A SPECIAL graduation ceremony was held at the University of York this week to recognise the work of children from around the city.

The third York Children's University Graduation, for children who have carried out between 30 and 472 hours of extra-curricular activity under the Passport-to-Learning scheme, was held at Sir Jack Lyons Concert Hall on Monday.

A total of 148 children from 13 schools around the city received awards at the ceremony while wearing gowns and mortar-boards, and have volunteered at locations including museums, libraries, music and sports clubs.

Chief Executive of the Children’s University Trust, Ger Graus led the ceremony and the procession of the students, and said the scheme had improved since it launched in 2011.

He said: “I am honoured to be part of the York Children’s University Graduation. The enthusiasm and commitment of these children and young people is inspirational.

"York CU provides a wonderful opportunity for children to engage positively with local learning providers and businesses to achieve real-life learning. I officiated the first York CU Graduation in 2012 when 21 children graduated and I am delighted to see how much the programme has grown and developed and how the number of children involved has increased year on year."

The children, aged between five and 14, were presented with their certificates by the Lord Mayor of York, Coun Julie Gunnell.

For the first time, children were awarded diplomas, degrees and postgraduate awards for between 230 and 465 hours of learning, and this year also saw the launch of new interactive workshops and lectures for children and their families called CU in the City.

The workshops helped them learn about space from the university’s department of physics, with other students going behind the scenes at Bootham Crescent under the scheme, with participants logging each hour of extra-curricular learning they take part in.

To find out more about York Children’s University phone (01904) 323482 or go to childrensuniversity.co.uk/york