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I have some good news for member 197639, whose letter about tackling sea blindness you published in the May/June Telegraph. Work is well advanced on an ambitious 'Maritime Futures' secondary school curriculum, piloted by Cowes Enterprise College – which won Maritime UK’s 2022 Future Skills Award for its work – and now being picked up by other schools through the support of the government, Trinity House, the Honourable Company and others.

The work goes much further than the member's suggestion about getting children to argue the case for who is Britain’s greatest seafarer. If we are to get widespread take-up by schools across the country – rather than a handful feeding cadet courses – we need a 'maritime' curriculum which is clearly aligned with the requirements of the national curriculum.

In Cowes, maritime – and the possibility of a maritime career – is a golden thread woven through mainstream subjects like science, design and technology, geography and history.

As an example, every school in the country studies coastal erosion, but the school in Cowes changed the game completely by arranging for every member of Year 7 (11-year-olds) to see the coast from a boat. The children were excited by it, and much more engaged in their learning.

Members can see an outline of the Maritime Futures curriculum at cowesec.org/curriculum/maritime-futures

If anyone is working with a secondary school and would like to talk about them joining the network, I’d be very pleased to hear from them at iain@themackinnonpartnership.co.uk 

Iain Mackinnon
Maritime adviser to the Ormiston Academies Trust

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