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Private Sector Influences Education Agenda in London Borough


Major Newham employer develops learning resource for primary schools.

Primary school pupils in the London borough of Newham are to benefit from a pioneering project, as the private sector constructively engages with the education agenda.

London City Airport in the Royal Docks has worked with the Museum of London Docklands to develop a Key Stage 2 learning module, designed for use in classroom teaching.

The “Your Royal Docks” schools pack teaches pupils about the rich 200-year history of the largest enclosed docks in the world, which were built to accommodate vessels too large to use the upriver docks, provided work for 3,000 labourers per day and at their peak in 1964 handled 62 million tons of cargo from all over the world.

The eight week module, which was developed after consultation with headteachers and includes lesson suggestions and activity sheets, also covers the period since the closure of the docks in 1981, the regeneration of the area and its future potential.

Subjects covered from the 2014 National Curriculum include in History, Human Geography, Art, Design & Technology, and English.

Declan Collier, CEO of London City Airport said:  “London’s Royal Docks have such a rich history and yet many people living and working in the area know very little about them.  Where London City Airport now stands, the world’s biggest and fastest steamship of its time, the Mauretania, completed its maiden voyage.  Where 100 years ago grain, tobacco and raw materials were loaded and unloaded, now we load and unload thousands of air passengers every day.  Where once the Royal Docks provided the maritime ‘gateway’ to London and beyond today and in the future London City Airport provides the aviation ‘gateway’ to London and the catalyst for inward investment and jobs for Newham and East London.

“The development of this module is part of our focus on improving basic skills, raising aspirations and fomenting better attitudes to the world of work.

“We currently employ 2,000 people at the airport, and will employ 3,500 by 2023 – we would like to see those jobs taken by people resident in our local community.

“Speaking personally, I hope our initiative will inspire others in the private sector to explore innovative ways to engage with schools and help influence the education agenda and instil a sense of local pride.”

The Your Royal Docks schools pack is available for download here. 

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