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Lancaster & Morecambe College (LMC) recently hosted a lively event to celebrate the Eden Bear books launch, which was attended by over 100 Early Years practitioners from across the district.
The books, which were created as part of the Morecambe Bay Curriculum by Chris Barlow and his Geography students from University of Cumbria, Jenny Knowles from Ryelands School, Helen O’Hagan from Sandcastles Nursery and children from various early years settings, follow Eden Bear’s exciting adventures across the Morecambe Bay area, visiting 12 different locations and meeting local children.
Jenny Knowles, coordinator of the Eden Bear Project explained that the children loved being involved in the project;
When Eden Bear visited them, the children were encouraged to talk about their own environment and compare it with other places Eden had been. They could then produce their own books to share their stories with others.
The event was a rare opportunity for Early Years staff to network, share ideas activities linked to the Morecambe Bay Curriculum, and listen to talks from Professor Robert Barratt and Chris Barlow. Each nursery and EY setting which had hosted Eden Bear shared stories and photographs of their own visit and it was wonderful to see so many people enjoying the success of the project.
There was a range of interactive activities to take part in, including sampling a Beach School session (complete with Morecambe Bay shrimps!) and learning more about the innovative Morecambe Bay Curriculum. Everyone who attended the event received a free set of the books for use in their early years setting.
Head of Engagement at LMC, Victoria Carter, was full of enthusiasm for the event.
It was lovely to welcome so many people who work across the Early Years sector and see them engage with the project with such positivity. Lots of them signed-up for Eden Bear to visit their setting and took part in the various activities - and they especially enjoyed the bear-shaped biscuits our catering students baked for the event!
The Eden Bear Book project is just one of the many ideas which has developed since the Morecambe Bay Curriculum was first launched in 2020. Working groups have been set up across the whole education sector, from Early Years through to Higher Education, and focuses on preparing young people for the jobs of the future.