Courses for 12-14 year olds

Discover Writing Academy

Your chance to develop your writing skills, be taught by the very best and spend your summer in the historic city of Oxford, home to many famous writers.

The Best Courses

Be inspired by writing – hands-on classes and interactive challenges. Maximum of 15 students per class.

The Best People

Be taught by the best – world class tutors from universities such as Oxford and Cambridge. 

Your Future Success

Be awarded a graduation certificate at our Graduation at the Saïd Business School, and a written report from your tutor.

Get the Oxford Experience

Study on the historic Oxford University campus and experience Oxford’s magic.

Tutor Ivo Gruev teaching at the Oxford Union
12 year old on the Discover Creative Writing Academy writing course

Discover Writing

What to Expect

Imagine spending your summer developing your skills as a writer in historic Oxford, the city which inspired the authors of Narnia, Alice in Wonderland and Harry Potter.

You’ll spend your days learning in a small class of students from all over the world, exploring the best of what Oxford has to offer and learning from the very best.

Our Discover Writing Academy is a two-week course designed specifically for 12-14 year olds who love writing and are keen to both develop their skills and learn more about the writing of great authors.

You’ll gain hands-on experience of different fields of writing, and will learn about developing plot and characters and how stories are translated to stage and screen. You’ll also discover how you can apply your writing skills to the world of journalism.

Click to find out if this is the right writing course for you

The Best Courses

On the Discover Writing Academy you’ll take part in a series of nine classes. Eight classes are structured around the course topics below:

Books

Introduction to Writing

Learn about different genres of writing and how to keep your ideas fresh and flowing!

Plot

Plot & Characters

Find out about the seven basic plots in literature and how to develop interesting characters

Stories

Writing Novels & Short Stories

Analyse literature and compare with your own ideas for developing stories

Image of film player

Writing for Stage & Screen

Consider how writing is adapted for the stage and screen and focus on the intricacies of writing dialogue

Twitter

Introduction to Journalism

Explore how to gather and present information in a variety of settings and forms
Speaker

Reporting the News

Examine news reporting across a variety of settings, comparing and contrasting styles and techniques

Writing

Feature Writing

Learn how features are constructed and developed to inform and intrigue an audience

Blogging

Blogging

Examine a variety of interesting blogs and develop writing skills to suit

Class X

Class X

Your final class is called “Class X”, and will be based on your tutor’s personal expertise, focusing on cutting-edge research in their field that they are really passionate about.

The Discover Writing Academy is perfect for 12-14 year olds interested in taking their writing skills to the next level. You might be keen to write your own stories, or you may want to improve the stories you’ve already written. Or you may be thinking of studying arts related subjects such as English, Media or Drama in the future, or going into a creative career involving writing, including journalism. Or you may just want to improve your writing skills in order to improve your academic writing.

Fees and Dates

Gargoyle in Oxford

Our Discover Writing Learning Philosophy

During your time on the programme you will Learn the subject, See it in action and Do it yourself through an exciting Challenge:

Learn

Learn like you’ve never learnt at school before. Discover the key concepts, history and theory behind writing in a hands-on, interactive way. You’ll take part in small, dynamic classes led by our brilliant tutors who are subject experts from world-class institutions.

Do

On your “Challenge” you’ll put all the theory you’ve learned into practice and apply your knowledge to a real life problem. It’s not the only practical activity you’ll do on your course – the course is full of opportunities to apply your skills – but for many of our students, it’s their highlight!

You’ll be given the chance to put your knowledge and creativity to the test during our Magazine Challenge. On this fast-paced day, you’ll work together and pool your skills to combine journalistic news stories with writing. This will give you the opportunity to be published in a printed magazine.

See

You’ll meet our “Heroes”, young professionals who have studied your subject and gone on to build a successful career related to your course. Discover what steps they took to realise their potential, and how you can too.

Students aged 12-14 years old on the Discover Creative Writing Academy at graduation
Group of girls at Oxford Scholastica
Graduation photo at the Oxford Scholastica Academy

Course Outcomes

What You’ll Experience

Completing our Discover Writing Academy is an ideal first step for 12-14 year olds interested in becoming better at writing. You will: 

  • Benefit from expert tuition from our faculty
  • Learn important writing concepts such as the importance of plot, character development and how to write like a journalist
  • Develop key skills in high demand such as public speaking, critical thinking and teamwork, via our Masterclass series
  • Quiz a successful young writer about how they built a flourishing writing career
  • Put your creativity and knowledge to the test in our Magazine Challenge, in which you’ll work together and pool your skills to create a published magazine
  • Gain clarity on your future direction – we have a proven track record of successfully preparing thousands of students for future success. Our students leave us equipped with knowledge and skills which put them ahead of their peers

The Best People

On the Discover Writing Academy you’ll be taught by the best tutors, supported by the best staff and meet the best students.

