Schools Case Studies

St James’ Academy

When Jane first came to St James’ Academy in 2007, a key area of development for the pupils was writing. She felt she needed to find a way to inspire the children to write for a real purpose. She had already heard about the work of Hull Children’s University through other colleagues and decided that this provided an opportunity to raise aspirations, provide pupils with an experience of the world of work and provide a foundation for writing for a real purpose. She met with John Butterick shortly after arriving at St James, and has been working with the Hull Children’s University ever since.

Jane has found that the Hull Children’s University experiences opens doors to opportunities and companies that her school would otherwise struggle to access. The modules are well designed, organised and risk assessed which means they can participate in the confidence that their pupils will achieve maximum benefit from the many different experience on offer.

The experiences are always a hit with pupils and staff alike. Jane has seen a positive impact on outcomes since working with the Hull Children’s University especially around areas of development that are difficult to measure, such as raising aspiration and self-esteem, developing confidence and broadening horizons. On top of this, teachers are always eager to take up opportunities to work with the Hull Children’s University as they provide the chance to further develop classroom learning in a unique way. Jane has actively encouraged other head teachers to get involved with the charity as a result of the fantastic experience she has had.

Clifton Primary School

Rachel Wilkes is the head teacher at Clifton Primary, a school which has been involved with the Hull Children’s University for a number of years now. Hundreds of children at Clifton Primary have benefitted from seeing the world beyond the boundaries of the city though the opportunities available through the charity.

What Rachel really likes about working with the charity is that Hull Children’s University understands that for children to learn effectively they need to see and experience things for themselves. By creating learning opportunities that inspire and motivate children, the charity which broaden their horizons and helps them to see the possibilities that are open to them in life. To add to this, all of the tutors and volunteers on the trips are enthusiastic, knowledgeable and excellent role models for children.

Pupils at Clifton Primary are always overwhelmingly positive about the experiences they participate in through the Hull Children’s University. Rachel would highly recommend getting involved with the Hull Children’s University to any other schools saying that helping to give children memories that will last a lifetime is a pleasure and a privilege.

St Anthony’s Primary School

St Anthony’s Primary School has been working with the Hull Children’s University for a number of years and children have participated in a wide range of experiences, from the ABP and P&O Ferries experience, to the overnight London experience, Kip on a Ship. As many of the children who attend St Anthony’s live in one of the most deprived areas of the city, these experiences offer them the chance to experience things they otherwise would not have the chance to.

Jenny Lindsay, a teacher at the school, believes that these experiences have been extremely valuable to the children’s learning and aspirations. As a result of the opportunities they have been given through the Hull Children’s University, pupils have become interested in things beyond their limited experiences and the activities have made them aware of the wider world in general.

The visits create a sense of excitement around learning even before they start and after they have finished. Prior to visits, the pupils research where they are going and following their visits they have engaged in writing about their experiences and writing blogs. After going on a London with Parliament experience, St Anthony’s School entered the Speaker’s School Council Award and were highly commended. The impact these experiences have is tangible.

It’s not just the further afield experience that the school enjoys; the local events are equally as valuable as the more adventurous ones because it shows children what is available in their own city and its local surroundings. Many of the children at St Anthony’s were not taken to see the Blade when it was in the city centre, and the local trips make sure they get to experience everything their home has to offer.

All of the school staff are amazed at the work the charity does and how it brings learning to life in a way relevant to the curriculum. Teachers who have accompanied trips often hear the children say that it was the best experience of their lives. The work that the Hull Children’s University does offers benefits to children, teachers and parents and Jenny would emphatically recommend working with the charity to other schools.

Stepney Primary School

Paul Browning is the current head teacher at Stepney Primary School and he was a teacher at Francis Askew between 1996 and 1999. At this time, Hull Children’s University founder, John Buttrick was an assistant head at Francis Askew, so Paul has been involved with the work of the charity from the off.

Children from Stepney Primary have been on a wide variety of trips. They have done a number of London trips and have also participated in the local activities around Hull. Recently, a group got the chance to work with the BBC on an amazing television project. Such experiences never fail to make the pupils wide-eyed with excitement and awe. Paul feels that the experiences have not only given them knowledge and new skills but also opened their minds to a whole host of new possibilities.

It’s not just the children at Stepney Primary who love working with Hull Children’s University, the staff also have nothing but praise for the organisation. The teachers and staff at Stepney have found the charity’s organisational skills to be second to none. Paul says that the activities run like clockwork and the charity never fails to deliver.

Paul believes that the Hull Children’s University has ignited flames in many, many children and he hopes that it will, and certainly deserves to, continue to do so for a long time. For anyone not yet involved with the charity, Paul would offer this token of advice: ‘Don’t just dip your toes in, dive in fully clothed and let the Hull Children’s University fill you and your pupils minds with endless possibilities’.