Children from primary schools across Scarborough, Whitby, Filey and Ryedale have ‘graduated’ in style.
Year six pupils attended the annual Scarborough and North Yorkshire Children’s University Ceremony at the Scarborough Spa on Thursday July 11.
The event, hosted by the University of Hull, took place in the beautiful Grand Hall and was led by Richard Adams of the University’s North Yorkshire Partnership Hub.
The celebration of independent and extra-curricular learning was presided over by The Mayor of the Borough of Scarborough, Cllr Hazel Lynskey, and by Head of Schools and Colleges Liaison, David Drury.
After the ceremony, the children posed for the traditional hat-throwing graduation photo and then danced the night away at the graduation party.
The evening also featured a special one-off performance from young members of the Stephen Joseph Theatre, one the scheme’s official ‘Learning Destinations’.
Scarborough and North Yorkshire Children’s University works in partnership with designated primary schools and centres to develop independent learning in children.
The scheme does this by encouraging and celebrating participation in extracurricular activities inside and outside of school.
In partnership with local businesses, and public organisations, the Children’s University has brought new extra-curricular activity into many local primary schools including science, sports clubs, maths, adventurers activities, museums and gallery activity, drama, dance and more.
This year the scheme has been able to expand its reach and further improve its activities with the help of the North Yorkshire Coast Opportunities Area, who have provided financial support.
98% of surveyed parents at last year’s ceremony agreed that taking part in Children’s University had improved their child’s engagement in independent learning.
90% also felt that the scheme had a positive impact on their child’s aspirations and motivation at school. Teachers have reported that pupils who take part in the scheme are more self-confident and motivated.
One parent at last year’s ceremony said of their child, “her grades have improved and her drive to learn has increased.”
Since its launch in 2014, Scarborough and North Yorkshire Children’s University has worked with over 4500 primary pupils and over 6000 parents from 16 schools in Scarborough, Whitby, Filey, Malton and Ryedale.
The University of Hull run the scheme from their Scarborough-based North Yorkshire Partnership Hub office.
Richard Adams, manager at Scarborough at North Yorkshire Children’s University, said: “For me, the most important thing about The Children’s University is that it promotes a love of independent learning and shows young people that they can shape their own destinies.
"As these children take the big step up to secondary school, we hope CU has inspired them to realise that learning can take place anywhere and that with hard work they can really succeed.”
Bethany, a pupil from Filey Junior School summed it up last year: “It doesn’t matter who you are, you can do it. You don’t need money, just persevere and do you best. It will really build your confidence.”