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‘University of Fun’ Launches in the Borough of Scarborough!

Children’s University Scarborough

A major initiative aimed at encouraging children’s confidence, learning and aspiration in fun and exciting ways has been launched in Scarborough.

The Children’s University (CU) is a national scheme which aims to raise children’s confidence and attainment by rewarding them for trying new experiences and gaining new skills. It does this by encouraging children to take part in learning activities both inside and outside school. The Scarborough scheme is being run by the University of Hull as part of its ongoing schools outreach and aspiration-raising activities.

Various local schools have taken part in a pilot project over the last year, and now the scheme is going live across the Borough. Its manager is Richard Adams, of the University of Hull, who explains that children receive a ‘Passport to Learning’, in which they collect stamps, stickers or signatures from both their schools, and from participating partner organisations – known as Learning Destinations.

Once they collect enough ‘learning hours’ in their passports, they will attend their very own graduation ceremony – complete with scarlet cap and gown – at the University Campus Scarborough on Filey Road next July.

In-school activities could include lunch and after-school clubs, or taking part in volunteering, buddying, monitoring and school council activities.

Out-of-school activities will be provided by validated ‘Learning Destinations’, such as Scarborough Art Gallery, the Rotunda Museum and Scarborough Central Library, activity days hosted by Yorkshire Coast Homes, outdoor activities with The National Trust, and animal-themed sessions at Pets at Home – and Richard is actively seeking more partners to become destinations.

Richard said:

"The CU is all about inspiring young people to become eager, independent learners: it’s the University of Fun! Those who take part start to realise that learning takes place everywhere, not just in a classroom.  It also helps youngsters find the hidden strengths and talents they didn’t realise they had."

"Ultimately I’d like to see every primary school on the North Yorkshire coast involved – I am getting around them as quickly as I can and hopefully we will have more and more each year.  And we really need more ‘official’ learning destinations, which could be anything from sports and dance clubs to Guides and Scouts and voluntary community groups – so if your organisation wants to get involved, please get in touch."

Schools on board so far for 2015/16 include Gladstone Road, Northstead, Friarage, Barrowcliffe and Braeburn in Scarborough; Filey Juniors; and Fylingdales and Stakesby School in Whitby.

The majority of local schools are running the scheme for Year 6 pupils, but in some cases younger pupils are also involved. As the scheme develops it is hoped that it will operate across Years 3 to 7.

Parent Michelle Ulliott, whose son Conor is at Filey Junior School, said the CU had been an exciting part of her son’s summer holiday saying:

"It’s been fabulous,” she said. “He and his friend did tree-climbing, den-building and dam-busting – it kept them really busy and they enjoyed it so much."

Helen Stevens, the CU Co-ordinator for Friarage School, said:

"The CU gives us the opportunity to show children that they can be gifted and talented in all sorts of areas, not just academically in the classroom."

Richard would like to hear from anyone keen to get involved – please contact him by email on

For further information on the Children’s University:

‘University of Fun’ Launches in the Borough of Scarborough! Reviewed by Editor on 16:49:00 Rating: 5

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