Friday, 14 December 2018

Celebrating 2018!

The festive season is upon us and the year is drawing to a close, and there is only one thing to do.


We think this has been one of our best yet! Highlights include:
  • 43,042 children and young people are registered with CU in Sheffield and have collectively gained 2,899,950 credits in total so far. That’s 444,534 hours that children and young people have taken part in during 2018, and an additional 3,000 children and young people who have started collecting CU credits during this year alone!
  • There are now 230 Learning Destinations (and counting!) across Sheffield. We have also been revalidating a large number of providers that have been involved for over 3 years to ensure they were able to keep their Learning Destination status. This is an important part of our work to ensure all CU credits received at our Learning Destinations are earned by taking part in good quality out of school structured learning right across the board.
  • There are currently 73 schools subscribed to Sheffield Children’s University. New additions include Stocksbridge Junior School, Brook House Junior School, Athelstan Primary School, Deepcar St John’s CE and Royd NI School.
  • During 2018, Sheffield CU have given out nearly 7,000 Bronze Awards, 5,000 Silver Awards and have had a fabulous 2,900 Gold Award winners who have been invited to attend one of our fantastic award ceremonies at the Town Hall, University of Sheffield, Sheffield Hallam University and Sheffield City Hall. That’s a further 10% increase in Gold Award winners when compared to last year. During March, we also to hosted our very first double ceremonies at Sheffield Hallam University, which meant we had two ceremonies taking place simultaneously! This continued in July, where we had our first ‘double, double’ ceremonies! This is a real testament to the ever growing number of Gold award winners in our city who show such fantastic commitment to learning in their own time!
  • Back in March we were really excited to announce the strengthening of our partnership work with Sheffield Hallam University who approached our team early in the year with the hope of building on our excellent practice, reputation, knowledge and expertise to develop a South Yorkshire Children’s University. This work is part of South Yorkshire Futures, a Sheffield Hallam University led social mobility partnership focused on improving attainment and raising aspiration in disadvantaged area. Practically, this has meant that Katie and Helen have spent 1 day a week each since March working with SHU to develop a business plan for a South Yorkshire Children’s University, including developing new CU centres in Rotherham and Barnsley and supporting the existing provision in Doncaster & Sheffield. This work is making excellent progress, and we are hopeful we will have some exciting news in the year, particularly around the new CU centres in development!
  • We published our 2017 ‘Sheffield Children’s University – How does it make a difference?’ report which contains in-depth analysis of the impact of participation in CU activities on attainment and attendance, and progress measures, as well as anecdotal evidence of impact through a number of case studies. Building on last year, this report also included a detailed look at new performance measures as well as examining the impact on the most vulnerable children and young people in the city. Findings from this report are again very positive and provide further evidence of the clear link between participation in CU activities and academic performance and attendance, reflecting findings of annual reports produced in Sheffield since 2009. For more details, or to view a copy of the report, please visit: 2017 ‘Sheffield Children’s University – How does it make a difference?’
  • Our ‘Project in a Box’ programme continues to thrive as we hosted both our Art in a box celebration event at the Sheffield Institute of Art alongside Ignite Imaginations. We were thrilled to provide so many children and young people from our schools with the opportunity to share skills, learn something new, AND have lots of fun too. We recently rolled out the 2018/19 programme and are proud to work in partnership with Sheffield Hallam University to deliver our ‘Healthy Minds, Healthy Bodies’ project to 32 of our CU schools, which was developed after consultation with our CU schools who identified mental health and wellbeing as a gap in their provision. At the recent training session held at the Sheffield Institute for Education, there were 35 school staff who came to develop their skills in this area, and collect their box to deliver their brand new CU club in school. We look forward to the celebration event which will take place in June 2019!
  • We hosted our very first 1000 hours graduation experience during November for the 25 recipients who have earned this special award, our Gold Fellowship for 1000 hours of learning in their own time. They were invited to experience a ‘real’ graduation during graduation week at Sheffield Hallam University and had the opportunity to follow the graduation journey of a student, try on University caps and gowns, were presented with outstanding achievement awards and had official photos and a toast. This opportunity was fantastically received by families and children and young people and we hope it’s something we are able to continue in future.
  • Back at the beginning of the year, we funded 9 new out of school activities in our CU schools through our Acorn Fund which enables children and young people to bid for funds to develop, sustain or re-invigorate a CU activity in school. Activities funded in this round included a Film Review Club, a Road Safety Club, a Lego Club, an Art Club, a Movie Making Club and Forest School! Applications to our Acorn Fund for this academic year are currently beginning accepted until mid January so we look forward to reading lots more applications very soon!
  • The Sheffield CU Festival of Fun was back and bigger and better than ever in 2018! We kicked off proceedings in style with a fantastic procession down the Moor with Concord Allstars, ending in the Moor Market with a marketplace full of providers and a number of special taster sessions. There was also a Moor Market quiz and lots of activities. During the first three weeks of the hols, there were lots of FREE activities on offer from our fab Learning Destinations including Razzamataz Theatre Schools Sheffield, Ignite Imaginations, Zest, Fun Science, Imagination Gaming, A Mind Apart, Noodle Performance Arts and Sheffield Wildcats. 
  • We were thrilled to offer a number of new free opportunities for children and young people in the city to collect CU credits through our partnership work. These included taking part in the Sheffield BID Lego Bricktropolis trail in the summer and the Sheffield Christmas Trail and Santas workshop during December as well as a brand new theatre review activity developed in partnership with Sheffield Theatres. We also introduced our very special behind the scenes Fire Station tours in partnership with South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue, which were launched back in February. These were extremely popular and something we are looking to repeat in future!
  • We moved from our Crookesmoor office into the Moorfoot Building over the summer and welcomed two new apprentices to our team, Katrina and Laura who will continue to work with us in the new year to ensure all children and young people in the city receive the CU credits and certificates and badges they have earned! We also said goodbye to Molly, who left our team in the summer for pastures new!
  • We held our second Sheffield CU schools conference at Sheffield Manor Lodge during the summer term. Developed in response to feedback from school staff, it was an inspiring full day session that aimed to support staff in the development and delivery of CU in schools. Cathy Sinclair from Sheffield Hallam University joined us to give the keynote speech and staff took part in a number of different workshops. Feedback was very positive and we hope to repeat our success in the summer of 2019 so watch this space!
  • We continue to work closely with the national CU Trust and met with CU colleagues from across the country a number of times throughout the year to share practice and talk about all things CU! We also hosted and chaired a CU operational meeting at Nottingham Trent University where 23 CU centres across the country were represented, spoke at the CU Trust Trustees away day about our work here in Sheffield and with Sheffield Hallam and welcomed the chair of the CU Trust board of Trustees Richard Annandale to Sheffield too!
  • And we are sure there will be lots more to celebrate in 2019! 
Finally, we want to take this opportunity to say a HUGE thank you to you, along with all our colleagues, schools, Learning Destinations and partners for supporting our work and ensuring the children and young people of our wonderful city are celebrated and rewarded for their achievements.

