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Children's University

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for all the latest news and learning destinations's University ePassport App

The CU ePassport app is a great tool for locating designated learning destinations up and down the country. Download the app, take your passport with you to a destination and earn hours! A fabulous tool for the holidays.

General information:


The Children's University Essex have increased the price of a passport to £5.00.  The increase took effect from 1st January 2017.  



Please order new/replacement Passports on



Floristry workshop for students aged 10 to 16

Linked nicely to our Horticulture Challenge we are very pleased to share with you details of a floristry workshop for students aged 10 to 16 being offered by Writtle University College This activity is also a CU Learning Destination.

Designed to nurture their creativity, students are are invited to join professionally-trained staff in the specially-designed Floristry building at Writtle University College to create Easter trees and delicately-designed vases of flowers. All students will get to keep their creations! 

The workshop will run from 10am - 2.30pm on Monday 10th April 2017. 

All students must take a packed lunch with them. 

Places, which are very limited, are priced at £20 per student and include all of their materials. 
Payment is taken via cash or card upon your arrival. 

All staff are DBS checked.

You will find all the details, including how to make a booking, here.

As with all CU Learning Activities we'd love to see pictures of your CU Learner's creations and find out more about the skills they used and the experience they had.

Details can be emailed to




CU Horticultural Challenge 

Looking for new ideas and learning experiences validated now that warmer days and lighter nights have arrived?  We hope that our CU Horticultural Challenge will help.  It's National Gardening Week between the 10th and 16th April and we thought it provided us with a fabulous new theme.  Complete any of these activities between now and the end of May to receive stamps in your Passport to Learning.

To collect the learning stamps for completed challenges, CU Learners should take their evidence, together with the completed challenge record which is available on the Essex Children's University website, to their CU School Coordinator or directly to us in the CU office.

You can download a copy of this challenge from our website.


Look at a seed packet to see what sort of information it provides then design your own. It can be a real plant or an imaginary one.   1 hour of learning on submission of your seed packet or photos of both sides, together with a challenge record.


Find out about some of the weeds that gardeners have to look out for and design a weed 'wanted' poster. Can you find any poisonous weeds. Show/describe what the weed looks like and list its characteristics such as height, flower, colour, shape.  What will your reward be?  1 hour of learning on submission of a copy of your poster.


Make stone markers for any plants that you have or are growing. Use gouache or acrylic paints to paint large stones and write the name of the plant or make it look, for example, like a strawberry.  1 hour of learning on submission of the stones/photos of your stones and a challenge sheet.


Earthworms are great for the garden. Make an earthworm hotel by filling a 2 litre plastic bottle with layers of sand, dirt and leaf litter with some water for moisture.  Add some earthworms and see what they do, recording a log of their activities.  1 hour of learning on submission of photos, your log and a challenge record sheet.


Make a Ladybird seed bomb with a ball of moist soil.  Make it into a Ladybird shape and add large seeds such as sunflower or nasturtium for the spots.  Throw your Ladybird down on the school, watering if necessary and see what grows.  30 minute learning stamp upon submission of photos and a completed challenge sheet.


Grow a cress head.  Put the foot end of a pair of old tights over a cup, sprinkle in cress seeds and top off with compost.  Tie off the tights, turn it the right way up and then use elastic bands to make nose/ears & decorate.  Put on a saucer and water well.  When the seeds germinate cut a cross (X) at the top for the seed to grow.  1 hour learning stamp upon submission of a photo of your cress head and a challenge record.









You might like to visit one of our CU Learning Destinations with a 'horticultural' theme.  For details of eligible activities for learning stamps visit our website


Visit Marks Hall Estate near Coggeshall

Visit Highwoods Country Park, Colchester

Visit Bobbit's Hole Nature Reserve Dovercourt, Harwich

Visit Hyde Hall near Chelmsford


New to Children's University:


The CU are now providing exciting and fun lectures in order to compliment children's learning.  The first one local to Canvey Island will take place in Southend-on-Sea on 3rd December.  The lectures are free of charge and booking is essential via Eventbrite.  Please see document below for full details.