Some super-young University of Sunderland students recently celebrated their graduation.

You might have heard incredible tales of ultra-bright kids finishing off their degrees at the age of 15 or 12 or perhaps even 10, but some of these Sunderland students were as young as three.


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Sunderland Magazine (@sunderlandmagazine) on

The kids were attendees of St Mary’s Childcare Centre, a campus-based nursery for the children of University of Sunderland students and staff.

At their ‘graduation ceremony’, each child wore a traditional gown as their proud parents snapped pictures of their big day.

Certificates were given out by the university’s vice-chancellor Sir David Bell KCB, who was officiating at his first ‘mini-grad’ ceremony.

During the ceremony, the children sang songs and showed off some of the skills they’d learnt at the nursery, including speaking Spanish and French. Each child was presented with a certificate and a teddy bear.

The deputy childcare manager of St Mary’s, Jennifer Boyce, 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.”

 St Mary’s Childcare Centre – which is rated as ‘outstanding’ by Ofsted – has been holding the mini-graduation ceremonies for over a decade. The centre opened in 1990 and provides childcare to children from birth to the age of 12.


Sir David Bell KCB said, “You might think that being the VC (Vice Chancellor) 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.”

(This article’s featured image is courtesy of Animated Heaven, from Flickr Creative Commons.)

Get Sunderland Magazine in your inbox.

* indicates required


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here