By Press Office 18 June 2015

54 school pupils from four schools across Midlothian will gather at Queen Margaret University (QMU), Edinburgh, as part of the first Children’s University graduation ceremony for Midlothian schools, on Friday 26th June 2015.

The junior scholars will be dressed head to toe in traditional gowns and mortar boards. Family, friends, teachers and supporters will all be welcomed at the ceremony to help celebrate the children’s achievements.

Newbattle Community High School, Danderhall Primary, Kings Park Primary and Woodburn Primary will be the first Midlothian schools to take part in the Queen Margaret Children’s University graduation ceremony.

QMU 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 seven and 14 years of age (and five and six year olds with their families), become confident learners and broaden their horizons.

The initiative 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.

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

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

Each child from Midlothian will be presented with a special certificate at the Queen Margaret Children’s University graduation ceremony in June.

Over 2,000 pupils from across Midlothian and East Lothian have signed up to the Queen Margaret Children’s University scheme since 2014. 60 school pupils from across East Lothian graduated from the first Children’s University graduation ceremony to be held in the east of Scotland in January 2015.

There are now over 600 accredited learning destinations across Midlothian and East Lothian, including Butterfly & Insect World in Lasswade and the Scottish National Mining Museum in Newtongrange. 1,200 learning activities include everything from dancing, and painting, to cheer-leading, modern languages and gardening.

A new film about the Queen Margaret Children’s University, which features elements of the first graduation ceremony held in January this year, is now available to view online: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qr_bHaHTYKA

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

Notes to Editor

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

NOTES TO EDITOR

Children’s University funding and support

Queen Margaret Children’s University is supported by the Scottish Funding Council through Regional Coherence Funding.

Children’s University Scotland is supported by the ScottishPower Foundation and Brodies law firm.

Children’s University Scotland

Children’s University Trust Scotland was registered as a charity in April 2013, set up to oversee the strategic development of Children’s University in Scotland. Children's University Scotland was the first project to be awarded funding by the ScottishPower Foundation, established to reinforce the energy company's commitment to charitable work throughout Britain. The Foundation was launched by Glasgow school children from member schools of Glasgow Children's University at an event held at Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum in June 2013.

Strathclyde University established the first local Children’s University in the West of Scotland earlier in 2013.

Children’s University Scotland is also supported by Brodies law firm, providing pro bono legal advice and the time and expertise of one of its consultants, Jock Brown, who chairs the Board of Trustees of CU Trust Scotland. The other trustees are:

Ken Cunningham, General Secretary of School Leaders Scotland, and former head of Hillhead High School, Glasgow

Doug Wilson, UK Director of General Services and Health & Safety at Scottish Power

Gillian Hastings, Principal of Polar Horizons, accounting and tax consultancy

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Image Lynne Russell Communications Manager
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0131 474 0000

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