Y5 Children's University Research

23rd November 2021

What is the Children’s University?

By the time a child turns 18, they will have spent just 9% of their waking life in a classroom.

Children’s University is about making the most of the remaining 91%, working with children and young people aged 5-14.

Research shows that participation in extra-curricular activities can positively impact on attainment, increase a pupil’s positive identification with school, and build self-confidence and resilience. Research also shows that children that do not have access to these opportunities fall behind, lack confidence, and fail to develop career aspirations. The resulting attainment gap is so significant that 25% of children from the most disadvantaged backgrounds achieve below expected attainment levels.

Learning happens all the time in lots of different places, at different times and in different ways.

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How does the Children’s University develop skills?

For every child that takes part in Children’s University, we want the following outcomes:

  • They feel they have grown in confidence and self-belief
  • They have enjoyed new experiences, in new places and want to keep exploring
  • They believe they have a broader range of essential skills
  • They feel empowered to make positive choices about their future
  • They see learning that is fun, aspirational and lifelong
  • They feel their eyes have been opened to a multiplicity of learning activities and opportunities
  • They feel celebrated for their commitment to learning by their family, school and community. 
How it works…
 
Each child involved in the trial is given a Passport To Learning , in which they collect 'stamps' for hours of accredited learning.  They will also have access to a Children’s University Online account, which is a digital platform where they can log and keep track of their hours.
  • This contributes to the award of a certificate, encouraging them to access Children's University provision and a wide range of other worthwhile out-of-school-hours learning opportunities.
  • At the end of the school year, there  is a graduation ceremony for the children and their parents/carers
There are many other ways in which pupils can earn stamps for their passports, including…
  • Bi-monthly Children’s University challenges set by Louise – these will be emailed out to CU leaders each time they are launched so that they can be emailed out to pupils.
  • School holiday Children’s University Trust challenges
  • Lunchtime and after-school extra-curricular clubs run in school
  • Online and home learning activities
In 2017 The Sutton Trust released a report that highlighted the importance of extra-curricular activities for equipping children with the life skills they need. It stressed that giving young people from all backgrounds a greater opportunity to develop those skills can be an engine for opportunity and social mobility.
 
This is what Children’s University aims to do.