Information for Parents
The City of Birmingham Children’s University™ (CBCU™)
A Guide for Parents
The City of Birmingham Children’s University™ (CBCU™) is part of a national organisation, which originally began in Birmingham. It mirrors at a local level the aims and objectives of the Children’s University™. CBCU™ promotes social mobility by promoting high quality out of school hour’s activities to children aged 7-14 years. At the heart of its work is the ambition to raise aspirations, boost achievement and foster a love of learning so that all young people can make the most of their abilities and interest.
To promote university style learning
To lift aspirations
To support lifelong learning
To transform lives and enhance life chances
CBCU™ validates learning experiences. These activities can be provided by anyone. Most are based in and around schools but some validated learning also takes place in other places such as museums and art galleries. CBCU™ does not provide activities for students
CBCU™ awards students who reach milestones in the number of hours engaged in those activities. The first award starts at 30 hours of validated learning. There are progressive steps leading to 1000 hours of learning. Full details of the Children’s University™ awards structure is included elsewhere and can be seen on our web site www.birminghamchildrensuniversity.co.uk
Students choose to engage in CBCU™ validated activities. These activities look and feel different from school learning experiences. CBCU™ supports and encourages schools and others to provide high quality out of school hours learning. CBCU™ promotes advances in learning styles and techniques. CBCU™ works in partnership with others to promote learning benefits to children and young people in the City of Birmingham and beyond.
Each registered student of the CBCU™ is entitled to a hard copy of the CU™ passport. These are available through the school attended by your child. They cost £2 and sometimes the schools will ask you to pay this charge. The passport is divided into three sections.
In the first section there is the opportunity for you to guide your child on the completion of personal details. This can be as much or as little as you wish. It is perfectly acceptable to leave all the details blank. Please talk to your child about what you think should be completed. CBCU™ will always be able to track a passport to an individual student through the unique reference number of the passport.
In the second section the actual activities and hours of learning accomplished is recorded by the provider. Sometimes the student is expected and trusted to complete this section. At CBCU™ we record the hours of learning against the record given to us by the provider of the learning activity. Current and future learning will be recorded at the end of the module by the provider.
The third section provides the opportunity to record visits that your child makes to museums and art galleries who are registered as Learning Destinations with CBCU™. As a parent, please guide your child on the arrangements for these visits. The number of Learning Destinations in the City is growing and further information is available on the web site. You will find Learning Destinations across the country. They carry the CU™ logo.
Learning Destinations are places and organisations which provide high quality learning opportunities and activities, validated by the Children’s University™.
There are two types of Learning Destinations:
• Public Learning Destinations
These are places which provide Children's University™ validated learning activities and which are publicly accessible, such as museums, sports clubs, libraries, theatres, etc. These exist right across the country. Visit the national web site for more information.
To find a list of Public Learning Destinations in the Birmingham area check our web site www.birminghamchildrensuniversity.co.uk. Local examples include Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery, The Sea Life Centre and Winterbourne House and Garden.
• Restricted Learning Destinations
These are places which are not publicly accessible, such as schools and clubs which require membership. The number of schools in Birmingham who subscribe to CBCU™ is 60 (October 2010) and is growing all the time. To see the list of subscribed schools in Birmingham see the web site www.birminghamchildrensuniversity.co.uk
Registered CBCU™ students gain hours of learning by attending validated learning activities. These should take place outside of the school day but can be provided by a range of different providers. In addition CBCU™ students can use the secure log in facilities to access our programme of e learning modules. At the end of any learning programme we are notified of the hours gained and this is added to the student’s record. There is a national scale of hours and students receive their awards when they reach certain milestones. Further details are on our web site www.birminghamchildrensuniversity.co.uk. Occasionally some students will receive special awards. In Birmingham the CBCU™ Award Body makes the final decision. Students receive their awards at an annual Graduation Ceremony. These are held in the Great Hall at Aston University.
Your first point of reference should at the school attended by your child. It will be possible for a school to have a range of validated learning opportunities that would appeal to your child. CBCU™ is willing to work with schools to validate out of hours learning that already exists in a school so it is not always necessary to create new learning opportunities though this is always possible.
Through our web site CBCU™ students can access e learning modules. These are designed to be completed by students independently of adults, though no one minds if adults support students with elements of their learning. Students access this type of learning through a secure log in and details about how to do this have been sent to each school. Once completed the hours of learning associated with that learning module are automatically credited to that student’s record.
Learning Destinations such as Think Tank, Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery and Winterbourne House provide validated learning courses where students can attend and accumulate hours of learning.
I should like to welcome you and your family to the City of Birmingham Children’s University™ (CBCU™). Since our re launch in 2009 we have gradually been building the project across the whole of the City. We are pleased that so many schools have chosen to join our project and are always willing to welcome new schools.
I hope your family will enjoy the learning opportunities associated with CBCU™ and it will support the aspirations you have for the growth and development of children in your family. I am enclosing a brief guide to CBCU™ and further information is available on our web site www.birminghamchildrensuniversity.co.uk
With all good wishes for a happy and successful learning journey.
Lead Officer CBCU™