Screen Shot 2015-07-17 at 11.09.20After a week of graduations at the Stadium of Light the University of Sunderland held one final celebration to commemorate its youngest students, marking their final year before moving onto primary school.

A special graduation ceremony was held this week at St Mary’s Childcare Centre for children as young as three, where each child wore a traditional gown and their proud parents were out in force.

During the ceremony the children sang songs, and showcased 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 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. The awards were presented to the children by Brian Wilkinson from Sunderland City Council.

St Mary’s Childcare centre opened in 1990, and works with parents to provide high-quality education and care. They provide 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 presided over all of the graduations in the previous week, and recognises the importance of the centre for helping students, staff, and the children.

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.”