Hundreds of children set sail on our Humber Cruises

ABP and HEY Children’s University have worked to together to launch a series of educational cruise trips this week for over 260 children from across Hull.

The youngsters will step aboard The Yorkshire Belle from the Port of Hull and they will learn about the economic importance of the busiest estuary in the UK and its deep-rooted history.

Over four years, 1,000 primary school children have enjoyed this sea adventure and this time round they will experience views of Paull Sands and the Humber Bridge.

Simon Bird, ABP Humber Director, said: “We hope to inspire and educate future generations with this totally unique learning experience that runs across five days.

“Staff from ABP’s marine team will ensure they have a memorable trip by exploring the city from a different perspective, and for some, it may even be their first time aboard a vessel.”

Last year, ABP’s knowledgeable pilots and coxswains supported and guided over 40,000 shipping movements in the Humber. The Humber is one of the most difficult waterways to navigate due to constantly shifting sand banks.

As well as finding their sea legs, children will be singing and writing sea shanties which will improve their literacy and creative skills.

Natasha Banke, Director of HEY Children’s University, said: “We are so grateful for the funding that ABP provides. The children learn so much from taking part and it can mean a different long term outcome because of an aspiration gained whilst taking part.

“The cruises teach the children about the geography of the Humber, the economy of the Humber Ports and about the hundreds of various job roles available at ABP.”

Sidmouth Primary Graduate from the University of Hull

For many people, the first time they experience University life is when they are in early adulthood. But for a group of lucky youngsters from Sidmouth Primary School, they got to experience what it is like to go to University at the age of 9 and 10!

The University of Hull Business School and local charity Hull and East Yorkshire Children’s University (HEY) worked in partnership to provide a “day in the life” experience at the University of Hull. Marketing graduates were given the task to design an experience that would show the children what life is like as a student at the University of Hull, as well as designing a task for the children that would allow them to become “marketing students” for the day.

The children were welcomed to the Business School and were introduced to the students, hearing about their interests and studies at University. The children then went on an exciting tour of the campus, visiting places of interest such as the new Allam Medical Building, the Student Union and the famous 7th floor of the Brynmor Jones Library where they delighted at the panoramic views of Hull. They even spotted their school whilst they were up there!

Then it was time for the children to get creative with their marketing task – to design a new reusable coffee cup for students at the University. The designs included a cup that showed the flags of all of the different nationalities at the University; a cup that had a different symbol for every degree that you could study at the University; and a cup that had a secret code to crack for a free coffee.

Dylon Bennett, MA Marketing Student was impressed with the children’s work; “The creative designs by the children were bright and colourful, illustrating the day’s events, the history of the university and marketing ideas that we thought were outstanding.”

The students had the very difficult task of picking a winning design which would be printed onto a real coffee cup for the child to keep. They decided on the “secret code” cup by Aleksandra as they were very impressed that she had really thought carefully about the marketing of the cup.

With the marketing task a great success, there was only one thing left to do – graduate! The children had the honour of a visit from the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Hull, Professor Susan Lea, who wore her traditional graduation robes for the occasion. Each child, wearing their graduation cap and gowns, was presented with a graduation certificate and shook the hand of the Vice-Chancellor.

Professor Lea said “We were delighted to welcome the children from Sidmouth Primary school to The University of Hull for the day. We know how important it is to nurture the aspirations of our young people and it is wonderful that the children feel inspired to go to University as a result of their visit.”

The children ended their day with the obligatory “cap throw” outside of the Business School and were given a farewell speech by Dr Haseeb Shabbir, Subject Group Head for Marketing and Business at The University of Hull. He said “It was an absolutely delightful day for both the children and our students. We are already looking forward to working with HEY Children’s University to plan another opportunity like this for local children”

Rose James, Partnership Manager at HEY Children’s University said “We would like to thank The University of Hull for providing this fantastic experience. We now have 22 children desperate to go to University and I know some of them didn’t think it was possible for them before today”

Intergenerational Experience

Children spend valuable time with members of a local residential home, sheltered housing scheme or day centre, to bring classroom learning to life, as members reminisce about days gone by, giving children the opportunity to compare and contrast the past to the present day. The experience can be designed to complement your school’s current topic or to fit a seasonal theme.


