Cumbria County Council has appointed CAfS to work alongside the Cumbria Development Education Centre (CDEC) and The University of Cumbria (UoC), to produce a report to help establish an improved nature curriculum for young people in Cumbria.

The study will focus on the provision of place-based learning about the environment and sustainability for schools in Cumbria. It will include learning about the local environment and wider Cumbrian landscape, issues of sustainability, climate change and biodiversity as well as experiences that build appreciation for nature and the environment.

Over the next few months, the partnership will be sending a questionnaire and arranging interviews with schools and other education providers. These will gather info on what provision is already being delivered from early years to post-16 to identify gaps in delivery, establish possible barriers to delivery and highlight opportunities to improve things.

The data collected will be used to create a report on ways to support schools to embed place-based learning about the environment and sustainability throughout the curriculum that will help equip young people with knowledge and skills for the future.

Work for the study is now underway and will begin reporting in the autumn.

If any schools and education providers are interested in contributing to the report or would like further information, please get in touch with [email protected].

Councillor Celia Tibble, Cumbria County Council’s Cabinet Member for the Environment, said:

“This is a really key piece of work which will help lead to an improved curriculum for all while also supporting national environmental commitments. By establishing a nature curriculum that is based on the unique geography and history of Cumbria, we can give young people skills and knowledge to actively contribute to their communities and prepare them to be change makers and innovators that help bring about positive lasting impacts to Cumbria’s environment, our society and the economy.”

Dan Barton, Cumbria County Council’s Assistant Director for Education and Skills, said:

“We’re delighted to have partnered with colleagues from key local organisations as part of this exciting work which, in the long term, we hope will support the establishment of an ambitious and innovative curriculum for our young people. This will draw on the many possibilities in our county and will help to prepare our children to face the opportunities and challenges in our shared future.”

Laura Goad, Director of CDEC, added:

“We are pleased to be working with Cumbria County Council, CAfS and the UoC on this contract, pooling our collective expertise in education, place-based learning and zero carbon solutions to produce a report that will help inform the curriculum offered to all our young people and build future job opportunities in Cumbria.”