Evaluation and Impact
Consecutive independent evaluations of the work of the Children’s University has been undertaken by ‘Leadership for Learning – The Cambridge Network’ led by Professor John MacBeath of the University of Cambridge in partnership with Fischer Family Trust. These evaluations recognise that 'Children's University pupils attend better by virtue of the activities which enhance their school experience … achieve better by virtue of renewed self-confidence in their own potential … enjoy learning more because they extend their repertoire of interests and see learning in a new light.'
The valuable contributions made by Professor MacBeath to evaluation of our provision has been integral to the development of the Children’s University.
The most recent: “Evaluating provision, progress and quality of learning in the Children’s University 2012” detail the work undertaken by, and the findings of, Professor MacBeath.
As our network of local CU centres continues to grow and flourish, we are moving away from a national evaluation and looking more closely at each local community and seeking, through structured evaluation work, undertaken by our local CU centres, for first-hand evidence of the impact of Children’s University across a diverse network, which we consider provides us with a greater opportunity to reflect on the value of CU provision and to continuously build upon the work we do in local communities.
What do others say about us?
Alongside the more formal evaluations undertaken the comments we receive from the children, their parents and carers, as well as the schools they attend, provide us with further evidence of just how engaged our CU Learners are.
- "The Children's University makes you want to go to school more. The courses are fun courses ... and you get the credits."
- "I joined the computer club and practiced really hard. I got better. We don't have a computer at home but I could take this one home. It really helped me."
- "I'm not so worried about putting my hand up or trying things out in class because that's what you do in CU. Nobody puts you down for trying."
- "I love learning new things."
- "I am not afraid to try things out even if I get it wrong."
- "I love the lectures!"
- "Now I feel much more confident about the work in class."
- "You don't have to be in school to learn."
- "Even if I am not feeling very well I'll still come to school because I don't want to miss Children's University after school."
- "What we do in the Children's University means a lot to me."
- "No one ever bullies you in the CU. It just wouldn't be what CU is like."
- "Going to university made me and my parents really proud. Like seeing me in a cap and gown. My mum said she never thought she would see inside a university. It just makes me feel proud."
- "Children's University has been a fantastic experience for all three of our children. They are three very different characters and Children's University has inspired and challenged them all."
- "Children's University has helped support our children's learning and widen their world. I wish you all the best for the future and hope you will be able to support many more children through the experience that is the Children's University."
- "Congratulations on a job well done and I am happy to spout off to all and sundry the benefit the Children's University brings the children and our wider community."
- "He's just a different person now; puts his hand up in class, joins in, volunteers to help, brims with a confidence that was never there before."
- "I really want to take the attitude that success out of school equals success in school. The Children's University has been invaluable in raising standards across the school."
- "Our data shows a direct correlation between success out of the classroom and performance in school."
- "The improvements in self-esteem as a result of Children's University participation directly translate into improved performances in the classroom."
- "It is much more child-led; they are given a lot more ownership of their own learning."
- "It is the enthusiasm and delight youngsters get from doing things and learning things they had not thought of before, exploring new areas, new ways of learning."
- "Watching the children and young people when we got to the graduation made all the work worthwhile, it was absolutely fantastic. You get such a buzz out of seeing the difference it makes to so many of them."