7 Reasons to Go to a Debate Summer School

06 Oct, 2023 | Blog Articles, Politics Articles

The Oxford Scholastica Academy offers a variety of subject-specific residential summer courses, with our Debate and Public Speaking summer school being a consistently popular choice.

Communication skills – like debating and public speaking – are highly valued in school, universities and the workplace. A Debate summer school gives students the opportunity to hone and expand these abilities, boosting university applications and future career prospects.

Here’s what you can expect from a Debate summer school:

1. Sharpening Your Debate Skills

A Debate summer school is an ideal environment to develop your public-speaking and communication skills. Our small class sizes and tutorial-style of teaching give everyone the opportunity to participate and to receive tailored, individual feedback from expert tutors.

You’ll learn a wide range of interesting and hands-on content, from practical speech techniques to different debating styles like Schools Mace and British Parliamentary. You’ll also have the chance to take part in a Model United Nations challenge, along with attending a Debate Masterclass at the historic Oxford Union!

By engaging in both theory and practice, our students grow in confidence, learn to construct better arguments, and practise communicating persuasively.

2. Learning to Think Critically

Learning to think critically is an important skill for students to develop. Being able to examine information, analyse it and evaluate it based on evidence, is essential for university-level study.

By presenting a variety of debate topics and encouraging students to share diverse perspectives, a Debate summer school teaches you how to carefully construct arguments based on evidence and reasoning.

3. Enhancing Your Research

Forming arguments based on relevant and reliable information requires some top research skills! Gathering information, evidence and data are all important parts of a Debate summer school, benefitting students beyond the course and into their future academic and professional careers.

Equally, by producing independent study work, students also develop soft academic skills, like organisation and time management.

4. Developing Your Confidence

With public speaking at its core, a Debate summer school can initially seem daunting. However, it’s an excellent opportunity for personal growth and development! By pushing yourself outside of your comfort zone, you can grow in confidence and self-assurance.

This is nurtured further by the welcoming atmosphere that the Oxford Scholastica Academy’s debate summer school cultivates. Tutors create a welcoming and respectful environment, ensuring students feel supported in sharing their ideas and practising their debating techniques.

5. Fostering Teamwork

During a Debate summer school, you’ll get to take part in a number of group exercises, working together towards a common goal. These activities expand your collaborative skills by encouraging a cohesive group dynamic.

Teamwork is highly valued in the workplace, so gaining concrete evidence of your collaborative – or leadership! – skills is great for both university and job applications.

Oxford Scholastica Academy summer school students working together.

6. Networking and Making Lifelong Friends

An Oxford Scholastica summer school experience extends beyond the classroom. There are a variety of fun and engaging activities to participate in, such as exploring the city of Oxford, taking a trip to Windsor Castle, attending a boat party, and participating in a talent show!

These activities are the perfect opportunity to develop close bonds – perhaps even life-long friendships! – with other students on the programme. You’ll meet like-minded peers through your course, and your accommodation will house students of different ages and backgrounds to help you begin to develop a professional network for your future.

7. Discovering Yourself

A Debate summer school programme will have a transformative impact on your individual growth, pushing you to new academic and personal heights.

Alongside learning valuable skills, you’ll discover your strengths and hone your passions and interests, helping you along on your professional and academic journey.

Being away from home for an extended period of time – perhaps for the very first time! – will no doubt also provide lots of opportunities for personal growth and independence, preparing you for university and beyond!


By Sophie McSpadden

Sophie has recently graduated from St Hilda’s College, University of Oxford with a degree in History. In 2022, she worked as an Activities Coordinator for our summer school.

Interested in a Debate summer school?

Recommended articles

Beyond the Bar: 15 Must-Read Books for Future Lawyers

Beyond the Bar: 15 Must-Read Books for Future Lawyers

Reading within and around your subject, widely and in depth, is one of the most important things you can do to prepare yourself for a future in Law. So, we’ve put together a list of essential books to include on your reading list as a prospective or current Law...

read more