  • To foster understanding and build relationships between generations to share experience and knowledge
  • To develop a deeper understanding of the past
  • To encourage empathy and raise confidence in speaking and listening
  • To raise children’s aspirations and gain an understanding of how they are intelligent
  • To understand the breadth of their local community
  • To bring classroom topics to life
  • To inspire children to pursue work in the care sector

A Typical Visit includes…

  • Introduction to the staff and members
  • Children spend time making crafts, drawing, reading to/with and chatting to members
  • Enjoy a drink and a biscuit together
  • Join in with singing or games
  • Themed activities e.g. gardening, how we used to live, the war, technology and communication, Easter, Christmas, exercise and keeping fit (activities can be themed around school topics

ERYC Comms Experience

See the source image


East Riding of Yorkshire Council and the Hull and East Yorkshire Children’s University are teaming up to offer pupils in the East Riding an insight into the world of communications and the media.

Pupils will learn about the skills involved in careers such as journalism, public relations and marketing and get the chance to put those new-found skills to the test with an exciting challenge at Brid Spa.



  • To discover what is involved in being press and marketing officers with East Riding of Yorkshire Council including the tasks they undertake and the purpose of their roles
  • To learn how to conduct interviews in order to get interesting information
  • To learn how to turn interviews into articles and social media content
  • To understand what makes a good photograph and how to take them
  • To learn how to record film footage and edit it to produce video content for social media audiences
  • To learn how to use social media effectively for publicity and marketing purposes
  • To gain an insight into how live radio is produced with BBC Radio Humberside

The Visit

Welcome and introductions form members of the East Riding of Yorkshire Council Marketing and Communications team.

Learn about a variety of roles with some hands-on workshops and activities including:

Social Media Editors – decide which content to feature on the Twitter feeds to best promote venues and activities.

Reporters/Press Officers – create questions to interview key members of staff and produce interesting posts for social media.

Photographers and video producers/Vloggers – taking eye-catching pictures, filming interviewees and using video editing software to finalise their footage. The challenge will be to use photos and video to tell the story of the venue, event or show depending on the location.

Feedback and evaluation of the day.

Engineering My Future: Ron Dearing UTC

See the source imageWeekly Update – Friday 28 February cover image


  • To raise children’s aspirations and interest in STEM careers
  • To foster understanding of STEM subjects and associated activities
  • To develop knowledge of the role of technology in future careers
  • To learn about the facilities at Ron Dearing UTC


  • Meet Ron Dearing staff and students
  • Tour of the building
  • Experience 3d and Virtual Reality software
  • Visit the Mechatronics and Engineering workshops
  • Take part in STEM problem solving activities
Weekly Update – Friday 27 March cover image





Creative Storytelling

This fun packed creative storytelling day for Key Stage 2 introduces pupils to the creative world of animations. During the day the pupils will be planning an animation with digital storyboards, capturing scenes by creating short videos and editing their final movie, adding graphics, sound effects and music to produce something they will be proud of.

Key elements of the day:

  • Plan a creative story by capturing images. The story will include an introduction, problem, dilemma, resolution and ending.
  • Animate characters and props scene-by-scene using stop motion technology.
  • Edit a final movie with sound effects, backing track and graphics to bring their animation to life.
  • The finished animations could be a great stimulus for creative writing projects.
  • Create professional looking posters to promote the animation.

All the completed animations and posters will be hosted in an app which can be shared with parents and the world!

The session is underpinned by 21st Century Skills (Communication, Collaboration, Creativity, Critical Thinking) and the pupils will also use the following skills:

  • Literacy
  • Digital Litearcy
  • Multimedia
  • Spoken Language

iPads and apps will be provided for the pupils to use throughout the day


Game Designer

Children will learn to design, build and program games in this exciting session.

Each gaming project is designed to foster children’s skills in critical and creative thinking, problem solving and  collaboration with peers.

There are three projects to choose from:

  • Puzzling Times (Key Stage 1)
  • My Very Own Game (Lower Key Stage 2
  • Who Wants to Play? (Upper Key Stage 2)

Once the digital games are complete they can be shared with players from around the world. The finished games can also be used as an exciting stimulus to further develop the pupils’ digital literacy skills using various multimedia tools to create high quality posters and videos, persuasive texts, invitations to games fairs, interactive guides or stories.

The session is underpinned by 21st Century Skills (Communication, Collaboration, Creativity, Critical Thinking) and the pupils will also use the following skills:

  • Literacy
  • Digital Literacy
  • Multimedia
  • Basic – Advanced Programming

iPads and apps will be provided for the pupils to use throughout the day.

