Skip to main content

Children’s University

Inspiring children to discover their potential

The Children’s University™ is a charity that works in partnership with schools to develop a love of learning in children. We do this by encouraging and celebrating the participation of 5-14 year olds in extra-curricular activities in and outside of school.

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


Wakefield Children’s University will be hosting a free family event. The May-Hem! open event is an opportunity for CU members and their friends and family to take part in activities provided by Learning Destinations and College tutors, all under one roof!

Tuesday, 31 May, 2022

From 10.00am to 2.00pm

Castleford Campus


Schools in the Wakefield District already offer an amazing range of opportunities for out of school learning through lunchtime and after school clubs. The Wakefield Children’s University works with schools to encourage their pupils to take part in learning activities outside their normal school hours.

Children are able to collect stamp codes in their Passport to Learning for attending lunchtime and after school clubs, as well as at Learning Destinations both locally and nationally. Children and parents then upload the stamp codes to their personal dashboard on CU Online, used in conjunction with the Passport to Learning.

The College Principal with a class of students

Celebrating learning is at the heart of the Children’s University. Initially, children are rewarded for participation with Bronze, Silver and Gold certificates. As they progress through the different levels, we expect children to play a more active part in their learning, producing evidence and displays of their learning to achieve these certificates.

Each year we hold a graduation ceremony in June for those members who have achieved a Gold level award (100, 200, 300, etc). The event is facilitated by Wakefield College and parents are encouraged to attend. Wearing a mortar board and gown, children will be presented with an award – just like a real graduation.

What’s Included:

  • Your school will be part of a national community of CU learners
  • Your school clubs will be validated by Wakefield Children’s University
  • We can provide launch assemblies, certificate assemblies and attendance at parents’ evenings and school events on request
  • Children gaining Gold level awards will be invited to the annual graduation ceremony which includes the loan of gowns, mortar boards and stoles
  • You will receive quarterly newsletters for parents, holiday challenges for your pupils to gain additional hours, plus invites to CU events at Wakefield College
  • You will be able to access college led activities in school or at Wakefield College, providing your pupils with an insight into the curriculum offers at FE and HE level
  • The CU Coordinator in school will have access to CU Online including reports on participation and skills building information for your school
  • You will receive tailored admin support for the team at Wakefield College

To get involved or to find out more information, download the Start Up Guide for Schools or contact a member of the team.

Parent/carer guide
Download the Start-up Guide for Schools


We both really love being CU members, it allows us to get involved with loads of different activities and meet new people. We both recently attened May-hem! which was really fun and we took part in the CSI workshop which is great for Izzy as she wants to be a Police Officer. I recently attended the STEMplus masterclass where I got an insight into College life, it allowed me to see a different environment, meet new people, see the equipment college has and meet the tutors. I gained a lot of confidence attending the masterclasses and it did impact my GCSE choices. I would definitely recommend it for anyone who is not sure what they want to do, as it helped me so much.
Izzy & Elisha
Pupils at Castleford Park Junior Academy/Castleford Academy
Individual Members

If your child’s school is not a CU partner, or if your child is Home Educated, you are able to become a member of the Children’s University on an individual basis.

Being an Individual Member means you still get all the benefits of the Children’s University, but you would liaise directly with the team instead of a school staff member.

We will request Learning Hours on a termly basis and post any certificates due to your home address. You will still have access to all Learning Destinations with the exception of lunchtime and after school clubs.

Membership runs on a yearly basis from the date you joined and costs £25 per year. This covers the costs of certificates, the graduation ceremony and activities and events throughout the year.

To get involved, or if you would like more information, download the Individual Membership Guide or contact a member of the team.

CU Students at Wakefield College

Parent/carer guide
Download The Individual Membership Start Up Guide


I can earn lots of stamps in my Passport just by having fun!
Children & Parents/Carers

It’s easy to become a member of the Wakefield Children’s University - you can do this through your child’s school. If their school is not currently involved with the Children’s University, or if they are Home Educated, take a look at our Individual Membership section.

