Morecambe Bay Curriculum celebration heralds new funding

Four images - from the left: A group of attendees enjoying the talks. Professor Mike Berners-Lee speaking to the audience. Sarak Kemp chatting to attendess. Si Bellamy addressing the audience.
From left to right: Audience enjoying the talks, Mike Berners-Lee, Sarah Kemp and Si Bellamy

The unique, community-created Morecambe Bay Curriculum (MBC) will take a major step forward with the announcement of new funding to take the initiative to the next level.

More than £65,000 will come from Lancaster University’s widening participation fund to enable local teachers and academics to come together and map the themes of ‘sustainability’ and ‘place’ onto the National Curriculum.

Launched in 2019, by founding partners Lancaster and Morecambe College and Lancaster University, the MBC project was inspired by Eden Project Morecambe.

The curriculum aims to ensure that the different stages of the education system, from early years to postgraduate, provide the green skills, knowledge and behaviours required by industry to respond to the climate emergency.

The new funding was announced at a special event at Lancaster University on July 3 when teachers from all over the district gathered to celebrate the success of the MBC so far.

The evening included a series of engaging round-table discussions, inspiring talks and information stands delivered by teachers, academics and special guests.

Key speakers were Si Bellamy OBE, the Chief Activation Officer for the Eden Project, who gave an update on Eden Project Morecambe, Professor Mike Berners-Lee, a carbon footprint expert from Lancaster University, who gave the keynote address.

Headteacher at Ryelands Primary and Nursery School Mrs Linda Pye (pictured below right) and the Strategic Lead for the South Lakes Federation, Dr Alison Wilkinson (pictured below left), who both chair MBC working groups, spoke about the future direction of the MBC.

Dr Alison Wilkinson and Mrs Linda Pye

Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Engagement at Lancaster University Sarah Kemp (pictured below left), who made the funding announcement at the celebratory event, said: “We are delighted that the University’s funding will support academic colleagues and local educators to translate cutting edge research into everyday teaching around the Bay. We are committed to working alongside partners in order to enable young people to gain the agency, knowledge and skills needed to for the future of our planet.”

The Morecambe Bay Curriculum is supported and delivered by teachers, early years practitioners, academics, health professionals, the community and business leaders who recognise that a collective approach is key to tackling the climate crisis and creating opportunities for young people.

Principal of Lancaster and Morecambe College and Chair of the MBC Partnership Board Wes Johnson (pictured below right) said: “The evening celebrated all the amazing work by educators and the community who, since the initial idea of the Morecambe Bay Curriculum emerged in early 2019, came together with a desire to revolutionise future educational opportunities for our young people. This was inspired and enabled by passionate community members and the beautiful area in which we study, work and live.

Sarah Kemp and Wes Johnson

“The MBC brings together the desire to ensure all young people in our area have great opportunities to progress to sustainable, fulfilling careers with our fantastic local employers and the emerging ‘green skills’ economy. We are privileged to have Morecambe Bay as our classroom from where we can all explore and value our environment. This unique initiative has prompted a groundswell of remarkable collaborative projects.”

These projects include:

  • Eden Bear – who captures everyday stories of children’s lives and their aspirations and dreams for the future of Morecambe Bay
  • Little Researchers – Lancaster University students supporting primary eco-councils to undertake research about their local area
  • Educate to Plate – development of a community garden at Lancaster and Morecambe College which supports learners to understand how we can all grow food in a sustainable way

The funding will ensure that participating schools around the Bay can focus on sustainability and place alongside the National Curriculum.

The MBC’s four main focus areas are:

  • Mental and physical health – longer, healthier and more positive lives for everyone in Morecambe Bay
  • Work and local economy – sustainable, inclusive, economic growth and jobs across Morecambe Bay
  • Place and environment – caring for the eco-systems of Morecambe Bay
  • People and community – pride in where we live and the communities around Morecambe Bay

With this funding in place, the Morecambe Bay Curriculum team will look forward to continuing this important work to help future generations, businesses and the whole community.

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