Westminster Children’s University (part of the national Children’s University charity) aims to inspire, challenge and empower 5-14 year olds across London to try new experiences, acquire new skills and participate in inspiring activities within and outside of the school day.
What does the University do?
Over the last year alone, the University has organized 81,000 individual hours of free extra-curricular activity for nine partner schools, thanks to partnerships with Kew Gardens, Alexandra Palace, Dream Arts, The Floating Classroom, Chelsea Football Club ,Mind-UP, Royal Albert Hall, Kensington Palace and the Royal Parks to name but a few. The charity now wants to expand and develop a South London Hub, in partnership with the alliance.
How does the University work?
Westminster Children’s University is an aspirational and extracurricular project created in response to the desire to provide free aspirational and educational opportunities for the young people of London. The project seeks to engage young people in activities that will help them transition from primary to secondary school and then maintain the positive trend in transition to further education.
We have been fortunate to have been in operation over the last three years in central London, engaging and supporting cooperate partners and schools. Our project is in direct response to the challenges and needs of London’s inner-city schools and students. Our aim is to provide free access to educational and cultural opportunities within London to ensure that all young people have the opportunity to access the widest scope of culture and experience possible regardless of financial limitations. We offer a wide range of opportunities for schools engaging in the project and run regular annual graduations and events to promote networking and partnership for the professionals involved in Westminster Children’s University.
To meet this end, we work with our partner University, Westminster University, to invite young people onto campus to meet with students and educators and take part in fun and engaging activities so that they can physically experience university life and interactions and therefore envisage themselves there too. We hold annual graduations so that adults and children can experience the joy of achieving and graduating while raising the profile of extracurricular activity and further education.
We achieve this by negating the need for financial stability to access cultural, educational and developmental opportunities available to young people and their local community. We seek to offer opportunities for young people to experience the world of wider work and culture in order that they may engage and connect with professions disciplines and creative arts in ways
that they may not otherwise have the opportunity to do.
We know that many schools and extra-curricular organisations, such as us, have been quickly adapting their delivery to take into account closures due to coronavirus. We have been working hard to support you to continue to engage with children, young people and their families during this difficult time. Over the last three weeks we have been busy uploading content on our website so that you will have plenty of exciting things to do, even if you are not in school or able to travel at the moment.
Bearing in mind the ever-changing situation we find ourselves in as educators, we are seeking to switch our offer to an interactive, online and easily accessible offer for the young people and educators of London.