What is Summer School like at Summer Boarding Courses? Week 1

Wow! Week 1 of Summer Boarding Courses is at an end and what an amazing summer school experience it has been so far! We’re excited to welcome you to delve deeper into what is happening each week across our 5 campuses in England on our blog this year.

What is Summer School like at Summer Boarding Courses? Read on to find out through our weekly roundups.

Join us to discover what a Summer School experience is really like at Summer Boarding Courses! We’ll be updating you with lots of photos and experiences on the activities, excursions and lessons that have been happening.

It’s been a lot of fun so far and we know there are plenty more moments to come.

What is English Summer School like?

From all the preparation and lesson planning to welcoming our first students of the Summer through our doors this week, we’ve had a brilliant time so far.

Let’s see what’s been going on in Week 1 of our Summer schedule!

Preparing for 6 weeks, 46 weeks of the year!

Our Summer Schools run for only 6 weeks out of the whole year (if only British Summers were longer!) but we work all year round planning and preparing for you.

We are the UK’s top ranked multi-campus Summer School, as ranked by the El Gazette based on our British Council inspection results and continuously strive for excellence.

Even in Winter when Summer can feel so far away, we are busy creating the best Summer School experiences possible. Our fantastic team at Head Office ensure that your Summer with us is the absolute best!

Over 10 years of experience

Summer Boarding Courses has been running for over 10 years and we pride ourselves on being such an international Summer School with many multicultural experiences. This year, 97 different nationalities are joining us to take their English to the next level.

97 different nationalities this year

What an amazing opportunity to be in England, studying in the most prestigious school locations in the UK, whilst having the world at your fingertips. Not only will you learn from us, but also from all of the new friends that you will make around the world!

Before you arrive, we’re getting ready!

Your welfare is of the utmost importance to us. Before you arrive at your school, we are here a week before to ensure that you are arriving in a wonderfully positive, vibrant and safe space where you are supported, happy and can thrive.

Throughout the week we print, photocopy, construct, cut, decorate and prep to make the unique SBC environment that brings out the best in you.

As a team, we are also very busy training and bonding.

Understanding and supporting each other is incredibly important. We work hard and smart together so that we are ready to give you the care, education and support that you need. And we have a lot of fun doing it!

Quote of the week

“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel”

Maya Angelou

The first day of Summer School: Arrivals

This week we welcomed the first of you to:

Oxford College
SBC at Eton College
SBC Canford

This year we are very happy to have Eton College as one of our Summer School choices

SBC at Eton College

At SBC at Eton College, girl and boy students aged 12-16 can choose to study General English, SBC Mathematics, SBC Humanities or SBC Sciences.

When you arrive in the UK

As soon as you arrive, we are there ready and waiting for you at the airport to welcome you to England and your new school. Once you are safely at your campus, you’ll be immediately meeting new friends and school students, as well as the staff who will be taking care of you for the next 2 weeks or more. How exciting!

A typical day at our summer schools

Each day is wonderfully varied and fun in your Summer course, with excellent lessons, activities and excursions planned and prepared. Depending on where you choose to study with us, your programme will vary. Here’s a quick summary.

SBC at Eton College

At SBC at Eton College, you will receive 40 hours of tuition over 2 weeks. This includes 30 hours of subject-specific tuition, 6 hours of Masterclasses, 2 hours of Time to Shine presentations and 2 further hours of our Oxford Academic Excursions.

The social programme includes an activities & wellbeing programme, Eton games, Windsor afternoons, excursions and evening activities.

Oxford College

At Oxford College you will receive 41 hours of tuition in your Summer classes over 2 weeks. This consists of 30 hours subject-specific tuition, 8 hours of University Preparation and 3 hours of London Academic Excursions.

*Please note: Foundation English students receive 38 hours of academic tuition and one 3 hour academic excursion during their two week course. Foundation English students do not have University Preparation.

You can choose to study one two-week course from 11 different options or opt to study two of the 11 Elective courses, one per week which is part of Academic Discovery.

You also will be able to enjoy a really fun and varied wellbeing programme to relax, unwind, rejuvenate and strengthen your friendships with your new friends.

SBC Canford

At SBC Canford, students receive 15 hours of tuition per week and have six study options to choose from. These include General English, Summer Study, Introduction to STEM, Introduction to Business and Introduction to International Relations.

There are also plenty of afternoon and evening activities with some fantastic day excursions in the programme too.

Highlights of Week 1

Across all of the three Summer Schools that started this week, there has been so much going on that it’s hard for us to choose what to share with you!

Regardless, here are just some of our favourite moments from this week as our students immerse themselves in a foreign language throughout our campuses.

Staff Safari at SBC Canford

At SBC Canford students had a lot of fun in the late afternoon tracking down members of staff dressed as different colourful and intriguing animals. Once they encountered them, the members of staff presented students with an interesting task or riddle that they had to complete.

The students found it particularly tricky to track down the staff member dressed as a frog. Let us know if you come across one!

Thought provoking lessons across the campuses

Students have settled into their tuition very well this week and are on track in learning a wealth of fascinating information.

There are always so many wonderful ‘aha’ moments going on in the classrooms and what we see year upon year from students impresses us greatly.

Your enthusiasm, knowledge and fantastic questions spark great discussions and special moments.

Meet one of our Medical Summer School teachers at Oxford College

This week we are putting our spotlight on Jess; a doctor and teacher who is passionate about Medical Science and sharing her knowledge with the Oxford College students this year.

This is what she had to say…

‘This week has been astounding. The students have a lot of interest and enthusiasm and inquiring minds! I’m so passionate about Medical Science and when you’re excited about something, it comes across to the students.

