In just a few weeks’ time thousands of University of Sunderland students will celebrate graduating.

But, beating them to the punch, was this cute cohort who have set the bar high when it comes to scroll-collecting style.

A special graduation ceremony was held at St Mary’s Childcare Centre, the University’s on-site nursery for children as young as three, where each child wore a traditional gown and their proud parents were out in force to take pictures to remember the big day.

On hand to pass out the graduation certificates was Sir David Bell KCB, Vice-Chancellor of the University, attending his first ‘mini-grad’ ceremony.

During the afternoon, 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 teddy.

Jennifer Boyce, Deputy Childcare Manager at St Mary’s said: “This year’s graduation was a great success and was enjoyed by everyone who came along.

“We are very proud of all the children and want to take this opportunity to wish them lots of luck in the next chapter of their lives.”

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 more than a decade.

Sir David Bell said: “You might think that being the VC of a university is intimidating for me but I’m the only VC in the country who has also been a headteacher. And I’ve experienced being with reception age children only to suddenly realise that they are slowly undoing my shoelaces.”

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.

The Childcare centre was rated as ‘Outstanding’ when it was last inspected by Ofsted.