What is a day at SBC like? If you’re new to the experience of summer school then there are so many things to get excited about. To help give you an idea of what fantastic things to expect, here’s a picture of a typical day at an SBC school or college, with some useful pointers to help you make the most of your experience.


Not one day at SBC is ever completely the same, with each day being full of discovery and excitement. The days are long and fast, as much as they are unbelievably enjoyable.

An example of a communal student kitchen at Tripos Court – Cambridge College. 

An example of a single student room at Tripos Court – Cambridge College.

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The canteen opens early in the morning for breakfast and you’ll need all of your energy, so make sure you’re there. The times for schools and colleges are as follows:

School breakfasts: 8:20 – 9:00

College breakfasts: 7:45 – 8:45

If you’re not a morning person, an alarm clock is a great idea. But if all else fails, one of our lovely activity leaders will knock on your dormitory door to help you wake up. 

Waking up nice and early should give you more than enough time to shower, get ready, and pack a bag with your SBC notebook, folder, and pen.

Note – Waking up – Besides all of your incredibly friendly classmates, your best friend at a summer school is always a good night’s sleep. We know the excitement of being away from home, and meeting so many new people, may make staying up late really tempting, but we promise you’ll get so much more out of your summer school experience if you’ve managed to get enough sleep.            


Breakfasts take place in a large cafeteria on campus. But not to worry if you can’t remember where they are on your first day, because there will be a member of staff to help guide you there. Breakfasts usually involve a selection of cereals, fruit, toast, and yoghurt, and for that added burst of energy on an excursion day some campuses may also provide a full English breakfast.*    

 * Please note food available on our courses vary from site to site.

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Mealtimes are a wonderful opportunity to make new friends with students outside of your regular classes. The canteen team love nothing more than empty plates, trays put away, and students being polite, which our students always are.   

Assemblies and House Meetings – Each day students meet for an assembly or house meeting. Here, you will hear more about your schedule for the day, find out any important updates, and ask any questions you might have.

Assembly and house meeting times are:

School House Meetings: 8:00 – 8:20

College assemblies: 8:45 – 9:00


Because the campuses are usually quite large, your tutor will collect you from assembly until you’re confident enough to get to your classroom independently. It’s not the end of the world if you have forgotten your pen and notebook, but it certainly makes everything run a bit quicker if you have everything you need for class.

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Depending on whether you are at an SBC college or a school, classes usually last for the following times:

School classes: 9:00 – 10:30 and 11:00 – 12:30. With no lessons in the afternoon. At Twyford

College classes: 9:00 – 10:30 and 11:00 – 12:30. Afternoon classes run from 13:00 -14:45 and 15:00 -16:15  

The break is enough so that it gives you enough time to go to the restroom, have a snack, and hang out with new friends, but with the size of some of the campuses being as large as they are, unfortunately, there’s not always enough time for you to go back to your room.

So make sure you have everything you need for the day when you leave in the morning, such as a phone charger, laptop, or tablet.

In the morning at both schools and colleges, the break is 30 minutes between classes, and for colleges in the afternoon, the break is 15 minutes


After taking in loads of new information and trying your best in our challenging lessons, you will probably be very hungry. Lunch normally takes place in the Canteen.

Summer Boarding Courses (SBC) - A day in the Life of a Student at Summer School

Lunch contains a hot main, with choices to cater for cultural and religious dietary needs and preferences such as halal or kosher diets ( if you have any other special dietary requirements please ensure you have let your dedicated admissions manager aware). Thankfully, long gone are the days of canteen food being repetitive, and the canteens on each campus do an amazing job at serving a variety of food you’ll enjoy.    

If you are on a college programme the academic schedule will continue into the afternoon and there are dedicated sessions throughout the week to focus on essential skills to prepare you for university. Industry experience can move students over from the classroom to the lecture hall where students can continue to get a real feel of what university life is like. Throughout your two-week stay, students will be able to listen to fascinating guest speakers and be part of engaging workshops and lectures.  

School/College Activities – At SBC schools you will have activities in the afternoon and for colleges in the evening. Whether you are interested in sports or arts and crafts there is a huge amount of fun for you to get involved in. As long as you come prepared with gym clothes and trainers, you’re good to go with a great range of games, and you needn’t worry about anything else with taking part in other activities, as everything is provided.

School Activities: 13:30 – 15:00 and 15:30 – 17:00. Activities have two slots in the afternoon lasting 90 minutes each.  