Where can I get a Passport to Learning?

If your child attends a CU partner school, they will be able to issue you with a Passport to Learning and an online account. The cost for this is £3.50 and includes certificates, attendance at the graduation ceremony (if applicable), activities set by Wakefield Children’s University during school holidays, quarterly newsletters and invites to events at Wakefield College for CU members.

Where can I use the Passport to Learning?

Your child can collect Learning Hours at lunchtime and after school clubs if their school is a CU partner.

You can also use the Passport at Learning Destinations in Wakefield such as visitor attractions, libraries, museums and at clubs and activities that have been validated by Wakefield Children’s University.

You can also visit Learning Destinations outside of Wakefield – from Scotland down to Cornwall, most cities have a Children’s University! All our Learning Destinations are available on the national CU website. Just search by name or area to find what you’re looking for.

What is CU Online?

CU Online is a fun, safe and secure online space to record what your child is doing as part of the Children’s University. It is designed to be used alongside the Passport to Learning – simply collect stamp codes in the Passport and enter them online to add Learning Hours. The codes are unique to each activity and will show you the interests and skills your child is developing by taking part.

Each child will have their own online dashboard which will help them see how they’re progressing towards the next award level. There are also online-only exclusive badges to collect.

As a parent/carer, you are able to access this dashboard using the login details provided. You also have the option to add your email address to the account in case of a forgotten password.

What happens if I lose my Passport to Learning?

All the Passports have a sticker in the back asking whoever finds it to return it to the Wakefield Children’s University.

If it is returned, we’ll make sure you get it back. If it isn’t returned, unfortunately you will have to buy a new one.

For more information download our Parent Guide to the CU or contact a member of the team.

Parent/carer guide
Download the Parent Guide to the CU

Download the Parent Guide to the CU for more information on using the Passport to Learning and CU Online.


Being a CU member has given my daughter opportunities to explore new places that she wouldn’t have been aware of had they not been Learning Destinations. It’s given her an excellent breadth of learning experiences within them, her education outside of school has certainly been enhanced by this.
Online Activities

We will host a series of online activities here over the coming months, all of these activities will count towards your Learning Hours.

Skills Challenge

Every Friday we'll be setting you a challenge based on one of the skills from the Skills Builder framework. We use this framework as part of CU Online to ensure children are accessing a range of activities promoting the different skills. There will be no time limit on these challenges. Please send evidence of completion to You can find out more about the Skills Builder Partnership at

Only CU members will receive a stamp code but these activities are open to all families to feel free to share.

Skills Challenge Week 1.pdf
80KB · 14 January, 2021

Skills Challenge Week 2.pdf
110KB · 21 January, 2021

Skills Challenge Week 3.pdf
73KB · 28 January, 2021

Skills Challenge Week 4.pdf
75KB · 2 February, 2021

Skills Challenge Week 5.pdf
73KB · 9 February, 2021

Skills Challenge Week 6.pdf
77KB · 16 February, 2021

Photography Challenges

The Art & Design department at Wakefield College have put together some Photography challenges for you to take part in this year. You can gain 1 Learning Hour for each challenge completed. Just send us your photographs and let us know which challenges you have completed. You can email the evidence to or if you are printing your photographs, you can also post them to Wakefield Children’s University, Wakefield College, Thunderhead Ridge, Glasshoughton WF10 4UA.

Photography Challenges.pdf
2.2MB · 08 December, 2020

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 been validated by the Children’s University.

Activity Providers:

If you are interested in becoming a Learning Destination, please visit and complete the online form. You will then be contacted to complete your validation and will receive a welcome pack with everything you need to get started with us.

By joining us as a Learning Destination you will:

  • Help us to provide high quality activities to children in the Wakefield District
  • Be invited to attend a number of events at Wakefield College throughout the year
  • Have the chance to advertise your activities online and in our quarterly newsletter

If you would like any more information, please contact a member of the team.

