More than 120 young people are graduating from Glasgow Children’s University at a special ceremony at the University of Strathclyde’s Barony Hall tomorrow (Tuesday 13 June).
Glasgow Children’s University is enabling children aged 5 to 14 to widen their skills and interests, while providing an exciting and innovative route towards further and higher education.
The pupils, from schools across the city, collected stamps on a ‘Passport to Learning’ while taking part in a wide range of learning activities outside school hours, including sports, crafts and skills, gallery and museum visits and music. A total of 234 certificates are to be presented to 128 pupils at the ceremony.
Professor Sir Jim McDonald, Chancellor of Glasgow Children’s University and Principal of the University of Strathclyde, said: “I am delighted to welcome more children to the Glasgow Children’s University alumni community.
“As a socially progressive University, Strathclyde aims to open up higher education opportunities to everyone with ability, regardless of their personal or social circumstances. By offering these young people a taste of higher education, the Children’s University is one of the many initiatives we pursue to achieve this goal – we hope that many of them will be inspired by what they have experienced and go on to study at college or university level.”
The 127 pupils receiving awards between them logged 7,352 hours and 30 minutes of learning – the equivalent of 306 days- in 7,802 activities. The Gold Undergraduate Degree – the highest award so far conferred by Glasgow Children’s University – will be given to two St Benedict’s pupils, Millie McGillivray and Farrah McIvor, for recording more than 400 hours of activities each.
Among those graduating will be Jack Cooper, of St Rose of Lima Primary School, who recorded around 110 hours of learning while also training for the 2016 British Four Nations Karate Championships – and winning the gold medal.
Jack said: “I started going to clubs within my school, like football, rugby and basketball, then I tried some taster sessions within my school like hurling, hockey, golf, basketball, football and karate.
“I first started karate and found it fun. I could see how far I could go with competitions and gradings. My first competition was a year later and it was the British Championships and I won gold. It made me feel good.
“I started doing Children’s University in October and I have enjoyed working with them. I keep up with my clubs and try new clubs as well as going to museums, whilst still doing my competitions and my gradings at Eastbank Karate.”
Glasgow Children’s University currently works with 17 primary and five secondary schools and has distributed around 3000 Passports to Learning to member schools since its foundation. It currently has 112 Public Learning Destinations – venues outside school where children can obtain credit for taking part in learning activities.
The University of Strathclyde, working in partnership with Glasgow City Council and the Children’s University Scotland Trust, and with the support of the ScottishPower Foundation, established the Glasgow Children’s University in 2013. It has received further support in the past year from the Barcapel Foundation, which has funded for six months a full-time graduate intern, who has enabled the Children’s University to work with more schools and give additional support to existing partners.