GOWNS were donned and caps thrown when graduates of Bury Children’s University celebrated the end of a busy year in style.

Primary and secondary school students aged five to 14 from across the borough have been taking part in the scheme, which sees pupils collect credits for hours of voluntary learning outside of school.

Earlier this month the Children’s University held its first primary graduation at Bury College.

Youngsters from Hollins Grundy, Mersey Drive, Park View, St Andrew’s Church of England and St Mary’s Roman Catholic primaries were rewarded for logging a combined 6,445 hours of extra-curricular activities including sports, uniformed groups, music, drama, art and museum visits.

Olivia Williams, a 10-year-old pupil at St Mary’s, was the borough’s highest primary achiever and received a silver postgraduate diploma for more than 665 hours dedicated to gymnastics.

The previous week saw a secondary graduation held at Bolton University to reward pupils from Bury Church of England High and The Derby High for their hard work and commitment.

Sarah Lockey, a Bury Children’s University co-ordinator, said: “Children’s University aims to promote social mobility and a love of learning, laying the foundations for children to aspire to further and higher education.

“Dressed in their caps and gowns and addressed by the Mayor of Bury, our young people were inspired to set their aspirations high so that one day they may well be doing the ‘real thing’ and graduating with an actual degree in their chosen field.

"Bury College has been superb in its support of the development and growth of Children’s University within Bury.”

For more information email burychildrensuniversity@ gmail.com go to childrens university.co.uk or follow @BuryCU on Twitter.