What is Children’s University (CU)?

Children’s University is a charity that works in partnership with schools to develop a love of learning in children. This is done by encouraging and celebrating participation in extra-curricular activities in and outside of school. We are in our eighth year of participating with the Children’s University. We are the only school in Sandwell to take part in the project and the most successful two form entry school within the Black Country.

What does CU look like at Ryders Green?

At Ryders Green, we have a fantastic number of clubs on offer to children. Our senior leaders, teachers and HLTA’s run these clubs Monday-Thursday from 3:15pm – 4:15pm. We also have a Year 6 football club which runs before school on Wednesdays.

Through participation in these after school clubs, children can earn hours towards their certificates. The more clubs that the children attend, the more hours they build up.

The hours that the children have achieved are recorded by Miss Houldey on an online portal. Should the children continue to take part in after school clubs, their hours will progress as they move through the school. The hours are not reset when a child moves up the next year group.

What are the graduations like? What certificates do the children receive?

Graduations are events which celebrate both the commitment by children to the after school clubs and the hard work that they display in these clubs.

At a graduation, we usually have a group of children showcasing their talents which have been developed in one of our after school clubs. Miss Blackmore then calls each graduate in turn to collect their certificate. At our gold graduations, a guest speaker usually speaks.

The more hours of after school clubs that the children complete, the further they move through the awards. The following certificates are available:

We currently have two graduations which take place at the end of each academic year. When children reach the certificate milestones, parents are invited to watch their child graduate in a cap and gown. Should they wish to, parents can also have a photo taken of their child. 

June – An in school graduation recognising children for bronze and silver achievements.

July – A special graduation at the University of Wolverhampton to celebrate gold achievements from the academic year. A guest visitor speaks at this event and it truly is a memorable day for children and parents. A professional photographer is also present to take photos that are then given to children as a keepsake for the day.

Please note: After school club hours are collected and updated at the end of each term.  The Children’s University Co-ordinator collates the club hours and prepares for ceremonies. There are cut off points in April in order for the hours to be collated ready for the graduations.

Where a child does not achieve the hours for their next certificate, these hours can be built upon during the next term to ensure that they get there.

Who can get involved?

Children’s University is on offer for all children in Years 1-6. We have recently started to offer more clubs for children in Reception, so that they can become familiar with staying for after school clubs. A wider range then becomes available when the children move into Key Stage One.

What was awarded at our latest graduation ceremony?

In June 2022 we were able to hold our first whole school graduation in school since COVID. The table below shows how many hours our children achieved.

HoursType of AwardNumber of Children
30Bronze Award57
65Silver Award24
130Bronze Certificate14
165Silver Certificate13
230Bronze Diploma5
265Silver Diploma7
330Bronze Degree1

What clubs are on offer?

Afterschool Clubs 2022/2023

Are clubs the only way to earn hours?

No – we also have holiday activities and research units created by class teachers.

Holiday challenge activities:

At the end of every half term, a holiday challenge sheet is emailed out via our Children’s University email address.

The children are informed of what the activity is, what they need to do and what evidence they need provide in order to achieve their extra hours.

All evidence is then returned by the given cut-off date to: childrensuniversity@rydersgreen.sandwell.sch.uk

The hours will go towards each child’s overall CU total.

STEM and aspirations

On an annual basis Wolverhampton University provide outreach sessions for Y5 children called ‘Lego University.’ These sessions give children an insight into what university is like as the children look at the different buildings that can be found at a university and what they are for. The sesssions inspire children to see the possibilites for them to continue their education and achieve their dreams.

The STEM outreach activities through the University of Wolverhampton enables children to see how STEM links to everyday life and future STEM careers.

Also, in the last academic year the outreach service from Silverstone visited the Year 5 children; they loved it!