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: what is it?

The Children’s University™ is a charitable trust 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 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 certificate is the Bronze Award at the Undergraduate level of 30 hours of validated learning, followed by Silver Award at 65 hours and the Gold Award at 100 hours. The award system continues in these increments up to 1000 hours. The Postgraduate awards (430 - 1000 hours) require both greater levels of challenge and a broader range of activities.

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 a Gold 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 College Principal with a class of students

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™.
  • 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 - download the Children’s University Start Up Guide for Schools 2018.

Telephone 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.

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!

Children’s University students having fun

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?
If your school is a Children’s University member they will be able to issue you with a Passport to Learning. A Passport costs £3.50. If your school is not part of the Children’s University and you are wanting to become an Individual Member, the membership cost is £25 annually, which includes your first Passport.

Where can I use the Passport to Learning?
If your school 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 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.