Summer School Update

Students standing with their eggs

We have already entered Session 4 of the 2018 Summer School, and what a busy time we’ve had at Oxford Royale Academy!
Students from all of our campuses have been trying their hands at new skills, meeting new people and exploring iconic British cities. As we enter into Session 4, we take a look back at Sessions 1-3 and the fun our students had.
Session 1
Session 1 students enjoyed an extensive range of activities during their stay at Yarnton Manor with ORA.
During Session 1, our students took a trip to London to see the renowned ‘Matilda’, an excursion that was entertaining to all. Visiting London was a first for many students, and the experience was certainly a jolly one.
Alongside cultural adventures, our Session 1 students studied hard and learned how to make soap, salsa and participated in three English traditions: Quizzing, punting and trying a Sunday Roast! Team Chicago took the quiz prize, narrowly defeating their peers, laughter was heard at Cherwell Boat House as the punters glided past, and the roast was definitely a tasty and enjoyable experience.
The ORA Talent Show saw Aiko take first place with her impressive rhythmic gymnastics, but commendation was also given to dancer Paula Katrina and piano-player Ayushi. The students had fun showcasing their diverse talents, and the evening was a great success.
The first ORA Great Debate took place in early June, showcasing the amazing abilities of our students. With a complex title to argue – “This house believes that we should not follow social norms or linear trajectory” – the task was not easy. Guest speaker Jessica Steinberg chaired the debate and was extremely impressed by the range of arguments and strength of delivery.
The first week ended with a Caribbean themed party that got everyone in the mood for sun (which was, thankfully, shining in England!). The following Friday saw Graduation and the final party, giving students the opportunity to say goodbye to their friends and celebrate their accomplishments at ORA.

Students sitting on grass at Yarnton Manor
Students participated in a University Life workshop, preparing them for university interviews.

Session 2
Session 2 at Yarnton Manor saw many returning students screaming in excitement as they arrived, raring to start Summer School as soon as possible.
Lessons and classes began immediately, enabling students to get going straight away. Students were prepared for university with interview practice and an end-of-week neon party at the Manor. Glow sticks and disco lights illuminated the room and gave students the chance to release their energy, following a relaxing afternoon of meditation and yoga.
Session 2 students were lucky enough to visit the Natural History Museum in London to experience interactive exhibits and learn more about the natural world. Virtual reality equipment created an immersive excursion, and taught the students all about natural history.
The brilliant weather enabled some classes to be taught outside, including the Enterprise and Team Building Masterclass. An Egg Drop Challenge saw innovative and logical thinking take centre stage in an effort to build a protective structure to prevent an egg from cracking when dropped from a height. Alfie from the UK, Nicolas from Norway, Fillipo from Italy , Rebecca from Italy, and Nicolas from Honduras took the prize for the most protective structure – congratulations!
Graduation was a spectacular event to end the two weeks, with students individually presented with unique certificates to highlight their achievements during the Session. Fruit cocktails and food on the lawn was a fitting end to a wonderful and fun-filled two weeks for Session 2 students.

Students standing with their eggs
Students at Yarnton Manor took part in an Egg Drop Challenge

Session 3
Arrivals for Session 3 spread out across ORA campuses in Oxford, Cambridge, Stanford, London and St Andrews.
Engaging guest speakers started the exciting week with inspirational talks, whilst course-specific workshops at St Catharine’s (Cambridge), such as creative writing and forensic science, got intellectual juices flowing. Students also had the opportunity to visit the Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology in order to learn more about human history.
Queen’s college (Oxford) enjoyed a Soap Science workshop and left smelling like roses, whilst students in London at Imperial college marvelled at the architecture during a tour of the city. An afternoon punting also gave all the students a laughter-filled day, with many pointing out the diverse species of swan and duck that glide down the river. The Scrap Fashion show was another highlight, allowing the students to showcase their creativity using just scraps of material! The end products were impressive and innovative, showing the skills of the Session 3 students.
The Scrap Fashion Show at Queen’s was a marvellous success!
Students at Imperial College also visited the Emirates Aviation Experience in Greenwich in order to understand how to fly a commercial aircraft. The simulator gave students the opportunity to fly an Airbus A380 or Boeing 777 through the virtual skies, an exciting endeavour for everyone involved. Students at LMH, on the other hand, marvelled at Warwick Castle this week, where they could walk the ramparts and explore the exciting and mysterious Horrible Histories maze.
Clare College (Cambridge) sent students punting,a unique and traditional activity in both Oxford and Cambridge. Students later visited the Crystal in London which gives a futuristic insight into how cities will change in the future. Balliol College (Oxford), on the other hand, hosted a British Parliamentary-style Debate and a vintage circus party, held at a 12th Century Manor House.
The students at St Andrews spent time strolling around the beautiful city and absorbing the Scottish atmosphere in the first week of their visit. The Business trip to the Hydrogen Office project was a highlight for Session 3 students, teaching about sustainable and renewable energy. A visit to the beach allowed students to relax, with some even braving the cold Scottish sea! In an unusual twist, students at St Andrews ended their first week with a trivia party, including problem-solving games.

