The children’s university is a programme for five to 14-year-olds to help them become enthusiastic life-long learners whose successes are recognised and celebrated.
Not only does it help children broaden their knowledge and skills, it also allows them to try new hobbies or interests and make new friends.
This year more than 1,013 young people from 22 schools across Knowsley ‘graduated’ from the Children’s University, each gaining a National Children’s University award for additional learning they had undertaken.
The Children’s University programme began in Knowsley in 2008, and in total, more than 2,000 pupils have graduated.
Now the initiative has been recognised with accreditation from national organisation QiSS (Quality in Study Support and Extended Services), part of the Faculty of Education at Canterbury Christ Church University.
The QiSS recognition scheme focuses on the organisational and structural quality of a project, and how well it meets requirements such as safeguarding children.
“The team works well together to ensure the needs and wants of the children and schools are reflected in the programme of opportunities.
“Existing good practice and excellent take up by schools within the area shows a clear strategy for growth and good links with schools within the area. Knowsley Children’s University is a well structured organisation and has a good level of self-awareness with clear aims for the future planning.”
Cllr Graham Wright, Knowsley Council’s Cabinet Member for Children and Family Services said: “The energy and enthusiasm of everybody involved with delivering additional learning to young people as part of the Children’s University initiative is just fantastic.
“The aim is to show young people how fun it can be to learn and to aspire to become lifelong learners for whom the sky is the limit.
“Young people enjoy taking part and the icing on the cake is the graduation ceremony at the end of it all when all their hard work and dedication is rewarded – giving them a taste of how it feels for people as they graduate from a real university.”
Pictured:Pupils from St Mark’s Catholic Primary School in Halewood celebrate their success as they graduate from Knowsley Children’s University earlier this year.