London University Gives Warm Reception to Tower Hamlets ‘Graduates’

Monday, 06 August 2012

A group of Tower Hamlets youngsters got a taste of university life recently when they donned caps and gowns for their very own graduation ceremony.

The children, from St Matthias Primary, were invited to the university on their doorstep - GCU London - to celebrate 'graduating' from Reception Year to Year 1.

Their proud parents were invited along to the postgraduate campus, on Spitalfields' Fashion Street, to watch the ceremony.

The event was organised by the university-led GCU London Club, which has been set up to engage with children in the area, raise aspirations, build skills and confidence, and ultimately show them what university life has to offer.

Clare Sealy, Head Teacher of St Matthias School, commended the event, describing it as: "A wonderful and inspiring occasion to celebrate the achievements of our reception class."

The graduation ceremony was the latest in a series of fun and educational activities the children have been undertaking in partnership with the university.

GCU London offers postgraduate courses across a range of sectors, and the pupils were recently invited to take part in taster sessions. These included science, with the youngsters having the chance to dissect owl pellets; and fashion, which saw the pupils creating their very own sock designs. Dietetic students and Club student mentors from the university have also been out to visit the pupils at their school, giving them the chance to take part in activities focussed on healthy eating.

Susan Grant, Project Co-ordinator, GCU London Club, said: "The children we have been working with at St Matthias Primary have so much potential.

"The special graduation ceremony was about encouraging them to realise this potential in the future with the support of their parents, many of whom came along to join in the celebrations."

One parent who was invited to the ceremony thanked GCU London for providing them with the opportunity and admitted it had got her thinking about the possibility of her son, Qaasim, going to university.

His mum Ruby (pictured) said: "It was very touching and a unique experience for our children. It has given us the idea that we could have a similar feeling in the future, watching our children graduating for real."

The GCU London Club plans to continue working with the pupils throughout primary school and even on to high school.

The Club is the London equivalent of Glasgow Caledonian University's award-winning Caledonian Club ( and is underpinned by GCU's mission "For The Common Good".


Issued by Beattie Communications on behalf of GCU London

Notes to Editors:

GCU London

GCU London is a postgraduate university campus, offering professionally accredited Masters level courses in the heart of the city.

Established in 2010 by Glasgow Caledonian University - one of Scotland's most dynamic and forward looking universities - GCU London provides a stimulating state-of-the-art learning environment against the backdrop of vibrant Spitalfields.

Combining an effective balance of academic study and practical experience, GCU London offers courses including Banking and Finance, Risk Management, International Fashion Marketing, International Human Resource Management, International Tourism Management, International Business, Construction Management and the first ever UK MBA in Luxury Brand Marketing.

The Caledonian Club / GCU London Club

The Caledonian Club ( is Glasgow Caledonian University's widening participation and community engagement initiative.   Part of the university's mission to promote the common good, the Club works with schools, children and families in the community to raise educational aspirations in young people and their families; build key life skill and confidence; measure the impact of Club interventions to understand what really makes a difference.  Since its establishment in 2008 the Club feels it is already making a notable impact on young people in terms of confidence and aspirations - this led to the decision to roll the model out to an even wider audience through the establishment of the GCU London Club which has the same objectives.