Five students from Wingham Public School got a taste of the Pomp and Circumstance of graduation ceremonies when they graduated from the Children's University at Newcastle, on Monday, October 28.
The graduation ceremony looked like any other graduation held in the Great Hall at the University of Newcastle, with the only difference being the people wearing the caps and gowns were pint-sized and came from many different primary schools.
The graduation was a highlight for the children, with onstage fireworks completing the ceremony, which was followed by free food and a photo booth.
The Children's University program places an emphasis on experience as a significant learning tool.
"It's a program where they have learning partners and learning destinations where the kids can go and learn different things that aren't necessarily taught at school," Wingham Public School teacher, Sharon Middleton explained.
All students in Stage Two were invited to take part, with eight students electing to. Two of the students are yet to complete their hours, with Ava Gilbert, who did have hours completed, unable to attend the graduation ceremony due to a dancing commitment.
Hours are accrued for undertaking a wide variety of activities outside of school, with the hours recorded in a learning passport. Depending on how many hours were completed, participants were awarded with a bronze, silver or gold award. Of the five attending graduation, Tyler and Charlotte recieved gold awards, Peyton a ailver award and William and Nate a bronze award. To get a gold award, Charlotte accrued 126 hours of learning outside of school
Sport is considered a learning activity, however hours are capped at 10 for sporting activities.
In addition to sport (including dance), other activites the Wingham students accrued hours for were writing book reviews, movie reviews, or video game reviews, making their own cookbook, designing their own room, designing their dream house, creating their own My Kitchen Rules menu, cooking with parents, bushwalks, and family bike rides.
Learning partners in the area included the Bunnings Saturday workshops for kids, plus any activity at the Manning Entertainment Centre or Manning Regional Art Gallery.
"They also have monthly challenges that they can complete," Ms Middleton said.
Most of the kids enjoyed the program so much they are continuing on with it, and they may be joined by more students in the future.
"We're actually hoping to extend it next year. A lot of the parents have indicated that they would really like for their other children to do it," Ms Middleton said.