Hooray! The holidays are here and we hope you're looking forward to some rest, relaxation and fun with your families.
Friday, 18 December 2020
Wednesday, 16 December 2020
2020 has certainly been a year like no other! It’s brought so many challenges and difficulties for us all, but as we reflect back, there have been some opportunities too. Sheffield CU is built on the belief that learning can take place anywhere, including at home and online too, and our children, families, schools and Learning Destinations have proven just that!
We have been truly amazed by the resilience, positivity, commitment and kindness shown by the amazing children and young people of our city and our families, schools, partners, Learning Destinations and fellow keyworkers. We feel so proud to have been able to continue to provide what support we could and to roll out a few new developments of our own too. We look forward to 2021 and hopefully welcoming and celebrating the commitment and achievements of our amazing CU members at one of our real life award ceremonies as soon as possible!
In the meantime, here’s our Sheffield CU year in numbers…
- 46,159 children and young people with CU credits in Sheffield
- 3,536,887 CU credits awarded so far – with over 200,000 hours added in 2020
- 2,862 out of school activities registered with us in 2020 (and counting!). This is actually more than last year’s figure, and clearly demonstrates the commitment to learning shown by Sheffield children and young people, even when at home and taking part in home learning challenges!
- 64 schools signed up and engaged with Sheffield Children’s University
- 236 Learning Destinations (approved activity providers) participating across Sheffield. 25 brand new Learning Destinations have been added in 2020 with many activity providers adapting their delivery and working in new innovative COVID secure ways!
- 2,000 Gold awards, 3,000 Silver & 3,700 Bronze awards have been issued during 2020. There have been an amazing 93,000 CU Awards issued since 2008 proving just how talented and committed Sheffield children, young people and families are to their out of school learning!
- 3 brand new virtual ceremony experiences were rolled out to our award winners who couldn’t attend a real life ceremony due to lockdown and COVID restrictions. Children and young people were invited to take part in a new ‘Create your own CU ceremony’ home learning challenge and then watch a Sheffield CU virtual ceremony video. The home learning challenge encouraged our award winners people to invite their families to celebrate with them, make special refreshments to enjoy, create their own stage, and make their mortarboard to throw, whilst the ceremonies were full of special speeches from VIPs such as the Sheffield City Region Mayor Dan Jarvis, children’s author David Walliams and HM Lord Lieutenant of South Yorkshire Andrew Coombe. It also had special performances from schools, Sheffield Music Hub and experiments, activities and a specially written poem too. Follow the link here to see the video we created to celebrate our first ever virtual ceremony and our award winners achievements: https://youtu.be/db57y8RdB_k
- Over 100 Sheffield CU home learning challenges were created by the team and published daily from March 2020 to provide support to children, young people, families and schools during this extraordinary time. Challenges included creating their own obstacle course, making memory maps, garden bug hunts, creating their own comic book, learning sign language, doing superhero yoga, making their own cook book, creating a museum at home, writing poetry and many, many more! Check out our celebratory video created back in June: https://youtu.be/UBFJVAFjjS8
- 10 Learning Destinations delivered 68 free taster sessions as part of the 6th annual Sheffield CU Festival of Fun in the summer holidays. Collectively, they offered over 1,800 bookable places for children and families (many more required no booking at all!) to participate in activities from dance, drama and music, to gaming, arts and crafts and outdoor learning. While many of the activities were online or remote learning, some were delivered in 'real life' in a Covid-secure way such as guided walks and trails.
- 29 schools are taking part in our 2020 Year of the Nurse Project in a Box to help inspire our children and young people to become the nurses of the future! We have been working with the Clinical Educator for Weston Park Hospital, Cherie Rushton, to develop this year’s project and sessions include exploring the history of nursing as well as challenging stereotypes of nursing as a career. The children who take part will also learn about the body, what happens when things go wrong (for example with allergies) and see what life is like through the eyes of a nurse working on a ward, in a clinic and in the community. There is even an opportunity for the children to learn some basic first aid too. The project will also include supplementary resources with colleagues from Sheffield Hallam University, to help give children an insight into studying nursing as a career, as well as forming a link between the school pupils and current and alumni nursing students.
- 1 ‘Sheffield CU – How does it make a difference?’ report was published, which provides detailed evidence of the impact of Children’s University in Sheffield. This built on our previous reports and included in-depth analysis of the positive impact of participation in CU activities on attainment, attendance and progress, as well as anecdotal evidence of impact through a number of case studies.
- 8 essential life skills defined by Skills Builder (such as leadership, creativity, problem solving and listening) that children and young people develop by taking part in CU activities are now being identified by schools and Learning Destinations and tracked by our Sheffield CU database. These skills have been recognised as those that everyone needs to help them succeed in education and life as well as almost any job so being able to develop and provide evidence of them through Children's University will support children and young people succeed in their future employment too. CU schools also now receive brand new monthly home learning challenges focused on developing each of the 8 essential skills which are shared regularly with children and families.
- 10 activities were funded through the Sheffield CU 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 baking club, table tennis, arts and crafts, switch club, rock art, board game club and bee club.