Children & Parents/Carers:

How do I recommend a Learning Destination?
Learning Destinations must provide activities which children take part in voluntarily, are outside of normal school hours and suitable for ages 5-14. You can email us your recommendation or you can direct the activity provider to the following link - where they can sign up directly.

How many hours can I gain from an activity?
The number of hours you can collect from each activity is decided upon during the validation process. We want to encourage children to try new experiences and activities. Within each award level we would like to see a mix of activities with no more than 15 hours per term, or 45 hours per year of one single activity counting towards a CU award. The above follows the guidelines set by the CU Trust.

How do I record the Learning Hours?
Each activity provider will now issue a stamp code to be written in the Passport to Learning once you’ve taken part in an activity. This code can then be entered onto your child’s dashboard and the Learning Hours will be automatically credited.

If the Learning Destination does not have a stamp code, they have not signed up to the new online system yet. You can direct them to the website above to do this.

Where can I find Learning Destinations?
All validated Learning Destinations are on the CU Trust website and you can search by area or activity name. This is handy if you are travelling outside Wakefield and would like to know if there’s any Learning Destinations in the area you are going to.

There is also a number of online/downloadable activities on the CU Trust website.

Harry enjoyed the afternoon at the Gateway to Eternity in Wakefield Museum. The staff were wonderfully accommodating and very inclusive. We all had a lovely time.
This has been our second year working with the Wakefield Children's University and it is going from strength to strength. The passports encourage our children to go the extra mile in participating in out of School hour activities to widen their educational opportunities. The team are brilliant at working with school to support and encourage them. This year's Graduation celebration at the Theatre Royal was a fantastic, well organised event which the children and parents thoroughly enjoyed.
Caroline Butterworth
Headteacher, Flanshaw Junior, Infant & Nursery School
Case Studies
We both really love being CU members, it allows us to get involved with loads of different activities and meet new people. We both recently attened May-hem! which was really fun and we took part in the CSI workshop which is great for Izzy as she wants to be a Police Officer. I recently attended the STEMplus masterclass where I got an insight into College life, it allowed me to see a different environment, meet new people, see the equipment college has and meet the tutors. I gained a lot of confidence attending the masterclasses and it did impact my GCSE choices. I would definitely recommend it for anyone who is not sure what they want to do, as it helped me so much.
Izzy & Elisha
Year 4 at Castleford Park Junior Academy & Year 8 at Castleford Academy

CU Individual Membership Guide 2019-20.pdf
1.49 mb · 05 December, 2019

CU Membership Application Form.pdf
182.04 kb · 19 October, 2018

CU Newsletter Winter 2019.pdf
1.51 mb · 05 December, 2019

Parent Guide CU.pdf
913.07 kb · 05 December, 2019

Photography Challenges.pdf
1.61 mb · 26 January, 2021

Quick Guide for Parents.pdf
139.28 kb · 05 December, 2019

School Start Up Guide 2020-21.pdf
8.46 mb · 01 September, 2020

976.7 kb · 20 January, 2022

1.62 mb · 20 January, 2022

Skills Challenge Week 4.pdf
72.6 kb · 16 February, 2021

Skills Challenge Week 5.pdf
76.15 kb · 16 February, 2021

Skills Challenge Week 6.pdf
75.89 kb · 16 February, 2021

71.48 kb · 26 January, 2021

107.46 kb · 26 January, 2021

73.71 kb · 28 January, 2021

Forthcoming Events
Sorry, there are no currently no forthcoming Children’s University events.
Contact Us

James Pennington
Head of Alternative Curriculum & School Partnerships
Telephone: 01924 789746

Kayleigh Moore
School Liaison Coordinator
Telephone: 01924 789746

Emma Trethewey
School Partnerships Administrator
Telephone: 01924 789746

You can also check out our Facebook and Twitter pages.