The Best Tutors

We select world class tutors who are passionate, inspirational and love teaching young talent. Our faculty are the best: academically outstanding role models from leading universities who are at the cutting edge of research in their fields.

The Best Students

Oxford Scholastica students are special. They are keen to gain experiences, interested in learning, and want to make the most of their summer. Join students from nearly 100 different countries this summer in the most memorable summer of your life.

The Best Staff

You’ll be mentored by our bright undergraduate team who are students at Universities such as Oxford and Cambridge, who love to share their experiences of university life. Our leadership team have run summer schools for many years, while our Matrons are skilled and experienced in looking after young people.

Meet our Discover Writing Tutor and Hero

Eleonora Rossi tutoring at the Oxford Scholastica Academy

Eleonora Rossi MSt (Oxon)

After having studied English and Literature at the American University of Paris and the University of Oxford, Eleonora is now studying for an MA in Gender, Media and Culture at Goldsmiths College, University of London. She is currently working on a project concerning the articulation of lived spaces in 19th century Paris-based feminist publications, such as La Fronde. Though her research is currently focused on magazines and journals, she is extremely fond of fiction and poetry as well. She enjoys hiking, doing yoga, and exploring whichever country she is currently living in!

Please note, our Tutors & Heroes are subject to change.

Sam Sussman, Hero at the Oxford Scholastica Academy

Sam Sussman

Sam was awarded a B.A. with highest honours in Political Science and English Literature from Swarthmore College, before studying for an M.Phil in International Relations at the University of Oxford. Sam studied at the University of Oxford on a full Clarendon Scholarship, and has also been awarded numerous other academic scholarships and prizes. He has published in several academic journals, as well as with the Huffington Post, Asia Times, and several other magazines, and he has just finished his first novel
Map of countries students come from

Meet Students from Around the World

This past summer, students from 85 different nationalities chose to experience our summer school:

out of 10 students said our courses were one of the most memorable summers of their life

out of 10 students said that our courses gave them greater certainty about their future direction

out of 10 parents said they would recommend our courses to other parents

Discover Writing Testimonials

The programme was excellent. I got to know Oxford very well in a very short period of time, the counsellors were all fun and friendly, and my tutor for the Writing Academy was engaging and interesting. Overall a great experience.
Gabriella Latham

Canada

It just surpassed our expectations in every way – pre-attendance organisation, facilities, high level of the programme, challenging course, interesting and diverse attendees from all around the world, dedicated creative teachers, great balance of time working and time for personal endeavors and friend making, supportive staff, teamwork oriented, family-like atmosphere, caring and nurturing environment, academically and personally challenging, true college campus experience…in short, just exceeded all expectations.
Bill & Tanya Mateo

Russia, Parents of Paulina

I have taught with Oxford Scholastica for a number of years and am consistently impressed by the excellent experience students are offered. As both a former teacher and university admissions advisor at a leading UK school, I can say with confidence that OSA students are offered an invaluable opportunity to explore what really interests them, and prepare for their path to university. It really does give students an advantage.

Jo Cruse

Tutor, and former teacher at leading UK school

Your Future Success

Rooted in Oxford’s spirit of academic excellence, OSA’s courses will enable you to master your subject, gain clarity on your future and prepare for a changing world

Certificate

Each student who successfully completes the course will receive an official Oxford Scholastica Academy graduation certificate at our Graduation Ceremony held at Oxford University’s Saïd Business School

Report

You will receive a written report after the summer school, containing feedback on your performance in the classes as well as practical advice on how to continue exploring the subject.

Our Network

Gain membership of our global alumni community of over 2000 students from over 100 countries.

OSA Foundation

You’ll have the opportunity to apply for funding from the OSA Foundation for charitable projects you set up, or for causes you support or volunteer for.

Graduation Certificate

Each student who successfully completes the course will receive an official Oxford Scholastica Academy graduation certificate at our Graduation Ceremony held at Oxford University’s Saïd Business School

Tutor Report

You will receive a written report after the summer school, containing feedback on your performance in the classes as well as practical advice on how to continue exploring the subject.

Be Part of Our Network

Gain membership to our global alumni community of over 2000 students from over 100 countries.

