Professor Robert Winston hosts talk on unique ‘place-based curriculum’ for Morecambe Bay

An artist’s impression of Eden Project North, a proposed new attraction for Morecambe Bay
An artist’s impression of Eden Project North, a proposed new attraction for Morecambe Bay

A unique community-created curriculum, designed to equip children and young people with the skills to look after themselves and the planet, will be the subject of a Lancaster University public talk this month hosted by Professor Robert Winston.

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 Morecambe Bay Curriculum (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.

Hosted by Professor Robert Winston, Professor of Science and Society and Emeritus Professor of Fertility Studies at Imperial College, London, Lancaster University is holding an online Public Talk on February 24 from 6.30pm to 8pm to unpack the ideas and themes behind the new curriculum.

In his role as the Eden Chair for Education and Engagement at Lancaster University, Professor Robert Barratt will deliver the public talk to introduce the Curriculum, including:

·        Why the Morecambe Bay Curriculum is important

·        What the curriculum entails

·        How it can be embedded across key stages.

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.”

For further details and to register your place at the public talk, please visit the Eventbrite page or telephone 01524 592994. 

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