What is Children’s University?
The Children's University (CU) is a national charity offering children aged 5 -14 an exciting and innovative programme of high quality learning opportunities outside school hours, with a focus on rewarding participation, raising aspirations and encouraging engagement with learning. There are over 100 local CU centres established throughout the UK and around the world as far as Australia. The local CU centres are coordinated and delivered by different organisations / institutions depending on the area. Some are coordinated by Universities / Local Authorities / Charities / Social Enterprises. All organisations that run a local CU do so through a contact with National Children's University Trust ensuring that adhere to the aims / ethos of the CU trust. St Helen’s CU is coordinated by Enrich Education and has been running for 5 years.
How does Children’s University work?
Children in years 1 – 6 can gain CU hours / credits for attending validated activities both in school and outside school. All of the children’s CU credits / hours are recorded / tallied in school via registers and outside school via the passport to learning. The school has a designated member of staff that monitors / records the children’s hours (Miss Middlehurst). Children that reach a national CU standard through their participation in a validated activity will receive a National Award. Depending on the year group of the child they will be invited to attend a graduation ceremony at Liverpool Hope University in March. The children’s CU hours / credits accumulate over their time in school, so they can keep on adding to their tally each year.
How many hours are needed for a national award?
- National Award - 30 (Bronze) / 65 (Silver) / 100 (Gold)
- National Certificate - 130 (Bronze) / 165 (Silver) / 200 (Gold)
- National Diploma - 230 (Bronze) / 265 (Silver) / 300 (Gold)
- National Degree - 330 (Bronze) / 365 (Silver) / 400 (Gold)
- National Postgraduate Award - 430 (Bronze) / 465 (Silver) / 500 (Gold)
- National Postgraduate Certificate - 530 (Bronze) / 565 (Silver) / 600 (Gold)
- National Postgraduate Diploma - 630 (Bronze) / 665 (Silver) / 700 (Gold)
- National Masters Degree - 730 (Bronze) / 765 (Silver) / 800 (Gold)
- National Doctorate - 830 (Bronze) / 865 (Silver) / 900 (Gold)
- National Fellowship - 930 (Bronze) / 965 (Silver) / 1000 (Gold)
How does the Passport to Learning work?
The passport to learning is used by children to access learning activities outside school i.e. local clubs, galleries, museums that have been through the validation process with a local CU. The validated learning destination will complete / record the participating children’s attendance in their passport to learning. The maximum amount of hours a child can receive from one learning destination is 100 hours. Children’s University aims to reward the children’s participation in a wide range of new and different learning experiences. The passport to learning will then be brought into school and the hours will be added to the child's overall tally at a termly passport bank.
How do I purchase a Passport to Learning?
The passport to learning costs £2.50 and can be purchased through the school office. The passport also comes with a small guide on where and how to use the passport.
When should I send my child's Passport to Learning into school?
Every half term, we hold a Passport Bank. If your child has a Children's University Passport and has been using it to collect credits/stamps from approved public learning destinations, they need to bring it in for it to be signed off at the Passport Bank. Please note, if your child attends extra-curricular clubs inside of school, their credits will automatically be logged at the end of each half-term so they will not appear in their passport.
During this academic year, children will be asked to bring their Children's University Passports into school for the Passport Bank to take place. Please look on the newsletter for these dates.
What is a Public Learning Destination?
A Children’s University Public Learning Destination (PLD) is an organisation / activity that delivers validated CU activities outside the school environment. For an organisation / activity to become a PLD they must participate in validation process with a local CU centre i.e. St Helens, Knowsley etc.
Which organisations / activities are validated Public Learning Destinations?
Here are some examples of the local PLDs that are available:
- Acorn farm
- Beavers, Scouts and Cubs
- Rainbows, Brownies and Guides
- Jeanette McCulloch School of Dance
- Elizabeth Hill School of Dance and Drama
- Kingswood Education and Adventure Centre
- Parr Swimming and Fitness Centre
- Rainhill United Football Club
- TATE Liverpool
- The World of Glass
- Walker Art Gallery
Full details of the local and national PLDs are available on the National Children’s University Website;
What should I do if my child’s club is not validated?
If there is a club / organisation that you feel would make a suitable PLD you can provide them with an invitation card to engage with the programme (available in the school office).