Added on: 1st July, 2019 by LSEC17
Pupils from across Bromley were presented with awards by best-selling author, Martina Cole in a special ‘graduation’ ceremony held at London South East Colleges’ Bromley Campus.
The children, from Raglan, Perry Hall and James Dixon primary schools, are all part of the London South East Children’s University. This is a national programme focusing on providing high quality, innovative learning opportunities outside of school and raising aspiration among 7-14-year-olds.
London South East Colleges set up the Children’s University in 2014 and the special ceremony saw its third cohort of ‘graduates’ presented with awards, recognising their achievements and hard work.
Speaking to the children before presenting each one with their certificates, Martina Cole said: “I love being part of London South East Children’s University and am delighted to be at this special event for a third year. You have all done so well.
“Learning is a wonderful thing as it opens up so many opportunities. My message to all these talented young people is to keep working hard, keep achieving and aim for the stars!”
Over the past year, the children taken part in a wide range of activities, including theatre workshops and ukulele lessons.
When taking part in activities at an accredited ‘learning destination’, children receive a stamp for each learning hour they complete. Once children reach 30 learning hours, they will receive a Bronze Award which can lead to a Gold Fellowship Award on the achievement of 1000 learning hours.
Welcoming guests to the event, Group Executive Director for Strategy, Communications and Organisational Development, Louise Wolsey, said: “The aim of our Children’s University is to raise aspirations and ambitions of young people across the region – I am delighted to see so many of you here today, celebrating your achievements.
“Working hard will always pay off and you have exciting futures ahead of you. Many thanks to your wonderful teachers who have taken the time to get involved with this worthwhile project.
“We are also delighted to have support from Martina Cole and are extremely grateful to her for making time in her busy schedule to be part of our Children’s University graduation ceremony.”
After the presentation of the certificates, students from the College’s Performing Arts course (based at its Greenwich Campus) performed three songs from the musical Grease.
Pupils were then invited to ask both Martina, Louise and their teachers a range of questions which ranged from ‘what books did you read when you were a child’ to 'what other career would you have liked to pursue if you hadn't become a teacher?'.
Head teacher of the James Dixon Primary School, Michelle Aldred said: "Today is the culmination of so much hard work by our 32 graduates. They have attended our afterschool clubs and taken part in so many fun and very educational activities that will help them to enrich their lives. Each week, the children earn stamps for singing in the choir, playing football, basketball and cricket, sewing, Taekwondo and even cheerleading. Each year, the scheme just grows and grows - it's incredibly popular and both the children and their parents love it. Today, I'm one very proud head teacher."
Peter Lawrence Smith was delighted to see his daughter Chloe presented with her Gold award at the ceremony. He said: "The Children's University has really brought the best out of Chloe and had a magnificent effect on her learning development and schoolwork. She has played football at Crystal Palace NSC, taken up music and is learning to play the drums, steel pans, clarinet, and ukulele, as well as trying out lots of other exciting endeavours. The really great thing about the scheme is that it encourages children to go out and enjoy themselves and be a part of all that is around them. Chloe recently told me she would like to be an explorer when she grows up."
London South East Colleges delivers the Children’s University programme across Bromley and Bexley, with over 700 children currently involved.
Nationally, 110,000 children in over 1000 schools are part of the programme. Each Children’s University has its own Chancellor, of which Martina Cole is ours. Others include actor Warwick Davis, Olympic medallist Nick Gillingham, musician Julian Lloyd Webber and many others.
For more information about Children’s University visit www.childrensuniversity.co.uk or to find out how your school can get involved, visit www.LSEC.ac.uk