Ashington Ceremonial Gowns is a family business with family values and have been robing academics for more than 10 years. Catering for every ceremonial occasion from Graduations to Church Confirmations, Television Productions and the Festival of Remembrance at the Royal Albert Hall to London Fashion Week, we pride ourselves on making each individual wearer of our robes feel extra special.
Students can make an individual purchase or hire, we can also organise a bulk order for a full University Graduation. Graduation is an important day for students so we also make sure we have some extra gowns just in case they are needed. Our full packages can include a professional photographer to make sure the special day is never forgotten.
At Ashington Ceremonial Gowns we understand that not all young people have the same opportunities when education is concerned. We feel strongly that every child deserves the best education possible. This is why we are proud to work in conjunction with IntoUniversity, to give every child the opportunity to reach their full potential.
IntoUniversity work in some of the poorest areas of the country, helping Britain’s most under privileged children maximise their potential and be the best that they can be. Ashington Ceremonial Gowns and IntoUniversity believe that every child has the potential to go to college or university if they are given the right encouragement and tools to do so.
Early intervention is key to a child doing well academically, this is why IntoUniversity invite children in to their Support Centres from Primary School age. They can access help and support with homework, GCSE coursework and gather information to further their education beyond school.
IntoUniversity also recognise that children do not always do well in every subject. Focus sessions are organised to encourage children in subjects that they enjoy, in a way similar to universities. This gives them a taste of university life and provides laser focus solely on a particular subject. This can help to encourage children to aspire and achieve a profession which, otherwise, could be beyond their reach.
A variety of mentoring programs are organised to allow students to access help and support from university students and graduates. Having support from someone who has been through the process is often better than advice from someone who hasn’t. The mentors work on a voluntary basis, this allows them to influence the next generation in a way that helps to promote the education system.
How can businesses help to educate the youth of today?
IntoUniversity does all it can to promote further education among the poorest children of today’s society and encourage attainment at the highest level. There are many ways that a business can support the academics of tomorrow from a one off (or regular) donation to advice and support. There is no better way to give back to the community of today and the society of tomorrow.
Ashington Ceremonial Gowns are proud to support IntoUniversity in any way we can, more importantly, we are proud to encourage children to attain their full potential and realise their dreams.
We live in the era of the Prom, an American tradition that over the last decade we have well and truly taken to our hearts, and has now become part of our popular culture. Designed to celebrate the end of obligatory education at the age of 16, the Prom marks the end of an era and a celebration of skills learned and the friendships made during secondary education. A time of fun and embracing the freedom that choosing your future educational path brings, the frivolity and indulgence of such an occasion is certainly a stepping stone for a teenager who is rapidly turning into an adult.
However, with the real emphasis on attending school being firmly on gaining a first class education, there is an increasing trend for Graduation Ceremonies that celebrate academic achievement at GCSE level.
As of this year, teenagers who do not achieve a grade C in Maths and English in their GCSE’s at age 16 will be obliged to continue studying these subjects until 18. With such a firm commitment to educational standards for our future generations, students now have more reason than ever before to try to achieve the required C grades at the first opportunity. But for those who find these core subjects a struggle, it is often a real challenge to get them to engage with the concepts required to reach the necessary grades.
However, just as a good teacher can make a difference to a child’s education, the promise of celebrating academic achievement with a Graduation Ceremony can be a motivational factor for teenagers who are keen to prove their worth. Just as stickers are enjoyed by primary students, and University students have a degree ceremony when they graduate, it is becoming common place that teenagers who reach the required C grades and above at GCSE level find the promise of a ceremony where they can wear an academic gown and be presented with their certificates in front of friends and family, will work that much harder to achieve success.
For many students, the thought of attending University is a far away dream that seems out of their reach, both on an educational as well as financial level, so being able to take part in a formal ceremony can become a very important part of their teenage years. At a time in life where confidence can be an issue and future decisions seem a heavy weight to bear, being provided with an opportunity to shine is worth far more than just a stepping stone to a positive future.
Encouraging children to do well should be at the core of every school. Deciding what you should be encouraging can be difficult and would depend on the age range of the students as well as the more common problems faced by those students.
For schools in an area where there is already high attainment the expectations would be higher. Unfortunately in today’s society there are an increasing number of schools in ‘deprived areas’. This gives an added pressure to teachers as these children generally do not perform as well as others.
Finding ways to motivate the youth of today is a challenge in itself, simply finding the best way to drive children to improve themselves can be difficult. The best way to avoid this is to start young. The younger the child the easier it is to please them with something simple.
Most pre-schools will encourage their students with a simple sticker for doing something as simple as trying to write their name. With some children just saying goodbye to mum at the gate is a major trauma, a sticker from the teacher can miraculously make this all better.
The younger the child the higher the chance of influencing a great education, encouraging each minor improvement will lead to great things in the future.
