University sends youngest graduates on their way

Riley Maliehe with his mum Bonnie and Daisy Imogen Hall.
Riley Maliehe with his mum Bonnie and Daisy Imogen Hall.
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The University of Sunderland has been celebrating its latest batch of graduates.

A special ceremony was held to commemorate its youngest students, marking their final year before moving on to primary school.

A graduation ceremony was held at St Mary’s Childcare Centre for children as young as three, where each child wore a traditional gown and cap and their proud parents looked on.

The nursery, based at the University of Sunderland’s City Campus, is used by both students and staff, and they have been holding graduations for the last nine years.

During the ceremony, the children sang songs and showed off some of the skills they had learned during their time at the nursery, including learning Spanish, French, and English.

They were then presented with a certificate and a cuddly monkey.

Susan Glendinning, childcare centre manager, said: “Over the last month the staff and the children have planned the graduation ceremony.

Using some of the staff’s own experiences in graduating, we have helped to show the children how positive the experience is.”

The awards were presented to the children by Brian Wilkinson, from Sunderland City Council.

St Mary’s Childcare centre opened in 1990, and provides 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.

University of Sunderland Vice Chancellor Shirley Atkinson recognises the importance of the centre.

She said: “The University of Sunderland provides life-changing opportunities, irrespective of age.

“St Mary’s has given the children a great start in education and we hope to see them again as they cross the stage in the future.”