By Press Office 28 January 2015

Three school pupils from East Lothian have become the first in the county to join the new Queen Margaret Children’s University.

Queen Margaret University (QMU), Musselburgh, is the first higher education institution in the east of Scotland to host the Children’s University, which aims to help school children, aged between five and 14 years of age, become confident learners and broaden their horizons.

Seamus Maguire (9) and Millie Sandison (9) from Haddington; and Emily Clyne (12) from Gifford, have already signed up to the new initiative, which strives to raise children’s aspirations, encourages them to learn in different ways, and rewards them for taking part in a wide variety of learning activities outside of school hours. 

The Children’s University ethos is clearly aligned with the aims of the Scottish Curriculum for Excellence in terms of helping children become successful and confident learners, responsible citizens and effective contributors.

Children build up credits the more they engage in learning activities.  They can also and can also work towards bronze, silver and gold certificates.  The more the children engage in learning activities, the more credits they build up.

Seamus and Millie attend Kingsmeadow Primary School and Emily attends Knox Academy, both in Haddington.  The trio of East Lothian youngsters are already becoming junior scholars by taking part in a wide range of fun, educational activities with their parents around the Lothians, including hockey, wildlife spotting, as well as taking part in cheerleading, young writers’ workshops and Japanese classes. 

Highlights of the QMU Children’s University for Seamus, Millie and Emily, include using cameras to view the Bass Rock and getting to hold a live starfish at the Scottish Seabird Centre in North Berwick, discovering new wildlife at Butterfly & Insect World in Lasswade, finding out about local history at the Scottish National Mining Museum in Newtongrange, and getting music lessons at Lamp House Music in Haddington.

Commenting on his experience of the QMU Children’s University, Seamus Maguire said: “There are lots of new things to learn with your family and it’s more fun when you’re active instead of sitting down to learn all the time. 

The Queen Margaret Children’s University means you can earn credits for learning new things, as well as activities you’re already involved with at the same time. I’m already looking forward to the graduation ceremony.”

Millie Sandison, added “I was surprised how many new activities you can do and interesting places you can explore on your own doorstep.  There’s still a lot I’d like to explore and I’m already getting my friends involved too.”

Emily Clyne, said: “I’m so happy to be involved in the Queen Margaret Children’s University.  It’s such a bonus that my extra curricular activities get credits and count towards my learning.  I’ve encouraged all my friends to take part too because it’s such fun and there are so many different activities to choose from”.

QMU has taken the lead in establishing the Children’s University in the east of Scotland by initially working in partnership with schools via East and Midlothian Councils.

Over 1,400 pupils from across East Lothian and Midlothian have signed up to the QMU Children’s University scheme in 2014.  100 of these pupils have already achieved a minimum 30 hours of learning activities outside of school hours. 

A new film about the Queen Margaret Children’s University can be viewed online: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qr_bHaHTYKA&feature=youtu.be

For more information on the QMU Children’s University and to sign up, contact Callum Maguire, Head of Outreach & Community Engagement at QMU and Coordinator of the QMU Children’s University on 0131 474 0000 or email CMaguire@qmu.ac.uk

Notes to Editor

Photos:

Photo attached of (L-R) Seamus Maguire, Millie Sandison and Emily Clyne from East Lothian, who are the first in the county to take part in the new Queen Margaret Children’s University.

For further media information please contact Jonathan Perkins, Press and PR Officer, Queen Margaret University, Edinburgh, tel: 0131 474 0000, Email: jperkins@qmu.ac.uk

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