Over 400 young achievers graduate from North Wales Children’s University, igniting a path of lifelong learning

Date: Monday, March 18, 2024

More than 400 young learners from across Flintshire and Wrexham graduated from North Wales Children’s University after successfully completing a range of extracurricular learning activities and experiences. 

The ceremonies took place in Wrexham University on the 19th and 20th February in Wrexham University for children and young people who have taken part in the Children’s University initiative. Further ceremonies are planned which will celebrate the achievements of a further 200 children and young people for Conwy and Denbighshire and Gwynedd and Anglesey.  

The inspirational scheme celebrates participation in learning activities and opportunities outside school hours by encouraging children and young people to try new learning experiences, in a bid to nurture a lifelong love of learning and raise their aspirations. 

The successful graduation ceremonies across two days in Wrexham University were a testament to all the hard work from Children who achieved 30 or more hours of extracurricular learning, their teachers who have supported and put on extra clubs for the children and the whole Civic Mission Team for running this incredible initiative. Two performances during the ceremonies were from Sophia Isabella Roberts Victoria CP and Scarlett Thompson Flint High School.  

 Sophia Isabella Roberts during her performance.  

As part of the day, there was special entertainment and activities in Maes Gwyn, as well as a number of well-known character cos-players surprising the children throughout the event. 

Nina Ruddle, Head of Public Policy Engagement at Wrexham University, said: “This work is part of our commitment to supporting the communities we serve across the region, created through strong partnership and collaboration with a wide range of organisations all working to create change to support children and young people. 

“Our aim now is to develop this work further across North Wales to support leadership, mental wellbeing and a love of learning for young people that connects all of our community resources together.  

“This is a really inspiring way to enable young people to develop life skills and create broader opportunities to shape the learning children and young people want together.”  

 Graduates were congratulated personally by the Vice Chancellor and received their certificates.  

Following a successful pilot of the initiative across Wrexham and Flintshire last year, the scheme expanded across North Wales between September 2023 through to this month, thanks tofunding from the Higher Education Funding Council for Wales (HEFCW). 

This funding enabled Wrexham University to work with Bangor University and as a key collaborative partner and a number of other regional partners to roll out the scheme to more than 50 schools, as part of a shared civic mission to work in partnership to end social inequality in the region. 

More than 200 learning destinations were recruited across Wrexham, Flintshire, Conwy, Denbighshire, Gwynedd and Anglesey as part of this latest roll-out of the Children’s University in North Wales. 

Mr Rob Williams, Teacher at Southdown Primary Flintshire said: “Since starting the CU pilot scheme, there has been a positive impact on all the children involved. It was clear to see how engaged they were in completing extracurricular activities in their own time, whether that be an activity/sport they have already took part in before the scheme or something new they have decided to try.  

“It also gave the children time to think about what they have attained from each activity they took part in and were even able to assess themselves to see what they did well and how they could improve - which is something very important.  

“It was great to see the children taking the responsibility upon themselves to gain hours of extra learning and experiences which will hopefully help them all along their journey.”  

Maria Hinfelaar, Vice Chancellor at Wrexham University, who led the graduation ceremonies in Wrexham University said: “People often ask me what I’m really proud of looking back at my time as VC with Wrexham University. A strong contender for the proudest moment is the North Wales Children’s University. 

“The aim of the project is to build confidence and aspirations because these children have so much to offer.  

“Seeing each one of them walk across the stage in our auditorium to receive my personal congratulations and their certificates, their beaming smiles and their proud family members in the audience, gave me real confidence that they have now developed a taste for learning. 

“It also gave me hope that the graduates realise they have the ability to be the future engineers, nurses, IT experts, architects, accountants, designers and so many more professionals that our economy and society is desperately going to need.” 

1st and 3rd photos credit to AC Creative