Whilst most people have to wait until their early twenties to receive their university degrees, a group of mini graduates from Bradford have this month donned their caps and gowns to collect their latest honours.
As part of the national initiative – Children’s University (CU) – youngsters from Killinghall Primary were invited to The University of Bradford for a unique graduation ceremony on Tuesday 19th July.
After completing a number of hours of ‘out-of-school’ learning, over 100 children from the school earned the right to graduate.
Thomas Whitford-Bartle, Outreach Officer at the University of Bradford said: “The event was a big success last night and was thoroughly enjoyed by all who came along – including families and friends, graduates and the Killinghall Staff.”
Over 350 guests attended, including excited children, proud parents, guardians and family members, the Head Teacher and teaching staff from Killinghall Primary School.
An event which marked a significantly positive achievement by Killinghall Primary, it also proved that the school remains at the heart of the BD3 community, which over recent years has led positive community initiatives to create a positive community environment.
Gill Edge, Head Teacher at Killinghall Primary School explained what the ceremony meant to the children and the school as a whole.
“Often there are so many pressures from school and home that some children these days do not get these opportunities,” she said.
“We are so pleased that our children have excelled themselves, as we have one of the largest groups of children from any one school to graduate through the CU’s Scheme at Bradford University.”
She continued: “The children are given credits for attending sports training sessions, reading clubs, residential trips and many other activities. This all goes to building their knowledge and understanding of themselves and the world and makes for a whole rounded person and a lifelong learner.
“We hope this graduation experience inspires our children to take up even further study as they move through life. It raises aspirations for their future, many of our children after leaving the graduation say they are going to go on to study to get a ‘proper’ degree.”
The Children’s University (CU) in the UK began as a Saturday school project in Birmingham in the early 1990s.
It was instigated by Professor Sir Tim Brighouse and Sir David Winkley, then Chief Education Officer and Head Teacher, and supported by the King Edward Foundation.
During the next decade a dozen or so, CU centres were started across England, Wales and Scotland, offering a variety of out-of-school hours learning experiences to children.