Teacher Standards

TS8- Children’s University

TS8- fulfil wider professional responsibilities 

There exists a wealth of research showing the relation between school children’s participation in extra-curricular activities, and an improvement in their academic performance as well as reduced absenteeism (Marsh & Kleitman,2002). Improved attitudes towards school and learning and higher academic aspirations have also been reported as effects of extra-curricular activities (Darling, Caldwell, & Smith, 2005).

 

Children’s University

Children’s University is a national organisation providing children aged 5-14 with learning opportunities outside school hours and beyond the school curriculum.

Children’s receive a Passport to Learning in which they collect credits in the form of stamps by voluntarily participating in school-lead activities or activities at verifies “Learning Destinations”. (1 hour of learning = 1 credit/stamp)

Aims:

  • raise aspirations, self-esteem and confidence
  • enhance motivation and build resilience
  • foster curiosity and a love of learning
  • introduce new life experiences

 

Reflections

This is the first I have heard of Children’s University and I would love to experience it in action as I think that it would be an excellent way in which to provide further opportunities for children. I myself attended dance lessons from the age of 2 up until the age of 18 with most of my after school time spent at dancing. This developed from a hobby to a passion of mine and I firmly believe that I have my dance training, and the opportunities it offered, to thank for self confidence, determination and self-motivation, and many strong friendships. For children who may not have found a hobby which they enjoy, taking part in Children’s University could give them the chance to experience a range of activities as part of a holistic approach to learning. Similarly, for children who may already take part in an out-of-school activity like I did, Children’s University may allow them to discover another skill or activity which they may not have considered before, to develop a rounded education.

I also think that CU may have the potential to help close the attainment gap for disadvantaged children. I have done some research into the Extra Mile Initiative which aims to provide wider opportunities for children from disadvantaged backgrounds. Providing a range of holistic opportunities to children has also been found to improve communication skills, confidence and pupil engagement/attitudes to literacy

(Evaluation of the Extra Mile (DfE, 2011) https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/181534/DFE-RR133.pdf

 

Skills/Interests of mine that I could share with CU

  • Dance – ballet/tap/modern/contemporary
  • French language and culture –> other languages
  • Baking – Great British Bake Off?
  • Drama – improvisation games/ voice projection

Other ideas

  • Coding club – Minecraft/Raspberry Pi
  • Science – weird and wonderful experiments
  • Craft – drawing/sewing
  • Circus skills

 

Next Steps

I would like to ask about Children’s University in my professional practice 1b. If the school runs CU I would like to experience volunteering at a range of activities, and if possible I would consider suggesting an opportunity I can offer. CU is also something I would like to mention on job applications, to show my willingness to participate or even to take the lead in introducing CU into the school.

 

 

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