Children’s University

Next Graduation Ceremony:  Date for 2017 yet to be announced.

Earn extra hours on your passport by taking on a CU’s Spring half-term challenge: Spring Half-Term Activities for CU hours

The Children’s University (CU) Trust is a charitable trust that provides 7 to 14 year olds (and 5 to 6 year olds with their families) with exciting and innovative learning activities and experiences outside normal school hours. We celebrate achievement and reward participation through our certificates. Raising children’s aspirations is important to us and we aim to develop the understanding that learning can be “…a satellite navigation system to better places in life…”.

The Passport To Learning

“Tell me and I will forget; show me and I may remember; involve me and I will understand!” – Anon

Pupils from Alton Park Junior School during Graduation Day at Colchester University, 12th March 2016.

As a rule of thumb, Children’s University learning equals ‘grown-ups university’ learning; it is learning which can be ‘connected’ to Higher Education course provision as exemplified by UCAS – in other words: if you can get a degree in it the Children’s University wants to know! This is what the Children’s University terms the thinking at the start of the journey to independent learning …

A Passport To Learning has been created, in which 7 to 14 year old children – and 5 and 6 year olds with grown-ups – collect ‘stamps’ and hours of accredited learning. This contributes to the award of a certificate, encouraging them to access Children’s University provision and a wide range of other worthwhile out-of-school-hours learning opportunities.

This innovation has received widespread support from sponsors and funders. Our current supporters and sponsors include the Education Endowment Foundation/Cabinet Office, the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation, F2UNI and the Fidelity Foundation. Investment is vital and by no means limited to hard cash: services, venues, products and staff time all play an equally critical role. The Association of Graduate Recruiters generously allocated us exhibition space at no cost and Birmingham Solicitors’ Group selected their local CU as the group’s “Charity of the Year”. Our learning partners cover a diverse range of public providers, including: Higher and Further Education Institutions, Museums, Libraries and Archives, Woodland Trust, English Heritage, The Forestry Commission, Pets at Home and Halfords. Internationally, we have a growing number of public Learning Destinations in Germany, Italy, Cyprus and Australia.

e-passport-childrens-univerEach Passport To Learning is individually numbered which makes each child, as passport holder, an individual member of the Children’s University. Tracking development and progress as part of the evaluation of impact is in this way also possible. This may be of particular interest to individual schools and Local Authorities as well as government agencies. An electronic version of the Passport To Learning (E-Passport) has been developed in partnership with private sector partners F2UNI / bit10, to promote even greater independence in our learners and to enable children to actively log and manage their achievements. The E-Passport can also assist in children’s transition from the primary to secondary phase and act as evidence in schools’ monitoring, reporting and (Ofsted) self-evaluation.

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