What can you reward students for?
Reading. This is a fundamental part of learning, without the ability to read a child will find it difficult to do any other subject at school. Reading at home is as important as reading at school and this can be one area where rewards are given.
Handwriting. As a child learns to write it will become important to write neatly so that others can read the work, rewarding improvements in handwriting can help to encourage other students.
Effort. Sometimes a child makes a big improvement in the effort they put in to their work, regardless of how well the child does in the task the effort itself should be rewarded. This will show that trying your best is better than not trying at all.
Attendance. Although school attendance is compulsory some children do not like to go to school, this is more of a problem in deprived areas. Attendance awards are a great way to encourage regular attendance at school. A simple certificate, presented in front of the school, signifies a dedication to learning. This may become more important as a child gets older but should be introduced early.
Schools face a daunting task of educating the children and preparing them for life as an adult. This doesn’t only involve academic education but also a moral education. Moral values are another way to reward a child, a small token of appreciation for showing others friendship will encourage a child to become a well-rounded and caring adult. Other values which could be rewarded are;
Perseverance. Not giving up when things are difficult.
Compassion. Showing others that you care about them when they are finding things a little difficult.
Love. I am not talking about romance, but being there when someone needs a shoulder to cry on.
As you can see, these values – among others - can help children to become responsible and caring adults, it teaches children that they should be thinking about the feelings of others and not just about themselves.
Rewards for good behaviour are more effective than punishments for bad behaviour, encouraging children in this way has great benefits for the future of society.
My name is Claire Stonier and my husband and I are running a non-profit charitable college in Zambia, where we are teaching 70 underprivileged young Zambian men and women the City & Guilds Diploma in Motor Mechanics.
PLEASE VISIT THEIR WEBSITE HERE
As well as the teaching college, we run a commercial vehicle workshop, the profits from which are used to run the college and give bursaries to our students, most of whom are orphans and could not otherwise afford for their education.
Our graduation ceremony is the highlight of the calendar and our graduating students go to a great deal of effort for the occasion. Mostly living in compounds, they cannot afford to hire gowns for the occasion, so we provide them. However, after 13 years of wear and tear (they were donated to us), many are tattered and in some cases ripped.
Your graduation – the culmination of your whole educational journey from the age of 4. You have worked for this moment, dreamt of it, and nowadays probably also paid a King’s ransom for it, so now is the time to celebrate your achievements!
Graduation ceremonies are your opportunity to receive the credit you deserve for your years of hard slog, and to gain recognition for your serious learning efforts in front of family and friends. A fairly formal affair, this is your chance to don the appropriate ceremonial wear, be given your graduation certificate in front of an enthusiastic audience and have photos taken for prosperity, photos that in years to come will also hopefully signify the start of your adult working life.
Like with all momentous occasions in life, the dressing up element is undoubtedly a huge part of it. Even the shyest of people enjoy their moment in the limelight, even if it’s brief, and looking the part plays a huge part in that.
So why when it comes to our graduation gown, why is it that we are often drawn into hiring our robes and hoods as opposed to buying?
When it comes to the other huge moments in life that involve ‘dressing up’, like weddings and christenings, hiring is not particularly seen as the first option, especially when it comes to a wedding dress. Admittedly men may hire their suits, but this is often down to the cost factor with the purchase versus hire cost equation landing overwhelmingly in the hire arena. But when it comes to gowns, often the purchase cost can be equal, or even less than the cost of hiring.
It is a fact that often Universities make the process of being able to purchase your attire ‘tricky’. With the fact that Universities have differing styles and colours, hiring is often the ‘easiest’ way to proceed. But this fact aside, why not consider purchasing the gown as a momento of the occasion and this significant life episode? Extremely competitively priced, owning your own gown is surely a better momento of the day than a stuffed teddy or mug?
So as much as our future children may like to dress up in Mummy’s wedding dress, there’s a definite argument to say that graduation gowns are the future of proud memories.
It has long been known that, to encourage achievement you need to reward achievement. Irrespective of what that achievement is, if you want to push someone to go further then you should acknowledge how far they have already come.
It is common practice to reward people in adult life, a pay rise or job promotion is often the most satisfying part of work and we work increasingly harder to secure this reward.
For children at school, the rewards are sometimes neglected. While the exam results can be proof of a job well done, waiting 11 years for some form of recognition can feel like a mountain to climb.
Many schools have now recognised this and have put in place a reward system designed to encourage a child at every level. Even at pre-school age there is a system in place to reward the smallest efforts of each child. To some, rewarding small efforts can seem a little extreme. If you think about all of the changes that a child has to cope with at that stage of their lives, what may seem small to you can be monumental to them.
