year, an estimated 65,000 seven and eight-year-old children will be photographed for the project.

Steve McQueen said: ‘This project is extremely close to my heart. When we first announced it I had no idea how people would react, but the response has been amazing. I’m truly moved to see so many schools from across London sign up so quickly and I’d like to thank them all for helping to make this idea a reality.’

Each and every London primary school with Year 3 pupils is invited to take part. By registering at tateyear3project.org.uk they can choose a date and time for a Tate photographer, briefed by McQueen, to visit their school and take their class photo. Specially created learning resources can be downloaded, allowing pupils to further explore the work’s key themes of belonging, identity and citizenship within the curriculum. Teachers across the country will also be able to explore a free online course created by film education charity Into Film. Entitled Developing Literacy: A Journey from Still Image to Film, the course launches on 18 February 2019 at futurelearn.com/courses/photo-to-film.

From November 2019 to May 2019, the Duveen Galleries at Tate Britain will be taken over by a vast installation of the photographs, free for all to visit. It will be a celebration of the tens of thousands of young people who will make London their own in years to come, and a meditation on the social forces and personal developments that shape our lives. Artangel, who are renowned for producing extraordinary art in unexpected places, will also create an outdoor exhibition of class photographs across each of London’s 33 boroughs, giving passers-by a glimpse of the future of their city.


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