We’re so excited here at Bexley to have the Children’s University with us again at Bexley Eco Festival. We wanted to let you know a little more about what they do in their amazing work.
What Is The Children’s University?
The Children’s University (CU) is a nationwide Trust founded in the 1980’s. There are Children’s Universities all over the country and they work closely with London South East Children’s University. Working in partnership with schools, their aim is to help children develop a love of learning. They encourage children to participate in extracurricular activities both in and outside of school, in person and virtually (where applicable).
Research over the past ten years has found that children from a range of different backgrounds experience real benefits to their confidence, resilience and learning abilities by taking part in the wide-ranging activities they provide. This is especially true for children who wouldn’t otherwise have the opportunities the Children’s University offers.
They are currently running activities in over 1000 schools across 66 local authorities in England working with children aged 5-14. This includes local schools in conjunction with London South East Colleges in Bexley and Bromley.
What Are The Values of The Children’s University?
They believe all children must be given the same opportunity and freedom to choose to actively shape their learning beyond the classroom, this includes socially excluded children and those from low-income families. For every child that takes part in Children’s University, they 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.
What Do They Do?
The CU has partnered with 13 schools in Bexley in addition to many more schools nationwide. Children receive a Passport to Learning book and receive a stamp for each hour of completed learning (normally at a Learning Destination) which counts towards a variety of awards from Certificate level to Diploma, Degree and Fellowship levels. There’s a graduation style ceremony at the end of each year to celebrate the success of the children who take part which is a real celebration for all.
With Bexley being one of the greenest boroughs in London (over 90 parks and woodland areas) there are lots of opportunities for outdoor learning, in particular making the most of and learning about our environment which is so important and close to our hearts.
The range of activities is huge, including finding out about the environment in woodlands, performing arts, watersports such as kayaking, gymnastics and other sporting activities, dance, swimming, history of the local area around a variety of local clubs and organisations.
Activities may also be online and free of charge, great to keep children busy and learning after school or through the holidays too.
What’s On This Year with The Children’s University?
The Children’s University will have sign up areas to join in the fun at Bexley Eco Festival this year (in the Atrium and the Square) and there’ll be lots of opportunities to gain credits for their Passports to Learning around stalls at the festival on Saturday 25th June 2022. There’ll be a variety of fun and creative learning activities around the lots of the stalls on the day.
If you’d like to find out more about how the Children’s University got involved at last year’s festival check out our website here.