MORE than 260 dedicated schoolchildren donned caps and gowns as they were recognised for their achievements in a special graduation ceremony.

Pupils from 12 primary schools across the island were given certificates marking their dedication to learning outside of the classroom as they graduated from the Canvey Children’s University.

At the ceremony, at Cornelius Vermuyden School, in Dinant Avenue, Canvey, the graduates were given bronze awards for completing 30 hours of study, silver awards for 65 hours of work, and gold awards for dedicating 100 hours to their studies.

Cornelius Vermuyden pupils Scarlett Rad and Elyza Maryson were honoured with gold doctorate for 900 hours and gold fellowship awards for 1000 hours of study.

School governor Reverend Marion Walford presented the children with their awards.

Ian Hockey, deputy headteacher at Cornelius Vermuyden School, said: “It was a great honour to be the MC for Children’s University.

“It was quite moving to see the students file down the staircase to the fanfare and their families were upstanding and applauding until the last student was seated.

“I was particularly impressed by the students who stood up in the interlude to give their speeches to the audience.

“It takes great courage and confidence to stand up in front of a 400-strong audience and their families should be rightly proud of their performance.

The Canvey Children’s University was launched in June 2012 to encourage children to enjoy learning and taking part in activities outside the classroom.