"The aim of teaching is not to produce learning but to produce the conditions for learning; this is the focus point, the quality of learning."  Loris Malaguzzi

As a rule of thumb, Children's University™ learning equals 'Grown-Ups' University learning; it is learning which can be 'connected' to higher education course provision as exemplified on www.ucas.com - in other words: if you can get a degree in it the Children's University™ wants to know!

Validating Children's University™ learning is not about passing a test, it is about ensuring consistency of quality; the validation process is one of continuous self and collective improvement.  It places emphasis on agreed standards and expectations; exploring ways of raising the bar for children and young people and using findings from self-evaluation to plan for continuous (self) improvement.  It aims to encourage creativity in learning.

The Children's University's key principles around learning are that it is about aspiration and inspiration, for 7 to 14 year olds, voluntary and out of school hours; its focus on creating an excitement about learning, on encouraging inquisitiveness, on exploring subjects in breadth and depth, on a variety of learning styles and intelligences, and on individual and collaboration learning across the ages and abilities.

Children's University™ learning is about becoming confident and independent learners drawing on local learning opportunities within a national framework. It is also about developing the recognition that learning - any time, any place, anywhere - can be a personalised 'satellite navigation system to better places in life' and that it should be fun!

Planning for Learning is part of a process that should end with a child's celebration of achievement and self-worth and begin with the intention to provide learning as a quality experience; a prerequisite is that those involved in this process should understand and own it.  

For now, the process contains the following five key elements:


  • Children's University™ certificates or 'National Awards'
  • The 'Passport to Learning'
  • 'Learning Destinations'
  • 'Planning for Learning'
  • In Partnership with Quality in Study Support (QiSS) 'Planning for Excellence'


To explore the validation of your out of school hours learning provision as Children's University™ learning, please contact us: 

Debbie Bird - Manager, Essex Children's University™

by email:  admin@essexchildrensuniversity.co.uk

by telephone: 01206 245057