Junior graduates celebrate Cardiff Children’s University success
28 June 2023
Cardiff University’s Centre for Student Life has played host to a different kind of graduation ceremony – one for children from across the city.
Pupils from nine primary schools dressed in traditional caps and gowns to celebrate their achievements and graduation from a scheme designed to encourage and develop a love of learning. The youngsters are now graduates of Passport to the City – Cardiff Children’s University, an initiative in partnership with Cardiff Council, that delivers extra-curricular opportunities for children to study different subjects, learn new skills and raise aspirations.
Last year, the pilot scheme delivered by a range of city-wide partners gave over 400 children access to a wealth of engaging learning activities including art and music, history, science, technology, engineering and maths as well as cultural and graphics design courses. As children take part, their activities contribute towards a ‘Passport to Learning’ and, ultimately to an end of year graduation ceremony, attended by the top 20% of participants in each school.
This year’s Passport to the City – Cardiff Children’s University graduation ceremony took place at the Centre for Student Life on 22 June for over 150 children from participating primary schools from Butetown, Tremorfa, Fairwater, Ely, Llanedeyrn and Canton as well as 10 other children who signed up to the scheme independently of their schools – accompanied by their proud families. Each graduates received a Cardiff University badge of honour and handshake from leading academics alongside a surprise congratulatory video message from radio and television presenter, Jason Mohammad, who grew up in Ely.
Kim Fisher, Headteacher at Windsor Clive Primary School based in Ely, said “Our children and their families had a fantastic day at the graduation ceremony. Their involvement and participation has raised aspirations for our families and given them a sense of purpose and achievement. We are very grateful to the university and Passport to the City for their kind invitation."
Claire Morgan, Pro Vice-Chancellor for Education and Student Experience, said: “We recognise the important role Cardiff University has to play in supporting and inspiring young people from our diverse communities to expand their learning and help fulfil their true potential. The wide range of learning activities we have delivered throughout the year not only support teachers in delivering the new Curriculum for Wales but provides unique opportunities for children to develop their knowledge, experiences and skills which could one day lead them to study at university”
Councillor Sarah Merry, Deputy Leader of Cardiff Council and Cabinet Member for Education, said: “I’m delighted that the schools continue to embrace the scheme so whole-heartedly. Making sure that Cardiff is a great place to grow up remains high on our agenda and by optimising use of the city’s resources and the fantastic opportunities available through our partnership with Cardiff University, we are able to engage with children and young people through a wonderfully diverse range of provision, some of which they might not usually be able to access.”
The feedback on the Children’s University graduation event received from the children and family members, teachers and partners was extremely positive. 92% of parents said they wanted their child to go to university – and of this, 40% had changed their minds from no to yes as a direct consequence of the graduation and their children’s involvement in the scheme.
We very much look forward to seeing some of those children who graduated from Cardiff Children’s University return to us in future to graduate as adults from Cardiff University.