New maritime curriculum sees Alex Thomson become patron

Alex Thomson has been named Patron of Marine and Maritime curriculum for the Gosport and Fareham Multi Academy Trust (GFM).

The new Marine and Maritime curriculum, set to be introduced to schools from September 2020, will combine water-based activities such as sailing, kayaking, sea swimming and paddle boarding. The curriculum developed will also include the teaching of marine and maritime engineering, design, branding and marketing within the industry, working with local employers to close the skills gap.

As part of the scheme, the GFM has begun building partnerships with industry employers including Portsmouth Harbour Marine (UK hosts of the Yacht Racing Forum, to be held at Portsmouth Harbour, Nov 2020).

“This is a huge step towards providing young people in the local area with solid foundations on which to build exciting careers on the water,” says Alex. “But as well as that, this initiative will also benefit the maritime and marine sector by providing a skilled future work force, helping to bridge the skills gap in the industry.

“I believe that sailing teaches young people valuable life skills. From independence and resilience to teamwork and communication, there are so many values that young people can learn from getting out on the water. In France, children learn to sail from a young age because the French people understand the values that it can instil within them. I’d like to see more of that here in the UK.”

Assistant Head and Community Curriculum Lead at the GFM, Chris Willis, said: “We are delighted to be working in partnership with Alex Thomson and Portsmouth Harbour Marine in developing a hugely exciting Marine and Maritime curriculum for all children in Gosport.

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