YOUNGSTERS in Southampton had the chance to experience all the pomp and ceremony of a real graduation ceremony as the waved goodbye to their Early Years education and headed off to ‘big’ school.

To mark the important transition, pre-schools in the city held their very own ceremonies as a special way of saying goodbye and to mark their achievements while at the settings.

Appropriately the gowns did not look out of place at the University of Southampton day nursery where about 25 children took part in the event at the on-campus nursery.

Parents watched on as youngsters took their turn to collect their certificate to mark their time at the nursery after hearing a few words about what they have achieved while they were there.

Manager Tracy Pointon said: “It is just a lovely way of them marking their time with us and the fact they are going off to school.

“We make it a real celebration with drinks and cakes in the garden afterwards.”

A similar ceremony was held at Regents Park Pre-School where 26 youngsters also donned their cap and gowns for the event.

Practitioner Teresa Caldwell said: “It is a lovely way of saying goodbye and something for the parents and children to remember.”