The Hive delivers both The Croydon Children’s University which extends out to Merstham and Crawley, as well as The New Forest Children’s University in Hampshire.
Our main aim is to formally recognise, reward and celebrate the commitment that young people (aged 5 -18) make in attending extra-curricular and out of school activities. These activities can be before school, at lunch time, after school, at weekends and in school holidays.
We do this by providing limitless learning beyond the classroom – creating exciting opportunities for every child.
We do this so that
- all children are inspired to learn beyond the classroom
- we create wider communities of learning
- we remove barriers to learning for all children
We currently have over 1100 young people participating in Children’s University activities and the membership steadily increases each year. They are experiencing new and exciting opportunities by taking part in a varied menu of activities, meeting new friends, gaining self-confidence and improving self-esteem, all whilst working towards special achievement certificates.
The benefits to young people being part of Children’s University are that they:-
- have the opportunity to be part of a local scheme supported by The Hive and The Children’s University Trust
- receive formal recognition of their commitment and involvement in extra-curricular activities, with special achievement certificates awarded
- have increased confidence and self-esteem as they take part in more varied activities
- have an improvement in their health and well being
Each activity is tagged with up to four of the following 16 categories
• Arts, culture and music
• Careers and enterprise
• Family learning
• History and heritage
• Mental health and well-being
• Nature and the environment
• Outdoor learning
• Practical life skills
• Science, technology, engineering and maths
• Social and community action
• Sports and physical
• Uniformed groups
These categories were chosen and defined after extensive consultation with the Children’s University network and schools. They cover a broad selection of types of activity, both reflecting the content of the curriculum while also including types of activities available beyond school. At Children’s University we use the term ‘thematically agnostic’ to describe our unique approach – i.e. we are not simply arts, or sports, or linked to one category or subject – we encompass all learning beyond the classroom. This is what makes us unique and this is reflected in the way we categorise extra-curricular learning.
This categorisation helps paint a fully-rounded picture of provision for our partners and schools, while also showing children how their interests are building in certain areas.
Each young person can buy a ‘Passport to Learning’ in which they record each activity they have completed and the number of learning hours they are collecting towards their graduation.