As a child progresses through school, it is common for the rewards to be more difficult to attain – where once a child gets a sticker for writing his name, he now must read a whole book for the same reward. This natural progression ensures that the child is always challenged, and that the challenges are always attainable. The gradual difference in these challenges are also designed to prepare the child for the transition in to the adult world and working life.
While rewards are given for achievements, they also serve another purpose. Encouraging a child to always do their best is fundamental in a learning environment, while verbal encouragement has some effect, formal recognition goes one step further. It shows the child that their efforts are appreciated but it also shows other children that they can achieve the same things. Some people might consider this as a form of competition, although this is rarely the case among children as they see the world differently to adults. Although the child is receiving the reward for their achievement, the satisfaction can also be shared – at least in part – with the teacher. Seeing the delight in the face of the child can serve as a reward for helping that child get to where they need to be.
Graduation ceremonies for primary school leavers are possibly more important than any other reward they have received until this point. When you consider the age at which a child leaves primary education, the thought of moving up to secondary school is very scary. It is easy to see why children of this age need all of the encouragement and recognition they can get.
A 5 year old child who gets a sticker is just as elated as the graduate receiving a degree, and just as important.
Academic achievements are an important part of any students life. When a student does well, they become full of pride and confidence.
I am delighted to share with you an article on IntoUniversity, which was published in today’s Financial Times. You can access the article here (https://www.ft.com/content/643aacc4-99d7-11e6-8f9b-70e3cabccfae) , it’s also in the print edition if you’ve already purchased a copy.
The article forms part of part of a special report called ‘Architects of Meritocracy’ profiling different organisations working to promote social mobility. It reflects on the importance of early intervention and community-based support in order to help young people from disadvantaged backgrounds to aspire towards and achieve a place in Higher Education. As you know, these are both key features of IntoUniversity’s model. The article also highlights our work in Finsbury Park (IntoUniversity North Islington) and celebrates the unique funding partnership which has enabled the establishment of this new centre.
Graduation gowns are worn all over the world to celebrate great achievement, commitment and dedication. Where did the tradition of wearing a robe originate and why do we still wear them today? To find the true origins of the robes worn today we need to go back to a time when education was not freely available to everyone.
In the 12th and 13th centuries, educational facilities were often large buildings which were difficult to heat, causing a cold and draughty environment. To combat the cold the students, who were mostly clerics, would wear long robes. The early robes would have been very plain and unassuming, their sole purpose being comfort and warmth and in keeping with the law of the church. They were worn over the cassock and hoods would have been worn as a separate garment which also covered the shoulders. There were few changes to the robe around this time, although some clerics would refuse to wear them, preferring to wear just the tunic.
The benefits of a robe far outweighed the drawbacks, even when the environment didn’t require the extra layer for warmth. By the 14th century English Colleges stated that a robe should be worn by all students, the first uniform for educational institutions.
The colour and shape of the gowns became regulated with red being a royal colour, it was reserved for judges, bishops and the highest university officials. This resulted in the black robe being introduced as a standard dress for students. Since this time, there have been some variations to the shape and colour of robes. These changes were to signify the level and discipline of the wearer, hoods were also reserved for those of a higher standing. For students the hood was replaced with the cap. These were often the square shaped mortarboards which we still see today.
Over the last 200 years there has been a significant rise in the number of universities in the United Kingdom, prior to 1822 there were only 2 in England, 4 in Scotland and 1 in Dublin. This rise in numbers, along with today’s more open society, has led many universities to develop their own style of gowns. The traditional shape is often retained, it is often the colour and fabric which differs from institute to institute. It is also common for some universities to embellish the gowns with their coat of arms.
With so much choice now available, selecting a standard design for each college or university could become complicated. This is why there is a standard classification of the various styles of gowns, hats and hoods. This makes selecting the right attire for a college extremely easy. Not only are the gowns and hats listed for each of the universities, but also for the level attained. It is now far easier to determine the style of gown for a Master at Oxford or a Batchelor of Cambridge. Fortunately the list includes many of the new colleges and universities, giving a complete catalogue for Graduation Ceremonies nationwide.
One of the main reasons that the Academic Gowns are still worn for ceremonies today is that the rule still applies. Robes should be worn at Universities, however, in keeping with a more liberal society this rule is overlooked for day to day education. Wearing a robe at graduation gives a feeling of achievement and satisfaction which has been felt by students for centuries.
Graduation day is a momentous and special event in our lives and one that we spend a lot of time planning. Although planning a ceremony for the graduation day can be both exciting and fun, it is also a lot of work. But, with the proper planning, you can host a fabulous celebration and have one of a kind event. In many countries, there are emerging trends for graduation ceremonies that are moving away from the formalities normally associated with these events, and making them friendlier and much less formal.
If a group of people dressed in everyday clothes took the stage and began to sing, would the audience know what was going on? Now, what if they were wearing brightly coloured traditional choir robes?