We hope you enjoy the festive season, have a restful break and look forward to seeing you in the new year.

Merry Christmas!

Katie, Helen, Sakina, Katrina, Laura and Dan
The Sheffield CU Team

Friday, 12 October 2018

Planning your October half term fun?

There are some spooky happenings all across Sheffield this October half term - have you planned your holiday fun yet?

The October Children's University Passport to Learning newsletter which includes details of activities across Sheffield happening during the October half term is now available! Click HERE or the link on the side of these page to start planning now!

Children and young people who take along a Passport to Learning will be able to earn additional CU credits at these activities. There's also a list and contact details of our validated Learning Destinations.

Tuesday, 25 September 2018

Sheffield CU - How does it make a difference?

It's here, it's here! We are very pleased and proud to share with you the 2017 ‘Sheffield Children’s University – How does it make a difference?’ report which provides detailed evidence of the positive impact being part of Children’s University in Sheffield makes.

Any school, or Learning Destination will tell you that being part of CU and being celebrated and rewarded for taking part in out of school activities makes a real difference. Here in Sheffield, we do lots of work looking at the impact of participation in these activities, through lots of data analysis, but also through case studies and evidence collected from schools, providers, parents and the children themselves. With over 40,000 children and young people in our city with CU credits, we have a lot of information to work with!

This report builds on our previous analysis and includes a detailed look at the impact of participation in CU activities on achievement, attendance and progress, as well as anecdotal evidence of impact through a number of case studies. It includes a detailed look at new performance measures as well as examining the impact on the most vulnerable children and young people in the city and progression routes for post 16 students.

And the results are overwhelmingly positive! Click here to view the full report:

Friday, 3 August 2018

Sheffield Bricktroplis Trail - Collect CU credits for taking part!

