School children don mortar boards and gowns for special graduation ceremony at Dragon Hall, Norwich
- Credit: Archant
It may be an occasion usually associated with further or higher education but a group of hard-working school pupils from across the city have celebrated their graduation more than a decade early.
Following a collaboration between the Norfolk Children's University, local libraries and schools, the event marked the completion of 80 pupils doing more than 30 hours of extra learning outside of school.
Children aged between five and 12 years old collected stamps in their 'Passport to Learning' document for each hour of learning they completed either at after school activities or any of the 200 approved learning locations across the county.
Mia Taylor, nine, of Drayton Junior School, said she felt 'really smart' dressed in her blue graduation outfit. She had carried out lots of extra curriculum activities including crafts and baking.
She said: 'My favourite activity was baking a nature cake. We did walks and baked what we saw to make a cake. We had things on it like a tree stump and a bunny rabbit.'
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Amelia Balls, five, of Martham Primary, also enjoyed dressing up for the special day. She said she had enjoyed doing extra activities such as ballet and rolling skating.
'My favourite thing to do was gymnastics because I like doing the cartwheels,' she said. 'It was good to do with my friends too.'
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And Zach Taylor, of Colman Junior, attended a number of after school clubs.
The nine year old said: 'I took part in lots of clubs like art club. My favourite thing to do though was coding, working with computers.'
Hosted today at Dragon Hall's inspiring backdrop, the ceremony was followed by an interactive science session and hat-throwing.
Roger Smith, chairman of Norfolk County Council's Children's Services Committee, said: 'Together they've clocked up thousands of hours of extra learning through this scheme and their graduation event truly recognises their hard work.'
The schools represented at the event included Colman Junior, Drayton Junior, Toftwood Infant, Toftwood Junior, Martham Primary, Mulbarton Infant, and Sprowston Junior. Families of the pupils also attended.
Norfolk Children's University is run by Educator Solutions - a traded Norfolk County Council service - and aims to raise children's aspirations by supporting them to carry on learning outside of the normal school day.