Sheffield Children's University

Sheffield Children's University (CU) is part of an exciting national initiative that encourages and celebrates participation in a wide range of inspiring learning opportunities outside school hours. National research shows a clear link between participation in study support activities and academic progress due to increased self-esteem and confidence. Research in Sheffield shows that children and young people who participate in out of school CU activities achieve better at both KS2 and KS4 and exceed their estimated results, whereas Non CU pupils do not meet their estimates. See the report at the bottom of the page for more detailed findings.

Many schools already offer a wide range of positive learning activities out of school time, such as lunchtime activities and clubs after-school, during weekends and in holidays.

The Children's University complements this by recognising and celebrating the importance of out of school hours learning ('Study Support').

There are also lots of exciting activities taking place across the city beyond schools such as karate, dance, cookery, forest school and media where children and young people can now earn CU credits with a Passport to Learning.

Children's commitment to learning is celebrated by recording participation in all aspects of voluntary learning through an awards system. Once credit is awarded for each hour of learning that takes place. These are then converted into awards:

  • Bronze (30 hours)
  • Silver (65 hours)
  • Gold (100 hours)

…and these continue right up to 1000 hours!

There are already many children and young people aged 4 - 19 years old across the city clocking up CU Credits and earning awards. Since the start of Sheffield CU in 2005, more than 15,000 children and young people have, between them, gained nearly half a million CU Credits.

It's easy to get involved:

  • Visit our  Schools Subscribed page to find out if your child's school is registered. Encourage your child to take up opportunities offered by the school and to attend regularly.
  • To collect extra credits, buy a Passport to Learning at a library for £2 and sign the front page so your child can collect credits at Learning Destinations
  • Encourage your child to join in other activities in your area
  • Recommend good organisations to us if they are not already CU Learning Destinations
  • Come along to the CU ceremonies when invited and celebrate your child's success! 

Passport to Learning

There are lots of fun and exciting activities taking place outside of normal school hours in different places across Sheffield where children and young people can collect learning credits. These credits will be added to the ones children collect in school to earn Children's University Awards. To collect these credits, they need a Passport to Learning. These are available to purchase at Sheffield libraries and some Learning Destinations now! 

All children and young people have to do is to ask their parents to sign the consent form inside the CU Passport to give permission for the Learning Destination to pass essential information to Sheffield Children's University (ourselves).

They can then take the Passport to any of the registered CU Learning Destinations across the city such as museums, libraries and local clubs and take part in their learning activities. Participation will be recorded on a register and the hours will contribute to the Award Certificates and badges sent to them through school.

Look out for the Children's University logo and Learning Destination posters! Please refer to the list of  Learning Destinations in and around Sheffield where you can begin to collect credits. 

Don't forget, there are Learning Destinations all around the country where you can earn even more credits by taking your Passport to Learning. Remember to fill in and return a  Diary sheet (this is available as a downloadable document) each time you visit one!

Visit the national Children's University Trust website to find the Learning Destinations.

The Passport is a new development for Sheffield Children's University. Organisations are joining all the time. If you already go to a club or group not on this list then you can contact us by email at and we'll invite them to join us.

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