Source: University of Canterbury – statements
27 November 2020
A record number of tamariki have graduated from Te Mātāpuna Mātātahi | Children’s University over two nights of celebrations recognising their achievements in 2020.
Over two consecutive November nights, 362 children aged from 7 to 14 crossed the stage of the James Hay Theatre in the Christchurch Town Hall to accept their graduation certificates.
The graduation to celebrate the achievements of Te Mātāpuna Mātātahi | Children’s University (CU) members is only the second to take place in Aotearoa New Zealand. With the challenges of 2020, in an incredible effort 65% of CU tamariki graduated in front of their proud whānau, teachers and peers.
The University of Canterbury and Lincoln University work in partnership to deliver CU to the region’s tamariki. The first – and so far only – Children’s University in Aotearoa New Zealand, this is the second year the programme has run in Canterbury, with 557 children participating in 2020.
CU is an internationally renowned outreach programme aimed at fostering a community of lifelong learners and raising aspirations for further and higher education.
Children choose to join the programme through their school or rūnanga and are issued with a Passport to Learning. CU members fill their passports with hours of learning outside of the classroom by visiting Learning Destinations, attending university campus experiences and engaging in online activities. There are 122 Learning Destinations in Canterbury including libraries, museums, galleries and wildlife parks. Once children reach set milestones they are invited to graduate at the Christchurch Town Hall ceremonies.
This year the Covid-19 pandemic lockdown hit just as children were receiving their passports, so visits to Learning Destinations were not possible. Instead, children have accessed a range of online activities on the CU online portal and university academics have developed a range of activities to help the children attain their hours. These activities included science experiments, history exploration and maths puzzles.
Canterbury children completed 3,466 activities on the online portal, and in total 19,537 hours of learning outside of school was completed by CU members.
For more information go to: Te Mātāpuna Mātātahi | Children’s University