Record number of youngsters graduate from Children's University

Issue date: 12 July 2019


Children's University image

A record number of children from Bristol and South Gloucestershire celebrated their extra-curricular achievements when they graduated from the Children's University at a ceremony at Bristol Cathedral.

One hundred and twenty five youngsters aged 4-14 dressed in gowns and mini mortarboards to receive certificates at a special event attended by an audience of families, friends and teachers.

UWE Bristol has funded and delivered the Children's University programme in the region every year since 2015. The scheme sees youngsters taking part in experiences, developing new interests and acquiring new skills through participation in innovative and creative learning activities outside of the school day. These learning activities are designed to raise aspiration, encourage motivation, introduce new life experiences, develop personal skills and progress learning.

Children graduate - either at bronze, silver or gold level – through accumulating points by registering their learning activities on their Children's University passport. Activities can include everything from gymnastics classes and computer coding clubs to library reading challenges and litter picking.

Helen O'Donnell, Chief Executive of the Children's University charity, addressed the graduates at today's (Fri 12 July) ceremony, which was also attended by Sonia Mills, Chair of UWE Bristol's Board of Governors, UWE Bristol Pro Vice-Chancellor Jo Midgley and Roger White OBE.

Andrew Carter, Head of Recruitment and Outreach at UWE Bristol, said: “The graduation ceremony at the Cathedral is always the highlight of the year for young people taking part in Children's University. There are a record number of children graduating this year, with 125 receiving certificates at the Cathedral and a further 75 graduating in their schools. We're now in our fifth year of running the programme and it's continuing to expand and generate interest from schools.

“Children's University is all about opening up new experiences to young people who wouldn't normally have those experiences, and giving children praise and recognition for the learning they do outside of their core school hours. The programme helps build ambition, self-esteem, confidence, curiosity, a love of learning, motivation and resilience.”

The Bristol and South Gloucestershire Children's University is one of a number of initiatives run by UWE Bristol to encourage young people in the region to aspire to higher skills. The University is one of the UK's largest investors in widening participation, committing £15 million a year to promote access and supporting students from diverse backgrounds. More than 1,600 new entrants to UWE Bristol each year come from areas with below-average levels of university attendance.

For more information about the Bristol and South Gloucestershire Children's University, visit here.

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