Graduating is child's play in Carlisle

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Carlisle Cathedral is helping students young and old celebrate graduation season.

The historic Grade I listed cathedral is welcoming students of all ages this week for a series of formal ceremonies.

Tomorrow sees the first of eight events held over the next three days where around 1,000 graduates from the University of Cumbria will be honoured.

But it was the turn of the area's youngest aspiring students to be recognised for their learning achievements on Saturday.

Many of the 70 pupils from six local primary schools to take part in the Cumbria Children's University donned black gowns and mortarboards, watched by their proud parents.

Primary schools represented included Upperby, Yewdale and Robert Ferguson in Carlisle along with Raughton Head and Hayton village schools.

Children picked up a range of gold, silver and bronze awards in recognition of their efforts in this year's scheme.

The Children's University is run nationally by a publicly-funded trust which provides 7-14 year olds with learning activities outside of normal school hours.

It aims to raise aspirations among and help children developing a passion for learning.

All participants get a Passport to Learning that they collect stamps for the number of hours and experiences they complete.

In Cumbria is means visits to places like Tullie House Museum in Carlisle.

Cumbria Children's University is co-ordinated locally by Carlisle College, supported by the University of Cumbria.

Steve Salkeld, acting principal at Carlisle College, addressed the children and their families on Saturday.

He said: "Our learning partners cover a diverse range including higher and further education providers, museums, libraries, archives, the Woodland Trust, English Heritage and The Forestry Commission.

"With experiences beyond the classroom, the children have thrown themselves into a huge variety of activities.

"They range from music, theatre, sport, science and history, taking advantage of local facilities which earn them a succession of credits in their learning passports."

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