Are you ready for Sheffield to be transformed into a city of Lego bricks this summer? We are so excited about Sheffield Bricktroplis, which will be taking over the city centre between 4th -17th August and has been brought to you by the fab team at Sheffield BID!

One of the fantastic activities on offer is the Sheffield Bricktropolis Trail, a stunning spectacle featuring 20 world landmark models, plus a custom model of Sheffield’s own City Hall. Expect to see some of the world’s most famous buildings, including the Shard, the Arc De Triomphe, Big Ben and the Empire State Building across the city.

The good news is that children and young people who have a Passport to Learning will be able to collect CU credits for taking part in this trail by filling out our special activity sheet and returning it to the Sheffield CU Team! There are 3 CU credits on offer for every child who takes part in the trail AND completes the Sheffield CU activity sheet! You can download a copy of the sheet here: and it also includes the Bricktroplis trail map too!

Trail maps will also be available at the Crucible Theatre Box Office, the Winter Garden and other trail venues or you can simply download one online. The trail officially starts at 9am on Saturday 4 August to 4pm on Friday 17 August.

Please be aware that you MUST complete the Sheffield CU activity sheet in full as well as take part in the trail to earn CU credits. This MUST be returned via post to the Sheffield CU team to be awarded credits. Happy Lego hunting!

Friday, 27 July 2018

Sheffield CU Festival of Fun 2018

Spotlight on...

And we shine our final CU Festival of Fun spotlight on...

The Great Outdoors!

Foresteers Forest School

Rohan and the team join our CU Festival of Fun for the first time this year with Foresteers, and their activities promise to be lots of fun!  Each session will provide children with an opportunity to use a flint and steel to make a flame and light a fire, use natural resources to build a shelter, and use tools to make craft items.  What’s not to love?!

Sessions are for children aged 5-11 years and will be run as follows...

·         Tuesday 31st July, 9.30am-12.30pm, Glen Howe Park, S35 0DW
·         Tuesday 31st July, 1.30pm-4.00pm, Glen Howe Park, S35 0DW
·         Thursday 9th August, 9.30am-12.30pm, Glen Howe Park, S35 0DW
·         Thursday 9th August, 1.30pm-4.00pm, Glen Howe Park, S35 0DW

Contact Rohan for more information and to book your place on 07835 284996.

Wonderful Wincobank Hill

Penny Rea Projects join us once again for a family ramble through the ancient woodlands on Wincobank Hill, to be rewarded with a magnificent view right across the city, from the Iron Age Hillfort.  But along the way, you’ll have the chance for some craft, construction and cooking on a camp fire! 
Sessions will be run as follows…

All are for ages 4yrs+ and families, and you should meet at Upper Wincobank Chapel

·         Wednesday 1st August, 10.00am-12.30pm
·         Wednesday 1st August, 1.30pm-4.00pm
·         Monday 6th August, 10.00am-12.30pm
·         Monday 6th August, 1.30pm-4.00pm

Contact Penny for more information and to book your place on 07980 143776 (TEXT PLEASE).

Zesty Nature Crafts

Our friends at Zest will be delivering a nature crafts session during our CU Festival of Fun programme this year.  A variety of crafts such as bug hotels, plan sculptures, leaf printing and bird feeders are just some of the activities to keep your young ones entertained.  Weather depending, this will be a great opportunity to get out and about into the local green spaces.

You can find this session as follows…
·         Wednesday 8th August, 2.00pm-3.00pm, Zest Leisure Centre

For details of these and all the activities as part of CU Festival of Fun, please download the programme here:

Thursday, 26 July 2018

Sheffield CU Festival of Fun 2018

Spotlight on...

For our fourth article this week, highlighting the work of the Learning Destinations delivering our CU Festival of Fun activities, we're shining our Sheffield CU spotlight on...

Sports and physical activity!

Get your skates on!

But if you don’t have your own, don’t worry, they have some you can borrow!  We welcome back the Sheffield Wildcats Roller Hockey Club once again to Festival of Fun, who will be delivering a session aimed at beginners.  The fun, safe activities will help children become independent and proficient skaters, as well as the basics of hockey.  Equipment will be provided but you’re welcome to take your own roller skates if you have them.
The Wildcats can be found at the following session…
      Monday 30th July, 1.30pm-3.30pm, Concord Sports Centre, Shiregreen Lane, S5 6AE
*PLEASE NOTE: this session time/date is the CORRECT information and has been revised from those printed in the Festival of Fun leaflet due to a change after printing.

Contact them on 07961 192322 for more information and to book your place.

