Manx Heritage in Schools 28 May 2004
A landmark agreement has been signed between the Department of Education, and Manx National Heritage.
The new agreement provides for a system of formal co-operation between the two
agencies of Government to ensure that all children
in the Island’s schools have the best possible
access to the various heritage resources as they study Manx culture, history and
language as part of the new National Curriculum.
Signing the new agreement for the Department of Education were Minister for Education, Steve Rodan, M.H.K. and Director, John
Cain, together with Martin Moore, Chairman of the Trustees of Manx National
Heritage, and Stephen Harrison, Director of MNH.
Mr Rodan stated:
“We are pleased to show formally the good working relationship we have
enjoyed with Manx National Heritage in recent years with regard to the promotion
of Manx heritage in our schools. Our statutory duty to foster the teaching of
Manx history, culture and language will be
greatly enhanced by this partnership between our two departments and the
formalization of teaching resources which we are able to provide between us.”
The Memorandum of Understanding between the two Isle of Man Government bodies formally adopts the aim of working
together to achieve ‘a measurable improvement in the provision for and delivery
of Manx heritage in the curriculum in terms of culture and history, including language where applicable, for Island educational institutions in line with the Education Act of 2001’.
Mr. Moore said:
"This is an important development for Manx National Heritage. We’re not just
the conservers of the Island’s heritage, we exist to explain to all the young
people here on the Island why the Isle of Man is different - its history, its
culture and its political background. With the recent change in the National
Curriculum, we are very pleased to build on the working links we already have
and we are eager to help and support the Department of Education with this new initiative.”
Prior to the formal signing of the agreement, the Department of Education’s Adviser for the Manx curriculum, David
Brown, and MNH’s Education Officer, Fiona
McArdle, have been working with a group of the Department’s primary school
teachers to produce a history curriculum incorporating significant changes to
strengthen the teaching of Manx culture, history and language elements. This has already started for
some children and will be introduced for all children in Key Stages 1 and 2 in
September 2004. The group will then move on to look at the
Geography curriculum and then other subject areas
to achieve the same kind of enhancements.
The inclusion of this specifically Manx element in the curriculum will be
absorbed across the various subject areas of the curriculum and be delivered
through classes in literacy, numeracy and IT, as well as the more obvious
subjects such as history and geography.
Resourcing this curriculum is one of the challenges facing all Manx educational organisations, and Manx National Heritage
has for a number of years through its education section developed Manx teachers’
and pupils’ resources available to all through its web site, with heritage site
activities and educational publications free to Manx
schools. In the secondary schools too there
have been developments in the provision of Manx based resources, helped by
organisations such as the Manx Heritage Foundation.
Director of Education, John Cain said:
“There is a roll-out programme and most of the initial documentation is
already in the schools and training is being provided for teachers. Next year
will see phase two of the scheme’s implementation.”
Director of MNH, Stephen Harrison, commented:
"MNH has done much over recent years to preserve, protect and develop the
heritage assets of the Island and, in turn, this has made a major contribution
to the tourism infrastructure of the Island. However, our primary purpose has
always been, and should continue to be, Educational. With the Department of
Education’s new Curriculum initiatives, we now have a new focus to apply the
wonderful heritage assets and resources which we hold in trust for the nation
directly to the benefit of our young people, who, in years to come, will have to
make their own decisions about what to value in Manx community life from our
Expert advice on many newly researched areas of Manx history has been taken from
the Centre for Manx Studies, through Manx National Heritage, and through the
group set up by Quintin Gill. M.H.K., member for the Department of Education, to
advise on cultural resources for teaching.
Concluding the signing ceremony at the International Business School, Minister
Steve Rodan concluded:
"We are fortunate to have such a good working relationship with Manx National
Heritage and I think this is perfect example of the benefits of working together
in Government for the benefit of the community and
the need for more co-ordinated Government.
Together we have a great deal to offer our young people making the best use of
the resources we have at our disposal.”
With the joint support of the Department of Education and Manx National Heritage to resource and
promote teaching, the future is bright for increased knowledge of and pride in
the Isle of Man’s culture, history and language for the young people in our
schools today and for the future.
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