The Children’s University concept is relatively simple: the program helps to inspire a passion for learning from an early age for children and celebrates this learning journey outside of the classroom. The program provides a framework to nurture aspirations, encourage children to discover new passions, visit new places, develop new skills and, above all, have fun!
Although open to all, the program particularly aims to reach children and young people, aged seven to 14 years, facing socio-economic and educational disadvantage.
Independent evaluation carried out by the University of Cambridge has shown that CUA involvement fosters ten measures of success in school children, collectively these are known as the 10 A’s.
Firstly, your school must sign up as an official Children’s University Australasia (CUA) partner school. Your school will then need to appoint a CU School Coordinator before inviting interested students to become members.
Yes. There is an annual membership fee charged to each participating student. Students pay this fee to their school. After memberships have been finalised, the School Coordinator notifies the CU team at ECU. The school will then receive an invoice for the total amount. Annual membership fees contribute towards the costs of activity participation including a Passport to Learning, assistance from the CU team with initial school set up, graduation ceremony, the CUA website and online activity portal.
Schools may choose how to pass on this fee to CU families. For example, it can be passed on directly to families or subsidised from the school budget or from fundraising initiatives in order to support the participation of students that wish to be involved. We understand that all schools have differing needs and are more than happy to discuss ways that the fee structure can be tailored to suit the specific needs of individual schools and students. It is important to keep the costs for this initiative to a minimum but also ensure that the initiative is sustainable.
The CU School Coordinator position can be filled by any delegated staff member. The Coordinator's role is to oversee the running of the school-based program, which includes:
The Passport to Learning is a logbook where CU members record the hours for each learning activity completed. The time spent on each activity is validated with a stamp from either the school coordinator or a Learning Destination. As hours accrue, they build towards achieving CU certificates awarded at a graduation ceremony held here at ECU.
CU learning activities must take place outside of the normal school curriculum time. These times may include before school, during school breaks, after school including the weekend and school holiday periods. Only activities at Learning Destinations which have been validated by the Children’s University can be included. Further details can be found on the CUA website.
The School Coordinator will oversee this for all school-based CU activities. Members are encouraged to take responsibility for handing in their passport to be stamped. Some schools will update passports after each activity, some will do so on a termly basis. For activities at a Public Learning Destination, the provider will usually stamp the passport. If this is not possible, the School Coordinator can add the hours if provided with proof of participation for example, photos or a completed activity review sheet.
The program encourages children to try a range of new activities and aims to promote independence in learners. Within each award level members must aim to complete a mix of activities; ideally no more than a third of the hours should be spent on any one activity. For example, to achieve a Bronze Award (30 hours of CUA learning) a passport may include:
There are certain activities that have a capped maximum number of hours that can be applied to the Passport to Learning each year. For example, each club sport is capped at a maximum 10 hours a year each;
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