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 The Curriculum for Life Project aims to recognise some of the concerns and frustrations felt by young people, families, teachers, school community and others who work in the formal and informal education fields, with the limitations that the academic curriculum can bring to the notion of education. By encouraging and valuing all kinds of activity as educational, being creative and responsive to young peoples needs and interests, as a means of personal development. We hope it will support young people in creating agency and the confidence to contribute to the world they live in. We want it to be a joint endeavour between young people and all those with the experience, knowledge and commitment to support them to be happy, actively engaged and successful now and in the future. 

Things that us, as young people, think are important for our future and do not know much about.. a curriculum for LIFE.. information on things, such as employment or housing, health, finance and politics.. that benefits our long term life.

- 15 year old work experience student




What young people say

they would like to learn..

Aims of the Curriculum for Life 

  • Better outcomes for young people and supporting them to become who they want to be and able to contribute and create the world they want to live in.

  • Better results in that exploring ways of delivery and engaging young people’s interest will enable better learning across the curriculum.

  • Young People more prepared for the work place, aware of what’s needed and what the opportunities are.

  • Young People’s voice informing the development of the curriculum and informal education.

  • Create a Strategy across directorates and partners for working with young people, in schools and out e.g. libraries, youth services around an increased informal education curriculum.

  • Contribute to the idea of life long education and different ways of learning.

A culture of critical thinking

The Curriculum for Life is a project that was started over 4 years ago through talking to young people about all the things they wanted to learn outside the mainstream curriculum.  Over the years the Young Mayor and Young Advisors have been working there have been recurring areas of interests and concern for young people, through the manifestos, discussions and interactions with young people throughout the years. These range from more access to creative activities, learning first aid, learning about politics, mental health and well being,  and life skills to be better prepared when they leave school. The Young Mayor and Young Advisors have presented their budget to the Mayor and Cabinet to support the Curriculum for Life Project.

The Curriculum for Life aims to bring together all these areas of interest and look at how and who is best to deliver some of these areas, so who else outside school and education facilities already provide some of these opportunities and what works best for young people. Voluntary sector organisations, youth services, art organisations and sports clubs.. We want to work with everyone to help create an offer and understanding for young people in Lewisham that these are all important learning opportunities alongside the formal education curriculum in order for young people to have the knowledge,  experience, confidence and agency to make decisions about their lives now and in the future. 

What we know of course is that young people and others all learn differently and

the Curriculum for Life is also about life long learning, and we have been working with Adult Learning Lewisham, the adult education department as there are many similarities in terms of learning to 

What you need to be a citizen; agency, employment,  participation

What we have done so far.....

Curriculum for Life Funding Pot

Criteria for the Funding Pot

A funding pot of £20,000 for schools and other organisations to apply to initiate/ continue /develop or expand a project addressing any of the areas and issues identified in the Curriculum for Life. We aim to fund between 8 and 10 projects, with a maximum budget of £2000.00.   


We would like the projects to be creative and led by the pupils themselves with the support of teachers/youth workers they can be simple ideas and ways that pupils/ young people think will effectively contribute to the aims of the Curriculum for Life. 


The projects can link into existing initiatives in a schools and projects or be new. Students pupils / young people should be central to the management and delivery of the project, and where possible it should aim to be sustainable and transferable. Where necessary experts and additional support can be brought in to deliver the project.


The projects should be for year 7s upwards or a group within the community.


The Young Mayor and Young Advisors will be assessing the applications, and may want to meet with students/teachers or ask further questions for clarification.


Launch of Funding Pot - Schools Conference July 2019

Closing date October 2019

Funding allocated December 2019

Projects delivery  Jan - July 2020

 Successful Projects and Organisations

Horniman Youth Panel and Youth First - Musical showcase

Millwall Community Scheme - Academy Programme

Sedgehill School - First Aid for students

Nicole Tattersall with Lewisham College - Confident Voice programme

Abbey Manor College - Student Ambassadors

Irie Dance - African and Caribbean dance classes for young people

Young Lewisham - Fitness workshop

Prendergast Ladywell School - cooking programme and financial literacy

Broken hearted Youth - Film project

Most of the funding pot projects have started but have been put on hold because of the Covid 19 lock down. Look out for updates in the future

There was also a schools conference planned for Summer term 2020 which has been postponed.

Future Plans

  • Meeting with colleagues and partners about way forward

  • Evaluate the Funding pot projects and organise conference for feedback from providers and young people

  • Explore how the Curriculum for Life can support implementing Ofsteds requirements for a localised and curriculum for young people with more focus on personal development


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