This week we’ve been focusing on interesting illnesses, diagnoses, processes and clinical skills. We’ve been learning how to take a medical history from a patient and how to do an examination of the respiratory system too.

We’re also practising what students would undertake in an examination for UK medical schools which involves critical thinking, as well as skills which are useful for any career, i.e. human interaction skills! Roleplays involving ethics and important life issues have been a prominent part of our lessons this week.

The moment that stands out to me this week, that makes me so proud of the students, is how they came to present their Time To Shine presentations. We went to see Wuthering Heights earlier in the week and afterwards, I thought to ask them, ‘What did you think about the death count in Wuthering Heights?’ Almost everyone dies! So we discussed what life expectancy was like then compared to how it is now along with pathogen theory and this led us to talk about tuberculosis and then HIV.

We began focusing on preconceptions and misconceptions that we still have in society about HIV. The biggest problem with HIV today is stigma. The students took this idea and put together the most amazing Time to Shine presentation. They brought all of their skills and strengths together and I am so pleased that they have achieved so much in such a short amount of time’.

Guest Speakers at Oxford College

An integral part of the Academic Programme at Oxford College Summer School is to help students prepare for academic success at university. This is why we invite Guest Speakers every year, to assist students in achieving success in their future academic studies.

Here are just a couple of the speakers that we have had the pleasure of inviting to Oxford College this week.

International Relations

Honey will be starting a job at a financial services organisation in London as a graduate analyst in September. She graduated with a BA in Politics and International Studies from the University of Warwick and an MSc in Social Anthropology from The University of Oxford.

Honey spoke about her experiences studying at both universities and the different career paths that degrees in Politics and Anthropology can lead to. This can include working in banking, development, law and the government.

Having a political and anthropological background does not limit you solely to one career in academia. The skills gained from studying these degrees are transferable and useful in a number of different sectors!


Alistair Alistair works at a Machine Learning startup in Oxford as a researcher and software engineer. Day to day he is involved in finding and implementing cutting edge solutions to machine learning problems.

Alistair is an engineering graduate from the University of Oxford, where he studied multiple engineering disciplines as part of the engineering science course. He talked about his experiences studying at this world class university and the many forms a career in engineering can take!

Students were able to access multiple different perspectives about where engineering can take you, including environmental, nuclear and civil engineering! Alistair also explored the changing role of the engineer in an increasingly automated world and how the future of the profession may look.

History of Art

Julia is a doctoral student in Egyptology and Clarendon Scholar at the University of Oxford. She comes from New Zealand, where she did her undergraduate and MA studies in Ancient History at the University of Auckland.

Before starting her doctoral studies, Julia worked in various roles at Auckland Museum, New Zealand, ranging from curatorial assistance to research and enquiry services and assisting in
education programmes. She has taught widely on topics in ancient Egyptian art, language and history, both at the University of Oxford and at the University of Auckland and has spent time in Egypt for research and fieldwork.

She recently participated in the Oxford Expedition to Egypt, which is publishing the Tomb of Mehu, Saqqara – a 4,300-year-old tomb that reopened to the public in 2018.

Julia shared her experience of working in museums and other research institutions while completing her studies, as well as her experience of coming to the University of Oxford as an international student to study the art and language of ancient Egypt.

Health and Wellbeing Activities at Oxford College

Taking the time to relax, recharge and spend time with your new friends is incredibly important. That is why our afternoon and evening health and wellbeing activities are such an integral part of our summer programmes.

Students can choose from a wonderful variety of sport and creative activities. This week included mixed media arts, volleyball, football, drama workshops, rowing and board game opportunities to name just a few.

Game of the week

Have you played Ad-Libs? Simply take an everyday object and ask students to do an action with it so that the other students can guess what the object is meant to represent. Once the action has been done by one student, it cannot be done by another.

We started with a roll of sellotape, used a wooden stick, then a blanket. See what objects are around you and students will come up with ideas that will surprise you!

Brighton Excursion for Oxford College students

Brighton is a fascinating and fun seaside town in England which is a joy to visit – especially when the sun is shining just as much as it was this Thursday when our students at Oxford College paid a visit. Their day got off to a great start on the beachfront meeting all of the seagulls whilst they ate their packed lunch!

They were then off down The Lanes to explore the boutique and independent shops before taking a ride on the British Airways i360; a 162 metre observation tower perfect for panoramic views of Brighton and the South Coast of England!

We finished our day relaxing on Brighton Pier with some classic British fish and chips.

SBC at Eton College visit Oxford city

There’s plenty to see in Oxford but do you know all of the facts about this prestigious city?

SBC at Eton College took an excursion into Oxford town this week to visit the famous University landmarks. They were treated to a tour led by a current Oxford University student and had many good questions to ask her too. Here we are taking our photo under the bridge that many aim to ‘snap’ whilst they’re here in Oxford: the Bridge of Sighs!

We love Oxford and run three out of our five Summer Schools here.

Student Council at Oxford College

Your feedback is vital to our progress. Every year we ensure that our students have their own student council. The student council are the voice of their peers and help ensure that everyone is heard so that positive changes can be made. This week students discussed their desire for a table tennis tournament and themed international food events. Watch this space.

Time to Shine at Oxford College

Last but not least, Oxford College students performed their Time to Shine presentations this Sunday! Time to Shine is an opportunity for the students to share what they have learnt throughout the week with their peers. This can be through a video, story or powerpoint presentation.

Time to Shine gives all students an insight into what else others are learning, as well as strengthening their speaking and presentation skills in English!

We enjoyed a video on why our English Literature and Creative Writing students love books so much. History of Art class discussed Michelangelo’s famous ‘The Creation of Adam’ painting, Engineering students presented some amazing streamlined paper airplanes and we enjoyed Natural Sciences discussing Batesian mimicry!