- 2 South Yorkshire CU network meetings, which brought together existing CU centres in Sheffield and Doncaster as well as the brand new CU centre in Rotherham for the first time took place this year. This work, funded by the Sheffield City Region Mayor Dan Jarvis, and led by Katie and Helen through Sheffield Hallam University aims to create a brand new regional CU partnership to create even more opportunities for the children and families of South Yorkshire. Watch this space for more developments in 2021!
- And a partridge in a pear treeeee!
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 continuing to support our work and ensuring the children and young people of our wonderful city are celebrated and rewarded for their achievements, even in the most challenging of circumstances.
We really hope you enjoy the festive season, have a restful break and look forward to seeing you in the new year.
Katie, Helen, Sakina, Laura and Amy
The Sheffield CU Team
Wednesday, 9 December 2020
Do you have a child who LOVES all things STEM-related (science, technology, engineering and maths)? Then here are some activities which will really get them thinking. It’s ideal for secondary-age pupils but might be OK for Key Stage 2 pupils with a little help.
Friday, 16 October 2020
You can find the newsletter here: http://bit.ly/SCUOctPassportNewsletter
As a result of the Covid-19 pandemic and resulting Government guidance, some of our Learning Destinations are not running as they normally would. However, many are delivering their activities in a different way, using platforms such as Zoom and Youtube which is great to see! Please do check with them directly about this as CU credits can still be earned by taking part in these activities (as normal, or virtually) and Learning Destinations will be sending us registers as usual. You can find a full list of all our Learning Destinations in the newsletter.
There are also links to our very own Sheffield CU home learning challenges! If you would like to take part in any of the challenges, we have collated details on them all into the newsletter. There is currently no time limit, and no order in which to do these so feel free to pick and chose as you like!
Please click here and make sure you provide all details: https://bit.ly/SCUOrderPassporttoLearning
Friday, 9 October 2020
First, a few questions... Does your child collect CU credits in your Passport to Learning at Learning Destinations across the city? Is their school not currently subscribed to Sheffield CU? If your answer is YES to both these questions, then please keep reading!!!
Each year in May and October, we welcome over 2000 of our individual Passport members to celebrate their achievements at one of our gold award ceremonies. Around these times, we also send any Bronze and Silver awards earned to home addresses.
During 2020, we haven’t been able to host our ceremonies as normal due to COVID restrictions and access to our offices has been strictly limited, meaning we have been unable to create award certificates as normal too.
We have had to think outside the box and whilst it's taken a little while to create something new, one thing is for certain - NOTHING stops us from celebrating our award winners, not even a pandemic! We are thrilled to announce that during October, we will host our first virtual award ceremony for our individual Passport members!
If your child collects CU credits using a Passport only (and doesn’t currently attend a CU school) and is eligible to receive one of our Gold awards for 100, 200, 300 hrs etc, you will soon be receiving a letter through the post inviting you and your child to take part in our special virtual ceremony experience! If your child is eligible to receive a Silver or Bronze award at this time, these will also be created and sent next month.
ALL the information you need is on your invitation letter, so please read it VERY carefully and make sure you email us by the deadline of Friday 23rd October to take part!
We can’t wait to celebrate with you!!! 🥳🤩🎈🎊🎓
Thursday, 24 September 2020
Here at Sheffield CU, we encourage children and young people from the age of 5 to try new learning experiences in and outside of school; at breakfast, lunchtime and after school clubs and in their own time, in the local library, museum or further afield.
Culminating in an inspirational graduation ceremony, this learning adventure gives children and young people the opportunity to enrich their childhoods, nurture a lifelong love of learning, unlock their skills and talents and develop their aspirations and confidence regardless of their backgrounds.
So how do we know that taking part in Sheffield CU makes a difference? Well, we do lots of work looking at the impact of participation in these activities. With over 47,000 children and young people in our city with CU credits logged in our database, we have a lot of information to work with!
And the results speak for themselves! Children and young people who take part in Sheffield CU activities consistently do better than those who aren’t involved, and they make more progress too.
Don’t believe us? Then see for yourself!
Monday, 31 August 2020
Our CU Festival of Fun 2020 concludes today - we've delivered over 75 FREE activities for children, young people and families to get involved in, throughout the whole summer holidays! Some of the activities remain downloadable though, so for the full programme, visit https://bit.ly/CUFestivalofFun2020
Today sees our weekly CU Home Learning Challenges focusing on the different continents of the world, coming to an end. Each one has contained 5 learning activities from arts and crafts, to cookery, music, science, maths and more! Don't worry if you've missed any - the links will still be available for some time yet!
Today we're excited to bring you the seventh weekly challenge, all about the continent of Oceania! Download it now from https://bit.ly/SCUChallengeOceania.
Why not have a go at making some aboriginal art, baking some tasty Anzac biscuits, learning all about the Great Barrier Reef and the island of Kiribati? You could even have a go at the Haka traditional dance too!
To claim your CU credits, just download, complete and return the CU Festival of Fun Learning Reflection Diary with evidence of your learning. Download one now from https://bit.ly/CUFestivalofFunReflectionDiary It will need the number from your Passport to Learning so if you don't have one just yet, don't panic! When the libraries re open, we'll let you know so you can pop along and buy a Passport to Learning for £3.50, find the number and add it to your Reflection Diary and claim your CU credits.
Ready to jet off to our seventh and final continent for some fun learning all about Oceania? Then off we go..