Wanted Dragon

The pupils in Key Stage 1 will be amazed as they bring a dragon to life using the power of augmented reality. Working in pairs the children will take part in a number of highly engaging multimedia activities which conclude with the pupils designing a clever trap that will eventually capture the troublesome dragon.

Activities include:

  • Using augmented reality to bring their dragon to life
  • Creating a digital book to share with the world
  • Using digital storyboards to describe the dragon’s features
  • Designing a ‘Wanted Poster’ for the dragon’s capture
  • Producing an animated news bulletin to warn people about this dangerous beast
  • Using their imagination to design a trap to capture the dragon

The session is underpinned by 21st Century Skills (Communication, Collaboration, Creativity, Critical Thinking) and the pupils will also use the following skills:

  • Multimedia
  • Spoken Language
  • Literacy
  • Digital Literacy

iPads and apps will be provided for the pupils to use throughout the day

Digital Apprentice

This fun packed classroom day for pupils utilises the power of technology as they embark on developing an exciting new business idea.

During the project the pupils will:

  • Design and brand a pair of trainers with eye-catching logos
  • Create digital posters
  • Produce and edit professional looking marketing videos
  • Bring a new trainer design ‘to life’ using augmented reality
  • Delve into the finances of the business by investingating marketing and sales costs to produce profit/loss accounts
  • Package all the multimedia content into their own unique app which can be shared with the world!
  • Pitch their business to an audience ‘Dragons Den’ style


The session is underpinned by 21st Century Skills (Communication, Collaboration, Creativity, Critical Thinking) and the pupils will also use the following skills:

  • Business and Enterprise
  • Digital Literacy
  • Multimedia
  • Programming
  • Mathematics
  • Handling data[

ipads and apps will be provided for the children to use throughout the day.


Growing up North: How can we inspire our children to have pride in the places they live?

HEY CU is extremely proud to have contributed to the recently published Children’s Commissioner’s report, “Growing up North”. Our Director, Natasha Banke, was invited to create a blog about a topic that HEY CU is passionate about : How can we inspire children to have pride in the places they live?

How can we inspire our children to have pride in the places they live? Children must understand the history of where they are from, they need to learn about the positive role models and ambassadors from their city and finally they need to understand what educational and career opportunities there are in the cities they live in.

Hull and East Yorkshire Children’s University (HEY CU) is a charity that works with schools regionally in areas of disadvantage. Children are provided with opportunities outside the classroom that make the learning that goes on at school real and relevant to their futures. HEY CU inspires children to go on to careers and educational pathways they never knew existed, and we instil the confidence to do so in them. Giving children aspiration, confidence, curiosity about the world around them and resilience is the cornerstone of the charity’s work.

HEY CU was pleased to work in partnership with Anne Longfield the Children’s Commissioner and her team to help explore the issues affecting education in Hull and East Yorkshire. Together we visited a school who had taken part in our HEY CU Ambassadors Experience as well as other HEY CU workplace Experiences. The children visited the city centre to learn about what it means to be a good ambassador for your city and school. They interviewed members of the public (with adult help) and learned about what people love about their city. The children do some research on ambassadors and then do a trail of the city using a map to find the statues of seven ambassadors from Hull. We ask the children what they know about Hull before and after the experience. The difference in children’s attitudes towards their city changes dramatically once they know and understand what a brilliant place it is to live and how many inspiring people come from Hull. 86.4% of pupils who took part in the Ambassadors Experience in 2017 said the Experience made them feel proud of their city. The Ambassadors Experience is followed up with visits to workplaces of key employers in Hull, for example, Smith & Nephew, ARCO, P&O Ferries and Associated British Ports, the Centre for Digital Innovation, GGP, British Aerospace. It’s important for children to see first-hand the jobs that they can aspire to do locally. We also facilitate visits to educational institutions to show children the variety of educational pathways that are available to them such as the UTC in Hull and the University of Hull. It is important to inspire and educate children as early in life as possible so that they can know what opportunities are available. Children can only aspire to what they know exists.

Over 5000 children a year plus 203 living in foster care take part in HEY CU experiences every year. We see the significant impact these experiences make in children’s lives. The future is as bright as our young people are and we can’t wait to see what they become in the future.

The main findings in the Growing up North report can be found here.

You can read the full Growing up North report here.

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