Fun and games at Zest

For the first time, we welcome Zest to our CU Festival of Fun programme, who will be running a session of multi-sports.  Fitness, coordination and teamwork across a range of sports will be sure to keep the children busy and having fun all at the same time! There really is something for everyone at this session.

You can find Zest activities at the following session…
·         Friday 27th July, 3.30pm-4.30pm, Zest Leisure Centre
Please contact Zest on 0114 2702040 to book a place and for more information.

Martial Arts Taster

Our friends at Academy of Self Defence are back one again! Their fun introduction to martial arts will teach children and young people what a martial art is and how training in one can help them to develop even more transferable skills.  The sessions includes practical activities but not throws or falls – but if you’re interested in taking your new learning to the next level, why not join their club for more sessions throughout the summer and beyond?
You can find Academy of Self Defence at the following sessions…
·         Saturday 28th July, 12.15pm-1.15pm, St Oswald’s Church Hall, S7 2DL
·         Saturday 4th August, 12.15pm-1.15pm, St Oswald’s Church Hall, S7 2DL
Contact Garry on 07738 909125 for more information and to book a place.

Japanese martial art joins the Festival of Fun

Joining us for the first time, we welcome Aikido Club Sheffield to the CU Festival of Fun.  Although they run regular clubs in the Japanese martial art for children of all ages (and adults), they have chosen our event to launch their brand new session – just for older girls! Join them at their own club for a fun intro session to learn about sparring and falling safely so why not give it a try? Perfect for the ‘physical’ element if you’re working towards your Duke of Edinburgh’s Award too!

Find them at the following sessions…
·         Saturday 28th July, 2.00pm-3.00pm, Kyogikan Dojo, S1 4GT
·         Saturday 11th August, 2.00pm-3.00pm, Kyogikan Dojo, S1 4GT
Contact them on 07946 435785 to book a place and for more details.

Girls’ Football

To keep the World Cup momentum going, we welcome back Charnock Ridgeway Junior Football Club to Festival of Fun once again, as they deliver football skills sessions just for girls.  Whether you’re an experienced tacker, sharp shooting scorer or just want to improve your kickabout skills, then join them for their sessions which are guaranteed to be full of friendship, football and above all – fun!
Their session will be run as follows…
       Saturday 4th August, 10.30am-11.30am, Sheffield Springs Academy
No booking required, just drop in!

Yoga fun and games

Join us in welcoming From Small Seeds to our CU Festival of Fun for the first time this year. They’ll be delivering four sessions for children of different ages throughout the programme, each designed carefully to introduce the benefits of yoga – movement and control, controlled breathing, imagination, posture and balance…as well as some fun games!

Their sessions will run as follows…
·         Tuesday 7th August, 11.00am-12.00pm, ages 4-9 years, Hillsborough Library
·         Thursday 9th August, 12.30pm-1.30pm, ages 4-9 years, Stocksbridge Library
·         Friday 10th August, 2.00pm-3.00pm, ages 4-9 years, Walkley Library
·         Friday 10th August, 4.00pm-5.00pm, ages 9-12 years, Hands on Health, S6 4JL
Contact them on 07840 147463 for more information and to book a place.

For details of these and all the activities as part of CU Festival of Fun, please download the programme here:

Wednesday, 25 July 2018

Sheffield CU Festival of Fun 2018

Spotlight on...

Throughout the week, we're shining our Sheffield CU spotlight on the different types of activities available, and the wonderful Learning Destinations who are delivering our CU Festival of Fun activities.  Our third spotlight of the week shines on...

Arts and crafts!

Our friends at Ignite Imaginations are working with us again on delivering exciting arts and crafts activities across the city.

Join them at five sessions across the city, and take part in exciting, arty activities. From being a super sculptor to creating beautiful canvases, and creating mini zines to perfect pebble art!

You can find Ignite Imaginations at the following places…

·         Friday 27th July, Creative Canvases, 10.00am-12.00pm, Central Children’s Library
·         Tuesday 31st July, Creative Canvases, 10.30am-12.30pm, Woodseats Library
·         Friday 3rd August, Mini Zines, 1.00pm-3.00pm, Ecclesfield Library
·         Monday 6th August, Super Sculptor, 2.00pm-4.00pm, Totley Library
·         Wednesday 8th August, Perfect Pebble Art, 2.00pm-4.00pm, Park Library

Call them on 0114 268 6813 to book a place and for more information.

For details of these and all the activities as part of CU Festival of Fun, please download the programme here: Festival of Fun 2018