CHILDREN from a Bradford primary school got to experience the thrill of a University graduation almost a decade early at a special event at the University of Bradford.

Around 100 children from Killinghall Primary School ended their school year with a trip to the University last month, when they got dressed up in caps and gowns for the ceremony, held in the same hall that university students had graduated in just a few days before.

It was part of the school’s partnership with The Children’s University, a charity that encourages children to try new experiences outside school.

Over 350 guests of honour from Killinghall Primary School attended the event, including excited children, proud parents, guardians and family members, the headteacher and teaching staff from the school.

Professor Gwendolen Bradshaw, Pro-Vice-Chancellor from the university, also attended the event, that saw the children robed in the Horton Barn Foyer and then taken through into the Horton Barn Lecture theatre for the ceremony.

The Children’s University is an international charity that encourages all children aged 5 to 14 years to try new experiences, develop new interests and acquire new skills through participation in creative learning activities outside of the school day.

The activities are designed to raise aspiration, self-esteem & confidence, encourage curiosity and a love of learning, enhance motivation and build resilience, introduce new life experiences and offer progression in learning and personal skills development.

The Children’s University Trust manages a network of over 80 local Children’s Universities in the UK. The Bradford branch is run by the University of Bradford.

Children can collect stamps in a ‘Passport to Learning’ for each activity, including sports, reading clubs and residential trips, that they complete, and these stamps can be used towards the achievement of national awards.

Parents are encouraged to take part in the activities with their children and in Bradford activities take place at numerous sports centres, museums and art galleries in the district.

Killinghall Primary School made up one of the largest groups of children from any one school to graduate through the scheme at the University.

Outreach officer at the university Thomas Whitford-Bartle said: “Over 100 Killinghall Primary School students, have, through their hard work engaging with learning activities out of school, earned the right to graduate on our campus.

“This represents great progress, determination, and most importantly, a love for learning.

“This is also a significantly positive achievement by Killinghall Primary, a school at the heart of the BD3 community, which over recent years has led positive community initiatives to create a positive community environment.

“The fact Killinghall have such a high number of young achievers is a great statement for the BD3 Community, one which we here at Bradford University wish to celebrate.”

The Children’s University has a network of 90 national centres and a growing international network in Australia, Singapore and Malaysia, an plan to extend to China and Tasmania.