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Children take part in unique graduation ceremony 8 April 2013

A UNIQUE graduation ceremony takes place at St German’s Cathedral in Peel this month.

All those wearing gowns and mortar boards and proudly celebrating their achievements will be aged five to 14. House of Lords reception

The children are the first graduates of the Children’s University, launched in the Isle of Man a year ago.

On Tuesday 23rd April, in front of an audience that includes Tim Crookall MHK, Minister for Education and Children, they will celebrate clocking up hundreds of hours of Children’s University learning.

Children’s University rewards children’s participation in activities that take place outside the normal school day. Children purchase passports for £2 and gain stamps by visiting validated ‘public learning destinations’.

Certificates charting their progress are awarded at graduation ceremonies. Children also gain stamps in their passports by attending their schools’ own lunchtime and after-school activities, provided their school is a Children’s University partner.

Membership of Children’s University gives passport-holders access to accredited learning destinations across the UK and beyond.

Carys Lloyd, who leads Children’s University locally, said 10 schools – eight primaries and two secondaries – were participating in the scheme and more than 400 passports had been issued. The charitable trust has validated dozens of new learning destinations in the Island since it was formed in March 2012. There are currently 35 learning partners, offering more than 60 destinations and activities.

Carys said the graduation marked the first major landmark in the life of Children’s University in the Isle of Man. ‘It will be wonderful to see the first children from the Isle of Man accept certificates marking their achievements in front of proud parents in such an auspicious setting,’ she said. ‘The Cathedral’s young choristers are a validated activity and we are grateful that the venue is hosting this occasion.’

Attending the graduation will be Lynda Moore, from the University of Chester, with which the Island’s Children’s University is now linked, Ger Graus, the Chief Executive Officer of the Children’s University Trust, and Dr Jeremy Paul, the IoM CU Chancellor.

Sponsors who have kindly supported Children’s University in the Island will also be invited and they include business and technology services solutions company Intelligence, which set up and hosts the website http://www.iomcu.im/, Scottish Widows, which has kindly donated to buy the children's caps and gowns, and Shoprite, which has donated refreshments for the evening.

Carys would be pleased to discuss sponsorship opportunities with would-be sponsors. For more information on Children’s University and to see which schools are taking part, visit the website, the Facebook page Isle of Man Children’s University or the Twitter feed @IOMCU.

Alternatively, contact Carys on 686088 or email enquire@iomcu.im. For details of learning destinations further afield, visit www.childrensuniversity.co.uk

Photo: Local representatives at a reception held at the House of Lords in honour of Children’s University in January 2013. From left: Sir John Jones, Sefton CU Chancellor; Ger Graus, CEO of the CU Trust; Laura Grigsby, Sefton CU Manager; Tim Crookall MHK, Minister for Education and Children; Norman Wallis, owner of Southport Pleasureland, a sponsor of, and learning destination with, CU; Stuart Dobson, Chief Executive Officer of the Department of Education and Children; Dr Jeremy Paul, the IoM CU’s Chancellor; Carys Lloyd, IoM CU Manager

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