Peterborough Children’s University

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If your school or organisation would like to find out more about becoming involved with the Peterborough Children’s University, please contact the CU Manager  – Gill Hall –  01733 864784 or via email

What is Children’s University?

The Children’s University is a national project which recognises the achievements of young people who take part in high quality out of hours learning activities.

These activities can be run at a school as an after school club or may be offered by other Learning Destinations, such as a museum, library or community club. The aim of the Children’s University is to raise the aspirations of our young people by introducing them to a wide range of quality learning opportunities and a love of lifelong learning. The students achievements are celebrated and rewarded through certificates which they receive for completing 30, 65 and 100 hours of participation in validated activities. Bronze certificates are awarded in school assemblies but Silver and Gold certificates will be presented at local graduation ceremonies. We are currently working with local colleges and universities to plan these. In Peterborough, the age range for Children’s University is 7-14 but we plan to develop a similar programme for younger and older students, linked in with external accreditation bodies.

What activities can be Included?

Many of the activities already offered out of school hours can be validated as Children’s University modules, as long as learning and skill development is taking place. This can be anything from a two hour workshop to a twenty hour programme. As part of the Quality Assessment process, any club or activity to be included as a validated activity needs to be written up as a module using our module planning document. This document includes a brief description of what the activity will offer and also lists what skills the students will develop. We also encourage facilitators and tutors to incorporate opportunities for the students to develop both leadership and personal learning and thinking skills when planning their clubs or workshops.

Modules currently offered at other Children’s Universities range from Archaeological Detectives and Scriptwriting to Football Refereeing and DJing!

How to get Involved

Each participating school or organisations will need to nominate a member of staff to act as our key point of contact. This person will be responsible for collating information about the modules offered and, in the case of schools, sending in the participation data each term so that we can track the number of hours the students have accumulated (Learning Destinations do not need to do this, they just stamp the ‘passports’).

We will provide you with all the templates that you need. Learning destinations will be provided with stickers and posters whilst schools will be given bronze certificates to award in school.

Children’s University Passports

Children and young people record their participation in validated activities, both at after school clubs or public Learning Destinations such as museums, in their Passports to Learning. They receive a stamp for each hour of activity in order to work towards the national certificates. Passports are usually available from participating schools but you can also order directly from us at a cost of £5.

Frequently Asked Questions

On this page you should find answers to all your questions relating to Peterborough Children’s University. If you can’t find the answer you require please contact us.

How do I join?

The Children’s University will be offered to all schools in Peterborough. Signing up is purely voluntary and it will be up to each school to decide if they feel it will benefit their pupils. As there are a lot of schools in Peterborough it is going to be a gradual process. However we are hoping that as more schools join and see how much children enjoy getting rewarded for doing after school activities, then more schools will be interested.

We have had several queries from parents of pupils who are interested in their children joining Peterborough Children’s University. In these cases we find out which school their children attend and approach the school, to advise them that there has been interest from their pupils and parents.

Alternatively parents can sign their children up directly with Peterborough Children’s University to access the growing list of learning destinations! Passports cost £6.

How much does it cost to do activities?

The cost of activities varies by provider. Although Peterborough Children’s University validates the modules we have no authority over pricing. It is the responsibility of the parent/guardian to contact the provider and satisfy themselves with regard to pricing and suitability.

When do I get invited to a Graduation Ceremony?

It is the responsibility of the school or parent/guardian to inform Peterborough Children’s University when you have reached enough hours for bronze, silver or gold. You will then be invited to the next Graduation Ceremony (for Silver and Gold, Bronze certificates are presented in school).

What happens after you get your gold certificate?

The National Children’s University has now developed a framework of awards and certificates all the way up to 1000 hours so children can continue their involvement with CU after they have reached Gold. More information can be found on the National CU website.

What if I am doing an activity that is not validated, how can I get it validated?

You can tell them about Peterborough Children’s University and direct them to this website or ask your teacher or parent/guardian to contact us and we can contact the provider for you.

What activities can be validated?

We are able to ‘validate’ any activity which:

  • Enables children and young people to develop skills or knowledge.
  • Is undertaken voluntarily outside of lesson time.
  • Relates to a subject which can be studied in Further or Higher Education.
  • Raises aspirations and broadens students’ horizons These activities may be one-off workshops or trails, ongoing classes or projects such as theatre performances. Activities can be run by schools, youth and community clubs, libraries, museums, zoos, as well as a whole range of visitor attractions who offer opportunities for learning after school, at weekends or during the school holidays

Can I get stamps when I go on holiday?

Yes! Please visit the National Children’s University website for information


Click on a document to download.

Expression of Interest Learning Destination Registration Form
Activity and event validation form
Four Step Easy Guide For Learning Destinations
Achievements And Developments 2013