Current research and projects

Boy on a CU trip examining a plantContinuing to measure and demonstrate the impact of Children’s University remains central to the South Yorkshire CU strategy.

There are a number of ongoing research projects which have met ethical approval by Sheffield Hallam University. You can find more information about each project here including the data sharing agreements.

Growing Our Achievement, Learning and Skills (GOALS)

GOALS: Growing Our Achievement Learning and SkillsGOALS Breakfast Club (Growing Our Achievement, Learning and Skills) is an attainment raising project funded by Higher Education Progression Partnership South Yorkshire (HeppSY) and South Yorkshire Children’s University which is designed to support the progress of Y7, 8 and 9 students in target schools.

The aim of the initiative is to develop students’ independent learning, goal setting and problem solving through a series of fun, challenging activities. The project will consist of 12 x 30 minute Breakfast Club sessions taking place before the start of the school day. Breakfast will be provided free of charge for students. Existing evidence demonstrates a link between attendance and attainment, and the GOALS project is designed to test the impact of participation in the project on pupils’ attendance at school.

During the course of the project, participating students will be guided by HeppSY’s Engagement Co-ordinator to research and plan a funding application for a school enrichment resource. The project will culminate in the successful bid being funded by HeppSY and South Yorkshire Children’s University and presented by the participating students.

Evaluation of the project will be published here in due course.

Baseline Surveys

The successful Education Endowment Foundation (EEF) study (Durham University, 2017) into the impact of CU noted for primary age pupils who participated in CU activity, that ‘Compared to pupils in the control group, those in the treatment group were more likely to…report higher levels of communication, empathy, self-confidence, resilience, and happiness, after the intervention.’

Following this, South Yorkshire CU has taken the opportunity to undertake a research project through Sheffield Hallam University. Using baseline and exit surveys with pupils in Barnsley schools, the study will seek to assess the impact of CU participation on pupils’ attitudes towards the development and importance of skills, their confidence and motivation to learn, and their future aspirations.

Evaluation of the project will be published here in due course.