Ever heard of Children’s University in Portsmouth?

children's university

Well surprisingly enough, it exists.  Children’s University is a trust offering 7 to 14 year olds (and 5 and 6 year olds with their families) exciting and innovative learning activities and experiences outside of normal school hours. The activities are linked to Higher Education courses.

Passport to LearningSo how does it work? Students use Passports to Learning in which they record the number of hours of completed CU validated learning activities. The aim is to encourage children to progress through the CU certification scheme and earn Bronze, Silver and Gold certificate awarded at graduation ceremonies.

This scheme is open to schools and if your child’s school isn’t a member you may be limited as to what they can undertake but we have found some activities locally that anyone can take part in, regardless of their school’s involvement.

Halfords in Portsmouth, Gosport and Havant offer a free 1 hour bikeclub workshop on selected days in the school holidays for children aged 7-11, accompanied by an adult. Places are limited and need to be booked in advance using this link http://www.halfords.com/bikeclub.

Part of the New Forest Children’s University, Aspex Gallery  at Gunwharf Quays focuses on ways to engage children and teenagers, and the participation programme provides activities for toddlers through to pensioners.  Your child can attend After School clubs, Holiday Art Clubs and See! Make! Do! on the second Saturday of every month.  Contact Vicky Chiswell at the gallery for more information vicky@aspex.org.uk.

Other destinations include Portchester Castle, Stagecoach Theatre Arts in Fareham and Havant, Stubbington Library, Treasure Gymnastics in Portsmouth and B&Q Havant. Use the maps page to find other destinations locally and click on each to find out what they have to offer.

Portsmouth Treasure HuntHere in Portsmouth your child can take part in the huntfun Treasure Hunt and gain two hours of accredited learning, whilst spending quality time with you at the weekend or in the school holidays. The Portsmouth Treasure Hunt takes you past all our famous local attractions including Gunwharf Quays, Spinnaker Tower, Portsmouth Cathedral and the Portsmouth Historic Dockyard and provides around two hours of entertainment.

But don’t stop there – you can also participate in Treasure Hunts in Havant, Chichester, Southampton, Petersfield and Winchester – or even further afield, just have a look at the site to find a hunt wherever you happen to be going.

To take part all you need to do is purchase a kit which is provided with everything you need including map, directions, clues and extra scavenger tasks.  Don’t worry if your child gets stuck – the answers are provided too. Those of you with pads or tablets or smartphones can download the hunt to view, or you can simply download and print it out.  If you’re happier with a paper version you can also order a kit to be posted to you. Kits can be purchased from the website here and costs from £5.99 for a standard hunt plus P&P.  Downloadable hunts are more expensive at £7 for the first adult, with each additional adult costing £1 and the first child costing £1 and each additional 50 pence – so that’s just £9.50 for two adults and two children.

Once completed you get a 2 hours accredited learning stamp to add to your child’s Passport to Learning and you can return to the members area to personalise and print out your own huntfun certificate to keep.  For less than £10 this seems to be an ideal weekend or school holiday activity for the whole family, so why not  give it a go this Half Term or Easter break?


About Shelley Cook

Self employed blogger, editor and copywriter. I work from home around my two children and am delighted to be able to visit local attractions and cafes and call it work.
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