3 weeks in to Summer 2018

Yarnton Manor has already entered it’s third week of Summer 2018, and what a great three weeks it has been for both students and staff! We have welcomed students from around the world and provided them with unforgettable moments during their unique summer experience at Oxford Royale Academy’s historic 17th-century manor house in the splendid village of Yarnton, just 15 minutes from Oxford city centre. Let’s have a look at what the students have been up to over the past three weeks.

Yarnton Manor has welcomed the first cohort of ORA’s Summer School 2018. 

Without a doubt, we have seen an array of energy and excitement from the students as they come out of stimulating classes, workshops and enriching social activities. As always, students can expect world-class teaching in their chosen subjects, as well as an exciting programme of social and cultural events to enjoy outside of the classroom. All students have had the exciting opportunity to experience a traditional Oxford past time of punting, which has certainly been an unforgettable moment for some. As well as trying to get to grips with how the punting pole works, students were also challenged when faced with low hanging trees and sticky bog in the river!

Students always have fun when they go punting! 

All students on Summer School programmes have the chance to test their debating skills with the ORA Great Debate. This has been a challenging experience for students, but they worked well together as a team to bring forward opposing ideas and arguments over a controversial topic. One of the debates was chaired by our guest speaker,  Jessica Steinberg who is currently studying a DPhil in Socio-Legal Studies at the university of Oxford, with the title “This house believes that we should not follow social norms or linear trajectory”. There were of course two teams; opposition and proposition, split equally among the students, who discussed and debated passionately about this challenging topic.

The ORA Great Debate gives students the chance to show off their critical thinking and debating skills.

It’s great to see students chatting together every day while enjoying the stunning surroundings of the Yarnton Manor grounds, where they laugh about the day’s activities, share ideas for their assignments, or simply unwind over a game of table tennis or football. There have been plenty of physical activities organised for the students after their lessons, including basketball, salsa lessons, badminton and a classic British Summer sport, cricket.

There are plenty of opportunities for students to let off steam with outdoor games and sports. 

Adding even more insightful value for the students was the University Life and Applications workshop held earlier this week, with students even taking advantage of the summer sun outside on the lawn as they learned about life as a university student and how to nail the entry interviews. The workshop was the perfect opportunity for the students to ask any questions they had about higher education, and to learn tips on how to make an outstanding application for university. Through an exercise which involved working in pairs and changing partners regularly, students were able to find out more about each other and practise being interviewed for a place at university.

Students interview each other on the Yarnton lawn. 

Particular highlights for the students were the themed parties and the student talent show. While tonight students get to enjoy a Neon-themed party at the beautiful Oxford Town Hall, students from Session 1 had a fantastic time and lots of fun at a Caribbean party while overlooking the Cherwell River at the Cherwell Boat House. The evening included riding the waves on a surf machine, coconut games and a limbo competition! The parties are always a momentous evening for the students, giving them the chance to laugh, dance and have lots of fun together.

Riding the waves on the surf machine at the Caribbean party!

The classes have also provided engaging and interesting moments for the students. For those taking medicine classes, being able to dissect a lamb’s heart was a real highlight, particularly because they had never been given the opportunity to do something so fascinating before.  Every evening, we provide students with Assignment Support, and we have seen students really taking advantage of this extra study support throughout both sessions, which really emphasises their willingness to reach their full academic potential.

Heart Dissection during a medical class. 

It’s certainly been a great three weeks into our 2018 summer schools here at Yarnton Manor, with mostly great weather and a whole range of experiences enjoyed by students. More afternoon and evening activities have included film nights, croquet and Bullet Journal making, as well as exploring the city of Oxford and its historic sites. A particular top feature for students was the Scavenger Hunt, where students had to carry out challenges around the city of Oxford in order to earn points and prizes. Challenges included finding Harry Potter artefacts and finding a street name with the same name as someone in the team! The students also get the opportunity to visit London and to watch a musical in the West End, which is always an enjoyable afternoon to spend away from classes. This week the students even visited the Museum of Natural History in London, and experienced the modern technologies of virtual reality.

A photo opportunity during the Scavenger Hunt around Oxford. 

There is certainly much more to come from Summer 2018 with more campuses welcoming students from all over the world for the summer experience of a life time. We wish the students a fantastic final week ahead and hope to see more smiles as Summer 2018 continues in full swing!

The girls pose and smile for the camera after a hard day’s work.