For a two-week trip away to summer school it’s vital that you receive all of the information you need, especially if it’s your first experience of summer school. To help make sure that you are as up-to-speed as possible and have the clearest picture of what to expect from the magic of summer school, here are some of the most frequently asked questions we receive from parents and students answered. 

What is summer school?

This isnt a silly question! A summer school is an education programme typically offered between June and August, and it’s a place where students can take courses to advance their learning, explore new subjects, or improve their English through General English lessons. 

Summer schools can be held on college or university campuses and offer a variety of courses, ranging from subjects such as History, Art and Science to Medicine, Law and Engineering. 

Typically summer schools are designed for students between the ages of 6-17 and are available to students with skill levels, ranging from beginner to advanced.
At SBC, summer school is a chance to grow academically and socially outside the limits of formal education. On a timetable, a summer school is lesson time in the morning and activities in the afternoon and evening, but what students get out of SBC is so much more. 

Our vision of summer school is to create a global learning community which plays a profound part in the figurative years of a young person’s life.  

What does General English & CLIL mean? And what is the difference?

During your chat with your Admissions Manager or on our website you may have encountered these terms, so just to explain the difference:

General English are lessons which are taught with a focus on improving overall technical competence in English, with the particular aim of enhancing confidence and ability in everyday English usage, especially in speaking and listening. 

Throughout regular term time, students are required to absorb a lot of information in their English lessons at school and face regular pressure through assessment. At SBC our General English lessons focus on students accomplishing exciting tasks, and our lessons give students every chance to boost their confidence and fluency.      

CLIL stands for Content and Language Integrated Learning and is different to General English. 

Whereas General English lessons would focus on an everyday topic with a focus on vocabulary and revision of a grammar structure, CLIL lessons are an approach where students learn a subject and a second language at the same time. A History course, for example, can be taught to students in English and they will not only learn about History, but they will also gain relevant vocabulary and language skills. 

CLIL is the perfect preparation for attending a bilingual school or for studying full-time in English at college or university. 

What’s summer school like?

Summer school is a whirlwind of excitement, friendship, learning and culture. Not one day is the same, and the days can feel long yet fast because there’s always something to do. If a student is open to making the most of every opportunity that comes their way, then they will have a truly remarkable time.  

Is summer school worth it?

Yes! The chance to experience exciting courses, and make new friends from all around the world, all within some of the most celebrated academic institutions from all around the globe is an experience which students can cherish for the rest of their lives. 

With no exams and the chance to be freed from classroom cliches and playground peer pressure, there’s a chance for students to really explore new sides to who they want to be and what they can give to the world. 

When we see new friendships grow, a student’s confidence blossom in class, and the tears of joy when students say goodbye at the end of their stay with us, we take a moment to acknowledge just how special summer school is and our only regret is that parents aren’t in person to share their child’s growth in those moments too.  

By gaining more knowledge of academic subjects students may go on to study at university, summer school is an investment in a young person’s future, which can help to lay down foundations for potential career paths.

Should my child go to summer school?

Parents know best. If you believe that your child would benefit from the chance of becoming more independent, and would thrive in being able to expand their social and academic horizons beyond regular term time, then summer school is a wonderful opportunity for real growth. 

Summer school vs summer camps – What’s the difference?

The two phrases are often interchanged, mainly because summer camp is American English. But in short, there’s no difference.

What is the difference between an SBC college and an SBC school?

At SBC we have our colleges which take place at Oxford and Cambridge. Then we have our schools which run at Headington, Eton, Rochester, Canford, Twyford and Earlscliffe. 

The college experience is designed to provide students with more insight into what academic life is like at university and college. The age range of students is between 15 – 17. So it is much more focused on students wanting to prepare for university. Many of the courses are vocational and students are provided with a bit more independence.   

SBC schools have a younger age range with Headington being between 13 – 16, Canford 11 – 15, and our youngest age groups at Twyford between the ages of 8-12. As well as Day Camps for younger students aged 6-12. 

When do summer schools happen?

Our earliest camp starts on the 22nd June at Earlscliffe Summer School and Headington runs the longest until the 21st  August. The majority of our schools run for 6 weeks throughout July till mid-August.  

Can summer school raise my GPA?

By attending summer school your subject knowledge is further developed, which puts you in a strong position to improve your grades at school. However, at present, our courses don’t directly contribute towards a student’s final grade point average for their schools back home. 

When are summer school holidays?

In The UK summer school holidays are for 6 weeks and last from mid-July to the first week of September.  This year they are: Monday 24th July – Thursday 31st August. 

Will summer school help me learn English?

Summer school is an environment in which students can really grow in confidence in speaking in English, and it can provide their fluency with a real boost over a short space of time. Because classes are smaller and SBC puts a cap on the number of students from one country, not one language can dominate, so students have no other option but to use English to socialise and take part in class.      

Is there a summer school near me?  

With many of our campuses based in the south of England, most schools are within an hour or two of Heathrow, Gatwick, Luton, or Stanstead airport. 

Is summer school fun?

At SBC, we can say with total confidence that learners will always have something exciting and interesting to do. Whether they are listening to a fascinating guest speaker, attending a fancy dress party, taking part in an epic football tournament or expressing themselves in arts and crafts. At SBC there’s no imagination or energy spared in giving your child the summer of their lives. 

What are the benefits of summer school?

The social benefits of your child meeting new people of the same age with the same academic interests is a very special thing, which they may not already have in regular term time.  

Summer school is a chance for students to learn more about how they want to grow as young adults, and an opportunity to try out new courses, and new activities, and to meet people from different cultures that they might normally not.     

Whether a student is about to face the challenge of going to a bigger school, or about to move on to university, our schools and colleges are an inspiring chance for them to take themselves out of their comfort zone in a very safe environment. Everything about summer school is win-win.  

Have any other questions?

If there is a question here we have not answered then please do reach out. Our admissions team are here to help you every step of the way to help ensure that you and your child have total peace of mind and can look forward to all of the excitement that summer school has to offer. 

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