OSA Foundation

You’ll have the opportunity to apply for funding from the OSA Foundation for any charitable projects set up, support or volunteer for.

Get the Oxford Experience

The Oxford Experience

Oxford is a world famous centre of academic excellence, and Oxford’s tradition of excellence underpins our summer school. Whether it’s the city’s academic prowess, cultural delights like punting on the river, or rich history that appeals to you, Oxford is a place unlike any other. The Oxford experience truly is extraordinary.

Join us and live it for yourself. Here are five key reasons to choose Oxford Scholastica.

Gain Clarity About Your Future

We’ll help you to discover, experience and prepare for your successful future.

Discover Oxford

Explore the city of Oxford, home to brilliant architecture and historic traditions such as “punting”.

Experience University life

Follow in the footsteps of famous scientists, authors, political leaders and more.

Make International Friendships For Life

Go home with a network of friends from around the world.

Prepare for A Rapidly Changing World

Develop the knowledge, skills and confidence you need to thrive.

St George's campus
Blavatnik School of Government
Students debating at the Oxford Union

Experience

Accommodation & Classrooms

You’ll get a taste for student life, staying in your own safe and secure en-suite room at one of our five campuses in the centre of the city.

You’ll study in classrooms on the Oxford University campus, and get to experience the best of the old (such as debating at the historic Oxford Union) and the best of the new (such as the Saïd Business School and the Blavatnik School of Government).

Click here for more details about our accommodation.

Students at the Saïd Business School

Your Discover Writing Timetable

Here’s an example of your Discover Writing timetable – you can hover your mouse over parts of the timetable to get more information. 

Your Discover Writing Timetable

Click here to see an example of the timetable.

First week

8am‑9am9am‑10am10am‑11am11am‑12pm12pm‑1pm1pm‑2pm2pm‑3pm3pm‑4pm4pm‑5pm5pm‑6pm6pm‑7pmEvening
SundayArrivalOur team will be ready to help you settle in at the accommodation. If you are coming from abroad we can happily help to arrange a transfer from the airportDinnerIcebreaker eveningAn evening of fun introductory games designed to get you to know your new friends and our staff team
MondayBreakfastWelcome and Introductory ClassYou'll be introduced to Oxford Scholastica, and get your first chance to meet your Tutors who will talk you through the course outline and answer any of your questionsLunchYou'll have the opportunity to visit one of Oxford's many tasty, healthy cafes/restaurants for your lunch each dayOxford TourWe'll be taking you around the most famous landmarks in Oxford, from the colleges which inspired Harry Potter to the historic city buildingsScavenger HuntPut your new found knowledge to the test in our Scavenger Hunt competition, and discover Oxford's secretsDinnerIce CreamRelax after your first day with a sociable dinner, and some of Oxford's famous George & Danver's (G&D's) ice cream!
TuesdayBreakfastClasses and Independent StudyOur small-group courses are conducted by our hand-picked tutors. Each day you'll have a two hour class and be given some reading or work by your tutor to complete in your two hours of independent study. Just like a university student, you'll be trusted to work independently or in groups in your rooms.LunchFailure to Success or How to Be Great MasterclassesLearn the secrets of successful people, as we explore the tips and tricks to become successful, and discover how experiences of failure have driven successful people to stellar achievements.DinnerOutdoor ShakespeareTonight we'll be watching a Shakespeare play in the beautiful surroundings of the city.
WednesdayBreakfastClasses and Independent StudyLunchPuntingA punt is a flat-bottomed, square-ended boat which is powered by submerging a long pole onto the bank of the river and pushing the boat along - or as some people put it, pushing a boat with a stick! It is most commonly seen in Oxford and Cambridge, and is a favourite summer activity of students at Oxford. We'll teach you how to punt along the beautiful banks of North Oxford, and this is one of our students' favourite events each yearPicnic DinnerParks' GamesAfter our punting afternoon we'll spend the evening having a picnic and playing games by the banks of the river in the Oxford University Parks, arguably the most beautiful park in Oxford
ThursdayBreakfastClasses and Independent StudyWindsor TripWe're off to visit Windsor Castle today - the oldest and largest occupied castle in the world and the Official Residence of Her Majesty The Queen.
FridayBreakfastClasses and Independent StudyLunchApplications MasterclassMany of you will be thinking about your future life after school. In this interactive afternoon, we'll guide you through the job applications process, or the process for applying to UK universities for further studyDinnerActive ActivitiesJoin our Activities Coordinators as they lead active activities outside, to make the most of the summer. Choices have previously ranged from yoga to rugby, dancing to football, frisbee to zumba, and many more!
SaturdayBreakfastClasses and Independent StudyLunchThe Oxford Scholastica Challenge Afternoon!This is the moment you've been waiting for, as you'll get the chance to apply the knowledge you've learnt so far. From designing and marketing an App (Enterprise and Computer Science) to a Mock Clinic (Young Doctors) to a Model United Nations (Leadership and Debate) to designing a Magazine (Creative Writing) to a mock trial (Law), your teamwork skills will be tested to the max in our afternoon of fun ChallengesDinnerFilm NightAfter a hard day of putting your learning into practice, chill out in your accommodation with your friends and watch a film. Popcorn provided!

