Wakefield Children’s University

Inspiring children to discover their potential

The Children’s University™ is a national organisation that provides 5 to 14 year olds with exciting and innovative learning activities and experiences outside normal school hours.

Children are given their own ‘Passport to Learning’ in which they are encouraged to collect hours of learning towards nationally recognised awards for 30, 65 and 100 hours of learning.

Wakefield Children’s University: What is it?

The Children’s University™ is a national organisation aimed at children and young people aged 5-14, across key stages 1, 2 and 3.

It is an exciting and innovative locally delivered programme of high quality learning opportunities for all Wakefield schools. Learning takes place outside school hours at weekends, lunchtimes, after school and in the holidays.

Children are given their own ‘Passport to Learning’ in which they are encouraged to collect hours of learning towards nationally recognised awards for 30, 65 and 100 hours of learning.

Children own a ‘Passport to Learning’ and collect stamps for each hour of participation from validated ‘Learning Destinations’.

Learning Destinations are after-school clubs, community groups, youth clubs, and other local and national venues such as museums, galleries, wildlife parks, even the Houses of Parliament.

The first award starts with the bronze certificate at the Undergraduate level of 30 hours of validated learning. There are progressive steps which require both greater levels of challenge and a broader range of activities.

There are also two Honorary Recognition awards at a national level. Children’s University™ can be offered to the whole school or target year groups, vulnerable, under-achieving or more able groups.

When children accumulate enough hours to achieve an award, they will be invited to graduate at an annual ceremony. Wearing a ‘cap and gown’, they will receive their certificate and have their photograph taken - just like a real graduation.

The project is an exciting and innovative locally delivered programme of high quality learning opportunities for young children across the District. The focus is on rewarding participation, raising aspirations and encouraging engagement with learning.

Sam Wright

Wakefield College Principal

Introductory Guide for Schools

Schools in the Wakefield district already offer an amazing range of opportunities for out of school hours learning through lunchtime and after-school clubs.

The Wakefield Children's University™ works with schools to validate their existing provision to ensure that children are rewarded for their voluntary learning.

In addition to ‘Restricted’ Learning Destinations (e.g. after school clubs available only for members of that school) we are working with partners to develop exciting learning opportunities at Open Learning Destinations so that children can start to broaden their knowledge and immediately collecting stamps for their Passport to Learning.

Any child aged 5 - 14 years can participate in Children’s University™ activities.

Using the ‘Planning for Learning - A National Framework for Validating Learning’ document, devised with the support of Professor John MacBeath of the University of Cambridge, we work with schools and learning destinations through a process of self-evaluation, to ensure that the highest quality of learning is provided in all Children’s University™ learning activities, whether delivered in schools or by partner organisations in the community.

What’s the benefit to my school?

  • You will be part of a national organisation which ensures that out-of-school activities provide high quality learning experiences.
  • You will be a key link in a chain of interconnected activities which lead children to try out new positive learning experiences under a national umbrella.
  • Your clubs and activities will be validated by Wakefield Children’s University™ which will support you if you are working towards Quality in Study Support recognition (QiSS).
  • Your children will have the opportunity to participate in Children’s University™ activities at Further and Higher Education Institutions, which raise aspirations and build confidence.

So get your school involved today. Have a look at our start up guide for schools or call James Pennington or Kayleigh Moore on 01924 789746 to arrange a meeting and discuss how you can get your young people involved! You can also check out our Facebook and Twitter pages.

Download the Children’s University Start Up Guide for Schools 2015/16.

At Lee Brigg Infant School we are very pleased and proud to be the first school to sign up to the Children’s University in Wakefield. Our children now have the opportunity to take part in a whole variety of fun activities that will aid their learning and raise their aspirations for the future.

Alison Bardsley

Head Teacher, Lee Brigg Infant School

Introductory Guide for Children & Parents

If you are aged 5 - 14 years and want to be a member of the Wakefield Children’s University - then you’ve come to the right place!

It is easy to become a member, you can either do this through your school, or if your school is not currently involved with the Wakefield Children’s University, you can get an Individual Membership.

We aim to make sure that all of our Learning Destinations offer exciting and fun learning experiences and we also want this to be YOUR Children’s University - so if you attend a club or group where you are learning something new – tell us and we will try and get it validated so that you can get another stamp in your passport!!

What is the Children’s University?
The Children’s University provides all children aged 5 - 14 years with the opportunity to take part in exciting and creative learning activities outside of the normal school day. The activities can be before or after school, at weekends and during the school holidays.

Where can I get a Passport to Learning and how much does it cost?
At your school or by contacting the Wakefield Children’s University. If your school is a Children’s University member, a passport costs £3. If your school is not part of the Children’s University and you are wanting to become an Individual Member, the membership cost is £20, which includes a Passport.

What if my school is not involved?
You can become an Individual Member of the Wakefield Children’s University. For more information please contact us at childrensuniversity@wakefield.ac.uk.

Where can I use it?
If your schools offers Children’s University learning you will be able to collect stamps in your Passport to Learning at the clubs and activities you attend.

As well as at your school, you can use your Passport at tourist/visitor attractions in and around Wakefield and at clubs and societies that have been validated.

All our partner Learning Destinations are listed on the ‘Learning Destinations and Activities’ page. If you're going on holiday or visiting another town for the day, you might also be able to collect stamps in your Passport to Learning.

What happens if I lose my Passport to Learning?
All the Passports to Learning have a sticker in the back asking that if somebody finds it they return it to the Wakefield Children’s University.

If it is returned, we’ll make sure it gets returned to you. If your Passport isn’t returned to us, unfortunately you’ll have to buy a new one.

Learning is at the heart of what we do at the gallery and we are proud to be the first learning destination to sign up to support the Children’s University and inspire children and their families through art and culture.

Natalie Walton

Head of Learning at The Hepworth Wakefield

Learning Destinations & Activities

Learning Destinations are places and organisations to which children can ‘travel’ with their ‘Passport to Learning’. They provide high quality learning opportunities and experiences, and have passed the Children’s University quality assurance process.

Learning Destination can range from a museum to a farm or from an airport to a university, as long as the learning activity is linked to something that can be studied at an adult university.

Learning Destinations display the Children's University logo so that it is clearly visible to children who may want to use their Passport to Learning. At a Learning Destination, Children’s University students can get their Passport to Learning stamped which helps to accumulate hours needed for the award of National Certificates and ultimately a graduation ceremony.

There are two types of Learning Destination:
Public Learning Destinations are places which provide Children's University validated learning activities and which are publicly accessible, such as museums, wildlife centres, castles, zoos, sport venues/centres, libraries, theatres etc.

Restricted Learning Destinations are places that are not publicly accessible, such as schools and clubs, guide and scout groups, which require membership.

I am delighted the College is bringing so many key stakeholders together for the mutual benefit of our school children.

Sam Wright

Wakefield College Principal

Anglers Country Park

01924 303980

Bagshaw Museum

01924 326155

CG Dance Academy

07544 952277

Diggerland

0871 227 7007

Footy Skills 4 Kids

07961 308198

Golfxcel

0845 389 0948

info@golfxcel.com

Pontefract Lioness CLub

0845 833 9604

Pontefract RUFC

01977 702650

Snozone

01977 523091

Studio A Theatre Arts

07943 392077

The Crystal Lights Majorettes

07761438138 / 07944416778

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