Largest number of schools attend Queen Margaret Children’s University Graduation
Fifty-two school pupils from 16 Midlothian and East Lothian schools gathered at Queen Margaret University (QMU) at the weekend (Saturday 12th November) to take part in the Queen Margaret Children’s University graduation ceremony. It was the largest gathering of schools ever to take part in a graduation ceremony at QMU.
Beaming with pride and clad in striking blue robes and mini mortar boards, the young scholars were joined by family, friends and teachers who were delighted to share their exciting graduation experience.
The Children’s University is a widening access initiative which has been enthusiastically welcomed by families, schools and learning destinations who are all keen for local pupils, aged 5 – 14, to develop a love of learning. QMU is the first higher education institution in the east of Scotland to host the Children’s University which aims to help school children become confident learners and broaden their horizons.
Hayley Jones, Children’s University Officer at Queen Margaret University, said: “Children across East and Midlothian and their families, seem to love the Children’s University initiative because it encourages young people to learn in different ways and rewards them for taking part in a wide variety of learning activities outside of the main school curriculum. Many are highly motivated to keep learning, which means they can build up credit points on their Passport to Learning. The more learning they engage with, the more credit points they gain and the young people can work towards bronze, silver and gold certificates.
“Importantly, the initiative helps raise children’s aspirations and they gain recognition for their accomplishments. Of course, one of the highlights is taking part in a proper graduation ceremony at Queen Margaret University which involves receiving their graduation certificates from the Principal or Deputy Principal.
The initiative is producing real results for young people with the students being motivated to keep up their own learning. In a recent survey, one pupil said: “Children’s University encourages me to keep up with my activities.”
Another pupil said when asked if they were looking forward to the graduation ceremony: “Yes because it will give me a little example of what it will be like when I grow up.”
The Children’s University ethos is clearly aligned with the aims of the Scottish Curriculum for Excellence in terms of helping children become successful and confident learners, responsible citizens and effective contributors.
Schools which took part in the November graduation include: Danderhall Primary School, Dunbar Primary School, Haddington Infant School, King’s Park Primary School, Kingsmeadow Primary School, Kingsmeadow Primary School, Knox Academy, Musselburgh Burgh, Prestonpans Primary School, Saltoun Primary School, Sandersons Wynd Primary School, St Martin’s RC Primary School, St. Gabriel’s RC Primary School, St. Gabriel’s RC Primary School, St. Luke’s RC Primary School, Stoneyhill Primary School, Tynewater Primary School and Yester Primary School.
The first graduation ceremony took place in January 2014 and today over 3400 pupils have signed up to the scheme. Two hundred and thirty three of these pupils have been to an on-campus graduation ceremony here at Queen Margaret University. The Children’s University continues to expand with more schools and pupils signing up each month.
Mary De la Peña , Chief Executive of Children’s University Scotland, said: “Children can only aspire to what they know exists. By encouraging them to learn in different ways, to aspire to achieve more through learning, to be inquisitive and to try new things, we will encourage them to consider future possibilities, not matter what their background.”
For more information on the QMU Children’s University contact Hayley Jones, Children’s University Officer at Queen Margaret University on T: 0131 474 0000 or E: firstname.lastname@example.org
View the Queen Margaret Children’s University film at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qr_bHaHTYKA
and visit their new website here – www.childrensuniversityscotland.com