Sheffield Children’s University (CU) gained 3,000 new students last year as over 43,000 children across the city took part in the initiative which encourages young people to get involved in a wide range of learning activities outside of school hours.

In 2018, nine new activities were also introduced in schools as part of the Children’s University Acorn Fund; a scheme that enables children and young people to bid for funds to develop, sustain or re-invigorate an activity in their school.

Opportunities to earn credits were available throughout Sheffield as the CU teamed up with organisations such as Sheffield BID, Sheffield theatres and South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue to provide learning activities for children.

Children who take part in the initiative gain one CU credit per hour of engagement and are awarded certificates for every milestone they reach, up to 1000 hours.

During 2018, the CU gave out nearly 15,000 awards and held its first ever graduation experience for the 25 children who earned the Gold Fellowship award, having achieved 1000 hours of learning in their own time.

The recipients were presented with outstanding achievement awards and took part in official photos and a toast during graduation week at Sheffield Hallam University.

Pupils at Waterthorpe Nursery and infant school were awarded £200 from the Children’s University Acorn Fund to start a ‘games in a box’ club.

Councillor Jayne Dunn, cabinet member for education and skills, said:

“Sheffield Children’s University is growing from strength to strength and it is great to see the work being done to encourage even more children to get involved in learning outside of school.

“The activities held last year were a brilliant success, and I look forward to seeing what 2019 has in store for the children and young people who are working hard to achieve new skills that they should be proud of and will prepare them for their future careers.”

Sheffield Children’s University now hopes to build even further on its success this year and is currently working in partnership with Sheffield Hallam University to develop a South Yorkshire Children’s University, which includes plans to develop new CU centres in Rotherham and Barnsley to support the existing provision already in place in Doncaster and Sheffield.

For more information about how to register for the Sheffield Children’s University and the full list of exciting activities on offer, please visit www.sheffield.gov.uk/cu, email CU@sheffield.gov.uk or call 0114 2813761.