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Junior Summer School 2018

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Academic Discovery Ages 8-10

Oxford Royale's Junior Summer School 2018
| St Mary's School, Ascot

An academic summer course available for one, two or three weeks in July and August. Examine a key question from STEM, Humanities and Arts perspectives and develop higher-order thinking skills.

1, 2 or 3-week options | Available July - August 2018

  • Live, dine and study in a top UK boarding school
  • Expert tutoring from ORA's tutoring faculty for juniors
  • Safe and fun learning and living environment
  • Make new friends in a truly international environment
  • Enjoyable cultural programme, including activities and excursions
  • Improve your English by interacting with native English speakers

Course Summary

Our Academic Discovery Programme offers students aged 8-10 years the chance to live and study in a top UK boarding school, investigating a key question from a variety of perspectives.

Taught lessons will combine with fun afternoon workshops to help consolidate what students have learned that day. Key questions such as “185 days in space: a poet’s dream or a zero-gravity nightmare?” will nurture a fruitful intersection of STEM priorities with the liberal arts. Rather than teaching topics in their minutiae (which often leads to an over-emphasis on content and facts) the goal is to enable pupils to achieve higher-order outcomes by interrogating information and applying skills in multiple contexts. Lessons will involve pitched debates, and all students will conclude their course with an assessed presentation.

Attendees on the Academic Discovery course will receive over 20 hours of tuition a week, allowing them plenty of class time in which to explore their key question from both a Arts and STEM perspective. This will provide broader exploration of the topic at hand, and application of new-found skills within a variety of contexts.

The course will culminate in an assessed presentation given to the class, in which students will demonstrate their perspective on their key question, and rationalise the thinking behind it.

Where could the Academic Discovery course lead you?

Why choose the Academic Discovery programme?

The Academic Discovery Programme is Oxford Royale Summer Schools’s most popular junior course, and offers younger students the chance to apply learning in a wider context than they may be used to in school. Students can explore their key topic through the combined lens of STEM and Arts, which will provide them with the ability to explore knowledge through a variety of different contexts.

How will the Academic Discovery programme help me?

The variety of key questions on offer means that no two weeks on this course are ever the same. Students can choose to study for one week only, or they can choose to study for several weeks and explore a variety of different topics through the disciplines of STEM and Arts, giving them an ever-wider context to their learning.

Is this the course for me?

If you are hoping to develop a love of learning and academic exploration, then this is the course for you. With rigorous tuition provided by ORA's tutors, as well as interactive workshops and enriching excursions, the Academic Discovery Programme is our most popular course for younger students for good reason.

Topics covered

Each week of study will be themed around a key question, framing the lessons and activities in a wider context. These themes will be:

Robots: a threat or a service to humankind? During the course, students will examine a range of robot-related big questions, such as “How have robots changed the way jobs are carried out?” and “How have robots captured our imaginations in literature?”
A poet’s dream or a zero-gravity nightmare? During the course, students will examine a range of space-related big questions, such as “What enables a soft landing?” and “What is space food like?”
Can we do more to protect people from natural disasters?To answer this key question, students will analyse some of the most extreme environments on the planet, including the people who live there and the human response to disaster situations.

In each case, students will explore the topic through scientific and arts-based lenses, leading to a wider investigation of the subject.

Students will not be able to study the same key question twice. Therefore, for bookings of more than 3 weeks in length, it is recommended that students combine the course with the Junior English Programme.

The grid below shows which key question students will investigate in each week.

Course Length Course Dates Key Question
Week 1 8 Jul – 14 Jul 185 days in space: a poet’s dream or a zero-gravity nightmare?
Week 2 15 Jul – 21 Jul Rise of the robots: a threat or a service to humankind?
Week 3 22 Jul – 28 Jul Extreme Earth: can we do more to protect people from natural disasters?
Week 4 29 Jul – 4 Aug 185 days in space: a poet’s dream or a zero-gravity nightmare?
Week 5 5 Aug – 11 Aug Rise of the robots: a threat or a service to humankind?

What will you get out of the Academic Discovery course?

By the end of the course, students will have:

  • developed a variety of STEM skills such as planning, carrying out and evaluating fair scientific tests
  • engaged with and developed a variety of Arts and Humanities skills such as historical enquiry, language analysis and taking part in presentations and debates
  • developed the skills with which to formulate and justify their own opinions on a variety of subject matters
  • explored the relationship between science and the arts and how the two can combine to form a well rounded appreciation of big issues
  • worked collaboratively to constructively question and evaluate each other’s work
  • enjoyed a diverse range of exciting, practical learning experiences which will ensure full engagement with the course.

Welcome to St Mary's School, Ascot - your home this summer

A birds-eye view of the facilities at St Mary's School, Ascot

Students on our Junior summer school courses at St Mary's School, Ascot, will enjoy the facilities of one of the top boarding schools in the UK, with its extensive grounds and well-equipped learning spaces.

During lessons, students will be taught by experienced tutors, while outside of class they will enjoy a varied extracurricular programme in a safe environment, led by our student counsellors.

The international environment, combined with top-quality tutoring in a world-class venue, make Oxford Royale's Junior Summer School the best junior summer school in the UK.

Students enjoying their time at St Mary's School
A group of students listening to a guest lecture
Two students sat on a bench at St Mary's School, Ascot

Useful information for students & parents


Students will be accommodated in comfortable twin or dormitory rooms, separated by gender - please contact our registrations team if you would like more information. Accommodation is the standard accommodation for school pupils who study at St Mary's School, Ascot, so students are able to get a flavour for what being a pupil at this prestigious UK boarding school is like. Bathrooms are typically shared between students of the same gender.

Pastoral care & student welfare

The programme is overseen by the Programme Director, who implements the day-to-day running of the programme. The Director is assisted by a team of Counsellors who are there to help pupils with their daily needs and to run activities for them outside of class. The Counsellors ensure that students are looked after pastorally, culturally and socially during their programme. Students are able to talk informally and frankly to the Counsellors in order to raise concerns or to discuss their course. Residential staff live in the school throughout the programme and are able to assist students at any time of the day or night.

Eligibility & pre-requisites

Students on this course:

  • Must conform to our age policy.
  • Must be fluent or near-fluent English language speakers – if you are unsure whether your English level is suitable for this programme, please contact our Registrations Team on and they will be able to assist you.
  • Must be able to fulfil the basic requirements of the programme, in terms of attendance at lessons, meals and events. Please contact our Registrations Team for more detailed information.
  • Should check the prerequisites of each course they select before enrolling.

Find out more

Find out more Immigration & Visas

Information and advice on securing your student visa.

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Find out more Arrival & Departure

Information about how to travel to and from ORA.

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Find out more Airport Transfers

Details of transfers between ORA and Heathrow Airport.

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Find out more FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions for more information.

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Academic Discovery Programme (8-10) is residential in the following locations:

(If your course takes place in more than one campus in the same city and you would like to know more about which location you will be allocated, please call our registrations team)

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