College Activities: 19:45 – 21:30 – Evening Activities and Well-being Events

At many campuses, before the activities happen each day, you’ll be asked to sign up for which one you would like to take part in beforehand to help give an idea for numbers. Depending on whether you’re keen to get active or want something more relaxed, there’s something to meet every preference.  


At both colleges and schools dinner typically starts at 18:30 and usually lasts until 19:15 or 19:30 to help give students enough time to return to their rooms to freshen up for the evening or get in touch with home. 

As afternoons and evenings differ greatly between colleges and schools let’s look at both individually.  

Schools – Late afternoon/Evenings  

House Time 17:00 – 18:30

During House Time you will have the chance to have some free time and return to your accommodation where you can either have some downtime in your room or hang out with friends in your common room. Depending on the time difference back home, House Time is a great opportunity to make a video call to your family and share your day.      

Whole School Event 19:15 – 20:45

After dinner and house time, at schools, there is a big organised event for everyone to get involved in. This could include activities such as an Oscars night, a cinema trip, a BBQ, a disco, a quiz, a challenge, or a talent show. 

All of the activities offer a great way for you to make connections with other students in a hugely enjoyable activity. Activities will vary depending on your chosen campus and age group.
Juice & Biscuits 21:30 – 22:00  
To help you wind down and to let you know that it’s time to start going to your rooms, we gather for juice and biscuits. This is a great chance for house parents to check in with you and to ask about your day before you go to bed.

We use Juice & Biscuits time to check attendance before bedtime, so unless you want a knock on your door just as you’re falling asleep make sure to say hi, so that we can sign you in.  

Lights out 22:00

Once the evening activity finishes, you can hang out with friends in the common room and play games, ranging from board games, table football, to Xbox, before returning to your rooms for lights out. 

Colleges Late Afternoon/Evenings: 16:15 – 22:30

Free time/ Career Counselling / Tutorials 16:15 – 18:30 

The time before dinner offers a whole range of different possibilities. It is during this time when you can feel more independent by venturing off-campus or if you’d prefer to dedicate more time to your studies, with prearranged career counselling or tutorials available. 

For most of our college students the chance to go off-campus and to explore the local high streets and cafes, is an exciting chance to enjoy your new surroundings. Which we absolutely encourage and make possible. 

Our main rule, which there is no exception, is that you sign in and sign out so that we know when you’re off campus, and that when you leave the grounds you do so in small groups so that you can look out for one another.  

With two hours to play with, you will be pushed for time to go too far out, but overall free time is a great chance to seek out the places of interest on your doorstep which are of more interest to you. Or if you would like to simply soak up the unique atmosphere unrushed, wander cobbled streets and dream about what it would be like to live and study here then free time is a wonderful chance to sit in the park with friends, walk and talk with new people you don’t study with, or to sit under a tree and have an ice cream.

We understand that McDonald’s and Starbucks are always tempting, but in your free time you have a great chance to see things that perhaps you wouldn’t normally have the chance to see, so definitely don’t miss out.     

Dinner: 18:30 – 19:30 

Evening Assembly: 19:30 – 19:45

For college students, you have a second assembly to update you on evening activities and to go through any further information you need to know.  

Evening Event/Wellbeing Activity: 19:45 – 21:30

After free time and dinner, at colleges, there is a big organised event for everyone to get involved in. This provides a great chance for you to meet new people outside of your classes and to do fun activities which you may not normally get up to back home. This could include activities such as an Oscars night, a cinema trip, a BBQ, a disco, a quiz, a challenge, or a talent show.

All of the activities offer a great way for you to make connections with other students in a hugely enjoyable activity.

Students can also select from a variety of traditional team sports as well as other relaxing well-being activities like yoga, art, poetry, and creative sessions. The College Mentors oversee our social programme, which has students at its heart and chooses and tailors its activities based on your interests.

Evening free time (on-site): 21:30 -22:30

Before returning to your room you have a great chance to relax with friends or to unwind after a long busy day. 

All students to rooms 22:00 – 22:30

After hanging out with friends during your onsite free time, it’s time to start heading towards your rooms. Each day is a full-on amazing day so it’s important to make sure you’re well-rested. 

College and School Timetables 

At each of our campuses, the timetable may slightly vary and you can access each of them below, to help get a further idea of how each day at an SBC summer school unfolds. 

If there are any questions regarding what a hugely memorable day at SBC looks like, please do not hesitate to ask our admissions team who are on hand to provide all of the info you need.