High achieving pupils from three Bromley schools were presented with awards by best-selling author, Martina Cole yesterday (Tuesday 26 June 2018) in a special ‘graduation’ ceremony held at London South East Colleges’ Bromley Campus.
The children, from Raglan, Perry Hall and James Dixon primary schools, are all part of the London South East Children’s University. This is a national programme focusing on providing high quality, innovative learning opportunities outside of school and raising aspiration among 7-14 year olds.
London South East Colleges set up the Children’s University back in 2014 and yesterday’s ceremony saw its second cohort of ‘graduates’ presented with awards, recognising their achievements and hard work.
Speaking to the children before presenting each one, individually, with their certificates, Martina Cole said: “I am delighted to be attending the London South East Children’s University graduation for the second year.
“This is an excellent programme, opening up opportunities and providing you all with some real goals to work towards. It’s a wonderful thing you have all done, and you’ve achieved so much. Make this a basis for the rest of your life and just keep achieving!’
Throughout the past year, the children have undertaken a wealth of different activities ranging from chess, art and science clubs to local museum and wildlife centre visits.
When taking part in activities at an accredited ‘learning destinations’, children receive a stamp for each learning hour they complete. Once children reach 30 learning hours, they will receive a Bronze Award which can lead to a Gold Fellowship Award on the achievement of 1000 Learning hours.
Welcoming guests to the event, Principal and CEO of London South East Colleges, Sam Parrett OBE, said: “I would like to thank the head teachers and their schools who have committed time and resource into this programme, along with our other sponsors and supporters.
“We felt it very important to establish a local Children’s University as we wanted to make sure that young people in the local area are fully aware of the many exciting education and career options that will be open to them in the future.
“We hope to raise aspirations and ambitions of all the children here today and indeed, at other schools across the region. Well done to them all on their achievements and I wish them every success going forward.”
This year’s ceremony opened with a wonderful musical performance by the James Dixon Steel Pan Orchestra welcoming guests into the hall and later, students from the College’s Performing Arts course, based at Greenwich Campus, gave the audience a treat by performing extracts from American musicals Chicago and Little Shop of Horrors.
Proud parent, Kate McGhee was in the audience to watch her daughter Penny pick up a silver award at the ceremony. She said: “Penny has been taking part in the Bromley Youth Music Trust. She has performed with a steel band is now learning to play the flute. She has thoroughly enjoyed the whole experience. It promotes learning as a very positive experience and enables the children who take part to grow in enthusiasm and confidence.”
Vincent Aghagbon watched three of his children - Victor, Israel and Emmanuel, collect their awards at the ceremony. He said: “As a parent, I’ve always encouraged my children to take part in extracurricular activities and to really enjoy the whole experience of learning. This programme enables them to not just learn new interests, but to engage with others and work towards common goals.”
There are currently 90 local Children’s Universities operating around the UK, with around 100,000 children participating.
Each Children’s University has its own Chancellor, of which Martina Cole is ours. Others include actor Warwick Davis, Olympic medallist, Nick Gillingham, musician Julian Lloyd Webber and many others.