Second week

8am‑9am9am‑10am10am‑11am11am‑12pm12pm‑1pm1pm‑2pm2pm‑3pm3pm‑4pm4pm‑5pm5pm‑6pm6pm‑7pmEvening
SundayBreakfastHero SessionYou'll get the opportunity to meet your course Hero, a young professional who has studied your subject and has gone on to some impressive things in his/her early career. You'll be inspired to discover a possible career you might like to go into, and what a day-in-the-life in this line of work entails. You'll also do a hands-on task related to the typical work you might do in this career, as well as the opportunity to ask your Hero lots of questions.BrunchYou'll eat a delicious brunch in the beautiful dining hall of Corpus Christi CollegeFree TimeYou'll have free time this afternoon, giving you the opportunity to explore some of Oxford's famous museums including the Ashmolean, the world's first university museum, go shopping or alternatively relax and have some downtimeDinnerOSA International BallJoin us for the much anticipated Oxford Scholastica Ball. Put on your finest clothes, represent your country in national dress, and experience a magical evening cruising down the river with your friends
MondayBreakfastClasses and Independent StudyLunchDebating MasterclassIn the famous surroundings of the Oxford Union, sharpen your debating skills and put them to the test against your peersDinner
TuesdayBreakfastClasses and Independent StudyLunchChange the World MasterclassDo you want to make the world a better place? Our Change the World Masterclass will introduce you to the best ways to go about putting your ideas into reality and inspire you with stories of our alumni who have done just that!DinnerConquering HappinessLearn from an expert exactly what it means to be 'happy' and how we can apply these ideas in our own lives
WednesdayBreakfastCambridge TripSee the UK's other famous university city - Cambridge. Take a relaxing punt down the college backs, while learning about the town's history, and take the opportunity to visit some of its beautiful colleges.
ThursdayBreakfastClasses and Independent StudyLunchBicester Village, Football Tournament or Free TimeYou'll have the opportunity to go to Bicester Village, Europe's luxury shopping capital, or take part in our football tournament at the famous Iffley Road Sports Centre (where the first sub four minute mile was run by Roger Bannister in 1954), or alternatively you can take the opportunity to have some free time and relax.DinnerOxford's Got TalentTonight you'll get to show off your skills in our talent show, and be amazed at the amazing skills of your friends.
FridayBreakfastClasses and Independent StudyLunchPacking and FeedbackGraduationWe'll be celebrating your achievements at our Graduation and Prize Giving Ceremony and dinner at the famous Saïd Business School, where you'll also receive our Yearbook which you can get your friends to sign. Parents and friends are very welcome to attend!BBQ and CeilidhDress up and see out our final evening in style with a ceilidh. A ceilidh is a traditional Scottish Dance, and local band Swinging Molly will be present to play the summer school out
SaturdayBreakfastDepartures

Please note this timetable may be subject to change.

Lexie giving student birthday cake
Students making cakes
Matron Kit Anderson with students at Oxford Scholastica

Experience

Pastoral Care

Ensuring that each student has the very best experience possible is our absolute priority.

We understand that a summer away from home can be daunting for parents and students. That’s why all our students also have 24-hour support, security and care from our specialised staff. To help you prepare for joining us in the summer, our Community Team will be in touch to answer any questions and send you some helpful material you might want to look at before you come along.

Like all of our core team, our Community Team will also be on-site over the summer in case students need any help or support.

We also organise group welcome calls before the course where you can meet our team face-to-face, and start to get to know some of the other students who will be your classmates.

Graduation at the Saïd Business School

Inspected and Accredited

Our Discover Writing courses have been independently accredited by the British Accreditation Council as a short course provider for Independent Further and Higher Education. The BAC have assessed our teaching quality, pastoral care, and overall standards.

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