Sunderland students as young as three years old graduate
Released: Friday 20th July 2012 at 10:19
Children as young as three years old have graduated from the University of Sunderland.
A special graduation ceremony was held this week for the children at St Mary’s Childcare nursery to mark their final year.
The group of 24 children said goodbye as they wore traditional gowns and mortarboards for the event yesterday (Tuesday July 17). The children have been learning to count in Spanish and Italian as well as English during their time at the nursery.
During the ceremony the children sang a song in French called “Bonjour”, showing off their knowledge of the foreign language. The finale of the event saw all the children receive a certificate and a teddy bear.
The nursery, based on the University’s City Campus, is a popular facility for students and staff. This is the sixth year it has held a graduation. The children are all aged 3 to 4 and will now go on to primary school in September.
Susan Glendinning, Childcare Centre Manager, said: “Our children and staff have been planning the graduation ceremony for the last month during activity time within the nursery.
“Staff have brought in photographs of themselves graduating and have explained that the ceremony is a positive change which means the children are growing up and moving on.”
The awards were presented by caretakers Tracy Nicholson and Gail Fazakerley who work extremely hard behind the scenes to ensure the facilties are kept in good order for the young children.
Ms Nicholson, said: “This whole event has a massive impact on the children. You can see the emotions shown when everyone is looking at them and singing in front of an audience. You can also see the pride shown on their parent’s faces as they watch on as their children receive their certificates.”
St Mary’s Childcare centre opened in 1990, and works with parents to provide high-quality education and care. They provide childcare from birth to 12 years of age, with the aim of improving the lives of those who work and study at the University of Sunderland, and the lives of their children.
The nursery graduation was the brainchild of the University of Sunderland Vice Chancellor Professor Peter Fidler. He said: “At Sunderland we pride ourselves on providing life-changing opportunities for all. The years these children have spent at St Mary’s have given them a solid start to their educational lives, and hopefully one day we’ll be welcoming them both as undergraduate students.”