Students on St Andrews beach at sunset
Students at St Andrews enjoyed a relaxing evening on the beach

St Peter’s College had a technical time during an animation film-making workshop which taught stop-motion skills, the technique used for programmes such as Wallace and Gromit. A tie-dye session let creativity run wild and some gorgeously colourful T-shirts were donned with pride. A trip to Blenheim Palace also gave the students a taste of an English stately home and gave an insight into the life of the famous Winston Churchill.
The ORA Great Debate returned with the title “This House believes that government action to ban “fake news”, such as legislation considered in France, the UK or India, is an even bigger threat to democracy than “fake news” itself”. Students from St Catharine’s College, Balliol College and the Queen’s college came together for the debate, with some impressive arguments taking form. Congratulations to Matthew, Daniella, Mega and Carina, who were voted the winners by the audience.
St Hugh’s sent its students to the Mini Plant in Session 3, giving them an insight into businesses at the production stage. Seeing the production of cars from start to finish was exciting to students, and gave them a greater appreciation for the production sector. A sunny day also inspired a trip to Waddeston Manor, where students observed French Renaissance architecture and art collections.
St Mary’s students felt like royalty at Windsor Castle, experiencing the famous St George’s Chapel and gaining a better understanding of the significance of the Castle in British history. Continuing with this British theme, students also enjoyed a Great British Tea Party later in the week (despite England’s disappointing performance in the World Cup!) and spent a day at Legoland to experience this incredible theme Park.

junior students outside Windsor palace
St Mary’s students visited the famous Windsor Castle

Jowett Walk students had an enjoyable excursion to Drayton Manor Park and Zoo, a famously popular UK theme park. Over 100 species of animals live in the zoo, giving students the chance to learn more about many endangered species. Following on from this exciting day out, students were lucky enough to have an animal handling experience hosted by Zoolab, which included holding pythons and even cockroaches! The final animal-themed activity for Jowett Walk was a visit to the amazing Cotswold Wildlife Park, where students admired the majestic zebras and clumsy beavers. Incredible work was produced by students during the ‘Introduction to Fashion and Textile Design’, inspired by the Fashioned From Nature exhibition at the V&A Gallery in London. Bridal wear was produced from recycled materials and the final result was breathtaking.
ORA students at Stanford got creative with Visual Storytelling workshops before learning more about business with the GSP Project, whereby groups create and develop their own country. A tour of the Stanford Campus proved immensely popular as students were able to see iconic and famous sites around the area. The highlight of the week was the Multi-Cultural Event, where ORA students worked together to use flags to link their diverse cultures together. The result was a roaring applause from their peers, and the event was thoroughly enjoyed by all.
London theatre trips were enjoyed by all ORA UK campuses, with Queen’s College (Oxford) singing along to Mamma Mia, St Catharine’s (Cambridge) boogieing to Kinky Boots, Imperial College enjoying the classic Aladdin and St Catherine’s (Oxford) laughing along with School of Rock.
Session 3 Graduation was a special event across all ORA campuses. Students individually received certificates that recognised the hard work they have put in over the last two weeks, and extravagant formal dinners were well deserved. The Graduation parties that followed were an amazing spectacle, with themes from a 1920s speakeasy, to fairytale and even a neon party! All across our campuses, students danced the night away listening to their favourite tunes and joining in with provided entertainment, including a wipeout game, target shooting and a classic car photo op!

ORA student graduation at Balliol college
Session 3 Graduation was a laughter-filled event for Jowett Walk students in Balliol Chapel

With the first three Sessions a roaring success, we can’t wait to see what the next weeks have in store for our new and returning students. We hope that many of our students from these first Sessions will return next year and enjoy another fantastic ORA experience.