Lancaster University: Chance to ‘tune in’ to learn all about innovative Morecambe Bay Curriculum

Young people learning on the beach and a group of youngsters looking out to sea with binoculars
An opportunity to hear all about the unique community-created curriculum, designed to equip children and young people with the skills to look after themselves and the planet, is available now.

The public talk about the Morecambe Bay Curriculum (MBC), recently organised by Lancaster University, was recorded and is now available to watch on YouTube.

The event was hosted by University Vice-Chancellor Professor Andy Schofield and introduced by Professor Lord Robert Winston, Professor of Science and Society and Emeritus Professor of Fertility Studies at Imperial College, London.

Lancaster University’s Professor Robert Barratt, the Eden Chair for Education and Engagement, delivered a public talk outlining why the Curriculum is important, what it entails and how it can be embedded across key stages.

Eden Project North and Lancaster University, in partnership with schools, Further Education Colleges and Higher Education Institutions, as well as business, health and community partners, are working together to create the innovative MBC.

Based on the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, the MBC is the first of its kind and aims to engage early years settings through to higher education institutions to support learning from birth through to postgraduate study, including apprenticeships.

Community placements offered to children as young as four and schemes to help support some of the poorest families to grow their own food are just some of the initiatives centred around the ‘place’ of Morecambe Bay, aiming to better connect young people of all ages to their local area.

Although in its infancy, the new curriculum has already received positive feedback from Ofsted and has been developed alongside plans to bring Eden Project North to Morecambe Bay. The major tourist attraction – set to open to the public in 2024 subject to funding and planning applications – would directly employ more than 400 people and would support an additional 1,500 jobs.

By providing a clear pathway for school leavers into higher education and employment via specially designed traineeships and apprenticeships, the MBC hopes to support graduate retention in the region and improve the quality of local employment.

The approach aims to achieve significant and lasting improvements for those living in the Morecambe Bay area and will ensure that the different stages of the education system provide the skills, knowledge and behaviours required for the future.

Professor Dame Sue Black, Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Engagement at Lancaster University, said: “The Morecambe Bay Curriculum is the result of the education sector coming together in light of Eden Project North to make a unique commitment. By working together, Morecambe Bay is leading the way by providing an innovative and integrated educational offer for young people across the region – something that has the potential to be adopted far and wide.”

Lancaster University’s Professor Barratt, an expert in children’s participation in environmental education who is leading the development of the new curriculum, said: “The Morecambe Bay Curriculum sits alongside the national curriculum and is an attitude as well as an extension to the knowledge and skills currently promoted through education – it aims to make significant and lasting improvements to the lives of those living in the Morecambe Bay area by engaging children and young people in practical projects.”

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