The third York Children’s University Graduation took place at the University of York, recognising the achievements of youngsters involved in the Children’s University Passport-to-Learning scheme.
The event in the Sir Jack Lyons Concert Hall saw 148 children from 17 local schools receive awards for their efforts which included between 30 and 472 hours of extra-curricular activity. They participated in quality, fun and innovative experiences at museums, libraries, music and sports clubs and through a suite of volunteer-led modules themed around business areas and designed to bring learning to life.
This year also saw the launch of a new series of interactive workshops and lecture-style events for children and their families called CU in the City, including learning about space with the University’s Department of Physics and going behind the scenes at Bootham Crescent. CU in the City was described by a parent as “Interactive, imagination kick-starter, child-led fun”.
The graduation ceremony opened with a procession of graduates in traditional gowns and mortar-boards, led by the Chief Executive of the Children’s University Trust, Ger Graus who said, “I am honoured to be part of the York Children’s University Graduation. The enthusiasm and commitment of these children and young people is inspirational. York CU provides a wonderful opportunity for children to engage positively with local learning providers and businesses to achieve real-life learning. I officiated the first York CU Graduation in 2012 when 21 children graduated and I am delighted to see how much the programme has grown and developed and how the number of children involved has increased year on year.”
Children collect stickers in a Passport for each hour of extra-curricular learning they undertake. It is the first year that York CU awarded Children’s University diplomas, degrees and postgraduate awards for between 230 and 465 hours of learning.
York CU is led and managed by York Cares under the umbrella of the national Children’s University Trust. It is a national scheme which seeks to inspire children aged 5–14 by taking them to new places with the aim of raising aspirations, boosting achievement and fostering a love of learning, and brings together schools, businesses, universities, museums, libraries, sports and music clubs and outdoor activities.
The graduation was attended by children and their families, representatives from schools and Learning Destinations, members of the York Cares Board, the new Director of Children's Services, Education and Skills for City of York Council, Jon Stonehouse and Councillor Janet Looker, Cabinet Member for Education, Children and Young People’s Services. The children were presented with their certificates by the Lord Mayor of York, Councillor Julie Gunnell.