A City for Learning - how could cultural organisations support a Londo

3 July 2012

It was great to be joined by so many familiar and un-familiar faces at Sadler's Wells last month to discuss the cultural sector's input into the Mayor's Education Inquiry – specifically looking at the concept of a London Curriculum.

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(Graphic of Sadler's Wells borrowed from their website - see source)

I was struck by the significant amount of common cause between science, sports, language, heritage, libraries and arts and cultural organisations as well as by the depth and richness of what's available in London. At its heart the London Curriculum is about acknowledging the resources in the city and thinking about whether they are under-utilised in education. It is also about pride in our city and our heritage and finding ways of unlocking this for all young people who are educated here. Exciting stuff.

The days' debate is summarised in a discussion document on our website – so suffice to say that there was huge excitement about the potential of the London Curriculum and a real willingness from organisations to see what they could offer to the initiative. Yes there are big unresolved questions – is it really a 'curriculum' or more a way of teaching the existing curriculum? Does it exist as a policy at all or is it more of a campaign? What's in it for schools? But our debate was conducted in the spirit of constructive and positive engagement rather than scepticism.

Many participants were particularly engaged by the presentation from the GLA's young people's peer outreach team. Sandra and Lauren gave a deeply considered and at times radical take on the London Curriculum and it is well worth a read. Whilst we adults were talking a about trips to museums and the value of outside learning the young people were concerned with personal safety, staying healthy and developing life skills.

The morning session was rounded off by a panel session that included Munira Mirza the Deputy Mayor for education and culture she spoke with real passion about the unique range, quality and excellence of the cultural (in its widest sense) assets in London and our capacity to continue to see our schools improve and provide a great start in life for young Londoners.


See also the Mayor's Education Inquiry

Download Agenda and Delegate List (London Curriculum Event (95.64 kB Pdf)

Download Discussion (London Curriculum Event June 2012) (133.95 kB Pdf)

Download Gallions Primary Presentation (London Curriculum E (5.35 MB Pdf)

Download GLA young person feedback (London Curriculum Event (288.54 kB Pdf)

Download Royal Geographical Society Presentation (London Cu (4.54 MB Pdf)