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Academic Discovery Ages 8-10

Oxford Royale's Junior Summer School 2020
| St Mary's School, Ascot | Uppingham School

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 June - August 2020

  • 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

The Academic Discovery and Academic Discovery Plus Programmes are Oxford Royale Academy’s most popular junior courses, offering younger students the chance to investigate a key question through a combination of fascinating classes and exciting practical workshops. Students will explore links between science and the arts, as well as improve key life skills, including teamwork and public speaking.

The investigation of a key question throughout the course ensures the programme is structured and that students can enhance their researching and planning skills. Practical sessions will maximise engagement levels and encourage students to formulate their own opinions, an important and transferable skill.

Our Academic Discovery Plus Programme offers students aged 8-11 the opportunity to live and study in St Mary’s Ascot, a top UK boarding school.

What to expect from the Academic Discovery course

Rather than focusing on learning 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.

For each week-long session, students study a key question through a variety of Arts and Science classes, along with a series of more practical afternoon workshops to consolidate knowledge.

Each student will have the option to enrol in either the Arts or Sciences stream of the course and this choice will decide which key question they will investigate for the week.

Course Outcomes

By the end of the course, students will have:

  • Developed a variety of STEM skills such as planning, conducting 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 current 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.

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 Key Question
Week 1 185 days in space: a poet’s dream or a zero-gravity nightmare?
Week 2 Rise of the robots: a threat or a service to humankind?
Week 3 Extreme Earth: can we do more to protect people from natural disasters?
Week 4 185 days in space: a poet’s dream or a zero-gravity nightmare?
Week 5 Rise of the robots: a threat or a service to humankind?

Take this course if...

Take this course if you are hoping to develop a love of learning and academic exploration.

A safe and secure summer in a top British boarding school


Students on our Junior summer school courses study either at Uppingham School or St Mary's School in Ascot, our two outstanding Junior summer school venues for 2020. Students will enjoy the facilities of their venue, with extensive grounds and well-equipped learning spaces. Courses at Uppingham run from 28th June to 11th July, while courses at St Mary's run from 12th July to 15th August.

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.

Birds-eye view of St Mary's School Ascot

St Mary's School in Ascot

Bird's eye view of Uppingham School

Uppingham School

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 either St Mary's School or Uppingham School, so students are able to get a flavour for what being a pupil at these prestigious UK boarding schools 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 Admissions Team on [email protected] 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 Admissions Team for more detailed information.
  • Should check the prerequisites of each course they select before enrolling.

Our Teaching Faculty

At Oxford Royale Academy we are committed to providing our students with the most qualified and high-calibre teaching faculty available. All Oxford Royale Academy teachers are passionate about their subjects, and are looking forward to passing their knowledge on to their students this summer! For full details of last summer’s teaching faculty, please click here.

Guest Lectures & Debates

At ORA, we go the extra mile to enhance the study abroad experience of our students. As part of this, every year our dedicated Events Team organises a series of workshops for our junior students in either a Science or Arts topic. In previous years, guest science speakers from the Royal Institution have delivered fascinating science workshops and experiments to our young students.

Coach Excursions

The United Kingdom has a rich cultural heritage, and a course with Oxford Royale Academy is the perfect way for a young learner to explore this. All ORA courses include at least one coach excursion to a place of historical and social significance in the UK.

Extra-curricular Activities

At ORA, we never forget that our students are on holiday! Included with every ORA course is an extra-curricular timetable, carefully designed by our dedicated Events Team to ensure our junior students have fun, make friends and get the most out of their time with us.

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 an ORA summer course.

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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 venues:

(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 admissions team)

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