Children’s University (CU) Newcastle is supported by the Centre of Excellence for Equity in Higher Education and the University of Newcastle. CUA provides extracurricular learning opportunities for children aged between 7-14 years (and 5-6 year olds with their families) and volunteer opportunities for 15-18 year olds; the aim being to engage children and young people in learning in its broadest sense and to provide the scaffolding for them to develop self-efficacy, confidence and aspirations.
The award-winning model, originating in the United Kingdom, is well established and recognised as being effective in enhancing academic achievement and increasing the ambition of students.
The CU concept is simple: it offers superior educational experiences to children outside of school and recognises their achievements through the award of formal certificates. The model leverages local educational and learning activity providers, including sports clubs, museums, galleries and school clubs. A strong emphasis is placed on the value of accessing the wide range of learning experiences and environments in which children engage. These learning activities
must have a link in some way to higher learning.
Each child is issued with a Passport to Learning in which the hours of participation for each activity are recorded. Credits are accumulated, and when they reach the hours needed to graduate from CU Newcastle, children are awarded with certificates at a formal graduation.
A Learning Destination is a place children ‘travel’ to with their passports to participate in CUA activities. All Learning Destinations are quality assured by CU Newcastle representatives. Public Learning Destinations can include places like museums, art galleries, zoos and local councils.
BENEFITS FOR LEARNING DESTINATIONS
• Encourages first time visitors.
• Results in repeat business from families with children involved in CUA.
CUA Learning Destination status tells children that a visit to the participating organisation will provide a good quality learning activity and, following their participation in the learning experience, they will be rewarded with stamps
in their CUA Passport to Learning.