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Hollins Fire Cadets receive awards at The Oldham Children’s University Graduation 18/11/2013

Five Fire Cadets from Oldham took part in The Oldham Children’s University Graduation ceremony on 14th November at Oldham Sixth Form College.

The Children’s University aims to promote social mobility by providing high quality, exciting and innovative learning activities and experiences outside normal school hours to children aged 7 to 14 and engaging the wider communities as learning partners in the realisation of this. At the heart of its work is the ambition to raise aspirations, boost achievement and foster a love of learning, so that young people can make the most of their abilities and interests, regardless of the background into which they were born. An important principle of the Children’s University is that participation is voluntary. It is intentionally something other than school – with a different feel, different activities and often a different location, staff and peer group. So the ultimate testament to the effectiveness of the Children’s University is that young people give up their time to attend and that they begin to realise that learning can be “…a satellite navigation system to better places in life…”.

Hollins Fire Cadets became a designated Learning Destination at the beginning of 2013 – Learning Destinations are places and organisations to which young people can ‘travel’ with their Passport To Learning. They provide high quality learning activities and experiences with a ‘wow’ factor and have passed the Children’s University’s own quality assurance process. Learning Destinations ‘stamp’ the young person’s Passport To Learning in correspondence with the time they have been engaged in the validated learning activities. This thereby contributes to the child’s record of achievements and CU certification.

Planning for Volunteering is aimed at the age 15+ and is the national guide to CU Volunteering. The idea of CU Volunteering was developed in partnership with University of Plymouth, Staffordshire University and the national Mentoring and Befriending Foundation and introduced in 2011, The aim of Planning for Volunteering is for Children’s University alumni at local level to become Children’s University Volunteers. The scheme is partnered with the volunteering section of the Duke of Edinburgh Award scheme.

Fire Cadets at Hollins ‘stamp’ their passports for all the hours they participate in Fire Cadets activities. Certificates are awarded at three levels: CU Undergraduate, CU Postgraduate (where tangible outcomes of learning are expected, such as displays and publications) and CU Doctorate (‘Leaders of Learning’ for others). The number of volunteering hours is recognised in the level of certificate awarded at Bronze, Silver and Gold levels. Honorary certificates are also awarded for outstanding achievement and commitment.

The certificates were presented to Cara, Jack, Lukasz, Akashaa and Burhan at The Oldham’s Children’s University Graduation Ceremony by Rob Norbury, a local actor who played Riley Costello in Hollyoaks and a Patron of The Children’s University. Burhan also received an honorary certificate for outstanding achievement.

Fire Cadets are hoping to work closely with The Children’s University in the future and become a Children’s University to enable all Fire Cadets to sign up to the scheme if they wish and get the recognition for all the volunteering hours they regularly commit to. For more information about The Children’s University, visit www.childrensuniversity.co.uk/