Primary schoolchildren in graduation ceremony

Issue date: 06 May 2005

Issue date: 06/05/05

More than 100 primary school pupils in Hartcliffe and Withywood will be getting a taste of university life this week when they take part in a special degree graduation ceremony at the University of Bristol on Friday 6 May.

The 7 and 8 year olds from Gay Elms, Hareclive, Headley Park and Teyfant Schools have taken part in a two-part project run by the Universities of Bristol and the West of England. Over the course of the project the children completed a ‘University Big Book’’ recording their observations of students, university life as well as their work with academic departments.

The project has been running in the Success@ Excellence in Cities Action Zone which is supporting a drive to raise standards in schools across Hartcliffe and Withywood.

“This particular scheme is part of an ongoing partnership between Bristol University, UWE and Success@ and it is the first time it has led to a formal ‘graduation’ ceremony” says Diane Stone, Widening Participation Co-ordinator for the University of the West of England. “‘We hope the graduation ceremony will be a fantastic event. It’s a great end to a really successful project and we are delighted that so many parents and teachers will be able to watch their children graduate from the programme. It’s important that university and higher education become familiar concepts from an early age and we hope that the project continues to flourish next year”
Terry Williamson, director of Success @ says, “Both Universities have been very supportive of the schools and the student ambassadors outstanding in the way they have motivated and worked alongside the pupils.”

The children will make their own mortar boards before receiving their diplomas in the ‘graduation’ ceremony, while their parents and carers watch an Aim Higher video, and hear about university funding.

Heather Tomlinson, Bristol City Council’s Director of Education and Lifelong Learning will be also be at the ceremony at Bristol University on May 6.

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