The Faculty speak their minds… | Oxford Royale Summer Schools

Some of the ORA faculty: seven experts assembled for one purpose.

These seven educators are all notable persons within their respective fields. They comprise one PhD, two soon-to-be PhD’s, two MA’s and two BA’s, and include an engineer, a biologist, a film-maker, a former lawyer, a published theologian, a literatus, and a business management expert.
When asked how they feel their students benefit from a Gap Year programme with Oxford Royale Summer Schools, and their course in particular, they had plenty to say…
Creative Writing & Literature teacher Kathryn Bevis, who holds a Theology D.Phil from Oriel College, Oxford, says:
“The students benefit by finding their voices creatively and academically, exploring different styles of writing and being motivated by different stimuli, such as the house and grounds of Yarnton Manor, access to the rich culture of Oxford, and access to each other, being able to draw knowledge from the opinions of their contemporaries.”

Students at ORA have the chance to look closely at some amazing things, always guided expertly.

Business teacher Hossein Shakri, who holds both an MBA and an MSc in Business Management and is currently working towards a PhD in Business and Management Studies, is most impressed by the quality of academic enrichment received by the students:
“They get to read real case studies, experience a real business environment. The excursions, such as the one to the Mini Cooper factory, help them understand and feel the theories and frameworks first hand.”
Law teacher Jackie Watson, a former lawyer and tax professional, who holds an MA in Jurisprudence from Hertford College, Oxford, is currently studying towards a second MA in Applied Positive Psychology. She said that:
“The best part of the gap year is the relevant skills the students learn, and the opportunity for development, both relevant to law and relevant to life. The learn analytical thinking, organisation of an argument, presenting skills, and how to think on their feet.
“Also, the programme benefits them in that teachers receive benefit as well. There is no syllabus leading up to an exam, we can indulge in teaching what we want to around our subject. This morning, we heard that [Aung San] Suu Kyi has finally spoken out about what’s been going on in Burma, and we spent all morning discussing it.”
Future Filmmaker teacher Bruce Windwood, an award-winning film-producer and script-writer who holds a BA in English and Drama from Christ Church University, was most complimentary about the extended project part of his course, saying “it gives the students an opportunity to indulge their attention.”
Derek Evans, the programme Dean and extended project mentor for the students, said “everything is challenging, stimulating, and interesting at Yarnton Manor!” He then proceeded to talk about his favourite habit; bird-watching in the grounds. “We encourage the pursuit of hobbies amongst the students. There are red kites everywhere here!”

Afternoon tea: a vital British custom!

Bruce, not to be out-done, told a story about helping his neighbours care for some baby owls. His description of the owls, “staring mystically out of the darkness” in his neighbours shed, was positively filmic.
Gap Year students and teachers are fuelled by plenty of tea and cake!
Bowen Cao, STEM teacher and soon-to-be PhD in Environmental Fluid Mechanics; and Ian Forrester; Medicine teacher and geneticist; were content to soak up the tea, cake and atmosphere during the ensuing banter. But it is clear that all the teachers at the Yarnton Manor International Study Centre were experiencing Oxford Royale’s Gap Year programme to the full, just like their students. An engaged teacher is an engaged class.
Do you feel like signing up for the Spring term? Go on, you know you want to…

Images: aung san suu kyitea and cake; all other images Copywright ORA