Cardiff Children’s University

The Cardiff Education Strategy 2030 sets out a ten-year vision for education in the capital city. It includes the ambition for all pupils to learn and reach their potential and to recognise that education can take place anywhere. Pupils should see the city as a learning resource and have equal rights and abilities to access and use those resources.  

The 2030 strategy also states that Cardiff should develop a ‘passport to the City of Cardiff’, which will guarantee that every child can access a broad range of extra-curricular experiences across the city. To achieve this, Cardiff is partnering with Children’s University to develop a Cardiff Children’s University in the capital, opening up access to children of all backgrounds across Cardiff.  

What is Children’s University?

Children’s University is a charity that works in partnership with schools to develop a love of learning in children. They do this by encouraging and celebrating participation in extra-curricular activities inside and outside of school. The impact of these activities is proven to be positive which is why they are committed to creating a level playing field of opportunity and opening up access to children of all backgrounds. 

“Children only spend 9% of their waking life in a classroom, at Children’s University we unlock a love of learning to make the most of the other 91%. We want children from all backgrounds to have access to an eye opening range of new learning opportunities. Our charity encourages, tracks and celebrates children who take part in learning beyond the classroom. 

To ensure a high quality and consistent experience all our learning opportunities are validated. Schools validate their own activities and children’s university validates activities taking place outside of the school. When an activity is validated, the learning provider is given a stamp code that is unique to each activity. Children choose from a fantastic range of learning opportunities and take part using their passport to learning. The passport is used to collect stamp codes for each activity they experience, these stamp codes enable students to build up a record of their own achievements. When these codes are added to a child’s own online account, children will see further information about what they have done – they can see their interests build, their skills develop and they can track their progress and gain certificates to reward their achievements. New activities and new experiences are being added all the time as our network grows.

We know our approach helps children develop new skills and build confidence. Research by the education endowment foundation also shows that taking part in Children’s University makes a real difference to educational attainment. 

For schools and education providers you can see the progress children are making, track success and report on the activities. You can prepare vital reports for parents, partners and organisations such as Ofsted. Children’s University is already up and running in over 1,000 schools and each year children take part in almost 4million hours of learning.” – Children’s University

Cardiff Children’s University Project Plan

November 2020 to January 2021 –  

Scoping and audit of the project to prepare for the pilot start in February, working with schools to understand their perspective, establish a working group of stakeholders and map the possible learning providers to accumulate a cohort of activities and resources for the pilot. 

February to April 2021 –  

A Cardiff Children’s University Pilot will run from February to April 2020 with 6 education settings, which includes 3 English primaries, 1 Welsh primary, 1 English high school and 1 Pupil Referral Unit. This is to ensure that a diverse range of children from various backgrounds are included. 

February to March 2021 –  

Seek political approval to progress and development of the business case for cabinet submission. 

July to September 2021 –  

Possible managed roll out of Cardiff Children’s University, if approval from cabinet received.  

Expected Outcomes 

  • Cardiff Children’s University is agreed for full official roll out by cabinet 
  • Children and young people are able to take part in high quality extra curricula activity 
  • Children and young people’s learning is recognised and celebrated 
  • Schools are able to promote meaningful learning opportunities outside of the classroom 
  • Learning providers are able to promote learning opportunities in a systematic manner 
  • All children and young people are able to take part in extra curricula activity