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Mayor's Fund For London
26 Sep 2016

London is set to become a giant classroom for the capital’s primary school children, thanks to a major new initiative being launched by the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan.

More than 1,800 primary schools across all 33 London boroughs will have the opportunity to bring learning to life, inspired by London’s people, places and heritage, in everything from history and poetry to science and art as part of the new ‘Going Underground’ unit on the London Curriculum. This is the first time primary school pupils in the capital will have access to the Mayor’s London Curriculum, which has only been available to secondary school pupils in Key Stage 3 until now.

Inspired by the secrets of underground London, the first London Curriculum teaching resources for primary school children will explore hidden rivers, dungeons, secret war time bunkers and Roman houses, as well as the London Underground’s innovative art and poetry programmes.  Schools signed up to the curriculum will be given access to a brand new suite of resources and opportunities for Key Stage 2, including trips to the Houses of Parliament, the Natural History Museum and Guildhall Art Gallery and Amphitheatre.

Supported by the BE OPEN Foundation, the Mayor officially launched the new London Curriculum for primary schools at the London Curriculum Children’s Festival in September, which saw hundreds of pupils hitting the banks of the Thames and Potters Field, near City Hall, to get a taste of what the curriculum has to offer. Activities included Clay, Archaeology, Dance, Drumming, Art and Storytelling with the festival culminating in a all-singing and all-dancing finale in The Scoop, More London.

Sadiq was joined by Darcey Bussell and Russian philanthropist Yelena Baturina, whose BE OPEN Foundation has supported the festival and the roll-out of the programme, which is also supported by the Mayor’s Fund for London, a social mobility charity.

London is set to become a giant classroom for the capital’s primary school children, thanks to a major new initiative being launched by the Mayor, Sadiq Khan. Pictured is Darcey Bussell, Joanne McCartney, Sadiq Khan and Yelena Batturina taking a selfie with pupils at the celebratory Children's Festival at City Hall today to mark the launch of The New London Curriculum for primary schools supported by Russian philanthropist Yelena Batturina and The Mayor's Fund for London. Thursday, 29th May 2016.

Darcey Bussell, Joanne McCartney, Sadiq Khan and Yelena Baturina

Sadiq Khan, Mayor of London, said:  “I’m delighted that thousands of primary school pupils from all parts of the capital will have the opportunity to enrich their education through London’s cultural gems and rich heritage. London has been shaped throughout time by people who have come from around the world to make this city their home – from the Romans onwards.

“Our history and culture is a truly global one, so what better way for primary school children to learn, than directly from London’s museums, art galleries and other fascinating institutions. Huge thanks to Yelena Baturina and the BE OPEN – their incredible support for the London Curriculum truly shows that London is open, as ever, to ideas from around the world.”

Yelena Baturina, philanthropist and BE OPEN Founder said: “BE OPEN is delighted to be involved with this exciting and important initiative from the Mayor of London and the Mayor’s Fund for London. Sharing the capital’s vast cultural wealth with those who might not otherwise have access to it will not only enrich young people’s lives at the important primary school stage and encourage their creativity; but also, through engagement, help motivate a new generation of creatives and entrepreneurs and help secure the city’s future in an increasingly open and interconnected world.

“BE OPEN is an international organisation, and London is the most cosmopolitan and open of cities, so we see our involvement with this initiative as both timely and relevant.”

The Festival was widely supported by local businesses including ECN, Hilton London Tower Bridge, Norton Rose Fullbright LLP and the Unicorn Theatre.

If you are a London primary or secondary school, it’s simple to register for the London Curriculum. All resources are FREE. You could be using London to enrich your teaching within days!

Register online at london.gov.uk/london-curriculum

For more information, contact teamcurriculum@london.gov.uk

The BE OPEN Foundation is a cultural and social initiative founded by Russian businesswoman, entrepreneur and philanthropist, Yelena Baturina in 2012. BE OPEN works to provide a bridge between young creatives and the professional world. It also encourages collaboration between disciplines to allow ideas to come together; between creativity and commerce; tradition and innovation and between ideas and their fruition.

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