Debate & Public Speaking Academy

The Debate & Public Speaking Academy brings the power of speech to life within the context of Politics, International Relations, Law and Economics.

 

I learnt eloquence in speech, debating skills and confidence. A fantastic experience.

Jacques Bouvery, France

Crowd

How did Churchill, Clinton and Luther King make such mesmerising speeches?

Speech

Is the content of a speech more or less important than the delivery?

Talk

Want to get expert coaching on how to communicate in a persuasive manner?

Obama
Abraham Lincoln

The Importance of Public Speaking

Discover some of the greatest speeches of all time including those by Abraham Lincoln and Martin Luther and what you can learn from them.

Houses of Parliament

British Parliamentary Debating

Discover the finer points of this format of debate as well as the opportunity to practise yourself.

Speaking

Schools Mace Debating

Contrast this format with the previous one and verbally battle with your opponents.

Presentation

Effective Critical Thinking

Learn the ability to logically defend your intellectual positions under pressure.

Rebuttal

The Art of Rebuttal

Master how to effectively deconstruct opposition arguments.

United Nations

Discover Politics & International Relations

Learn about how democracy works and major bodies such as the UN, EU and NATO in relation to significant conflicts such as 9/11 and Israel/Palestine.

Law

Understand Economics & Law

Explore the role of global trade organisations (IMF and WTO), the recent financial crisis and the ethics of human rights legislation.

Debating

Balloon Debate

Pit your wits against your classmates as you take on the role of a famous historical figure attempting to justify themselves.

Medical challenge

The International Diplomacy Challenge

Want to feel the heat of discussing significant international issues at a global platform? In this Challenge, armed with your newly refined debating skills and international relations knowledge, thrive in a simulation UN Security Council.
  • Feel the adrenaline rush of trying to get a favourable resolution for your country against the clock
  • Present and debate critical worldwide issues with other diplomats who have conflicting interests
  • Develop solutions that gain consensus despite an unexpected crisis situation

GRADUATION CERTIFICATES

Graduation
Graduation evening
Oxford Scholastica Academy graduation ceremony

On completion of the course, you’ll be awarded your Oxford Scholastica Academy Graduation Certificate at our Graduation Ceremony.

This is held on the final afternoon at the impressive Saïd Business School which we hire for the evening.

Parents are warmly welcome to attend, and the ceremony is followed by dinner.

Debate summer school tutor

Meet our Tutor

Simranjit Kamal, LLB Hons

Simran is a seasoned debater who completed her Law studies at the University of Birmingham, where she developed her public speaking skills and took part in many legal style debates (“moots”).

  • Simran was a member of the Oxfordshire Youth Parliament for four years
  • She has undergone mini-pupillages with a number of legal firms
  • In her classes students can expect interactive learning, whether this is through group work or through the use of educational games
Tom Corby

Meet our Hero

Tom Corby BA Hons (Oxon)

You’ll have the opportunity to meet our Hero, Tom, who works as a Lawyer where he regularly engages in debate and public speaking.

  • Tom studied Modern History at New College, Oxford University, where he was a Scholar
  • Tom is now a barrister practising at 20 Essex Street. He specialises in commercial law which includes shipping, international sale of goods, conflicts of law and banking
  • Tom has acted for and against a variety of parties, including the Kingdom of Spain, a major Eastern European drinks brand and an England cricketer

Oxford Scholastica tutor on BBC News!

Jo Cruse, one of our previous Debate & Public Speaking tutors, was interviewed on BBC World News.

She was asked to give her views on emotion in politics, particularly in reference to Obama’s delivery of the news of the new executive actions that will lead to stricter gun controls in the US.

Watch Jo in action in the video.

MASTERCLASSES

In addition to your Debate & Public Speaking classes, you’ll get to experience our interactive and fun Masterclasses. These sessions will broaden your knowledge and skills.

stress busting

Oxford Scholastica is all about inspiring you to think about your future at an earlier stage.

You'll soon be faced with a job application process, and we think it's important for you to understand how such a process works. We'll let you know about:

  • The kinds of things employers are looking for
  • How to demonstrate and fulfil your potential in an application form or CV
  • The key stages of putting together a successful job application

debating at the oxford union

Do you want to sharpen your wits and be able to defend your point of view against bright opponents? Our Debating Masterclass is a fun, fast paced and memorable session where you learn to master the fine art of persuading your audience to believe your case. Led by expert debaters, this Masterclass will be followed by a Debating Competition in the famous surroundings of the Oxford Union - you'll be following in the footsteps of Winston Churchill, Mother Teresa and Michael Jackson!

  • Develop your ability to think quickly on your feet to combat opposition points
  • Work collaboratively in teams to create and articulate solutions to the big problems
  • Improve your self-confidence, speaking and listening skills in this interactive session

Our Masterclass last year was led by Jo Cruse, who has recently been featured on BBC News talking about the use of emotion in public speaking:

Volunteering Masterclass
You'll be helping to make the world a better place as we take you to spend an afternoon helping out a local charity build a children's garden.

Amongst other things, you'll learn about sustainability and how to make a difference in a practical way.

  • Gain experience of volunteering
  • Develop a personal connection to the Oxford community
  • Leave a legacy of your time in Oxford

Many thanks to our friends at the great charity Student Hubs for facilitating the session for us.

changemakers
Want to change the world?

In this Masterclass you will explore examples of individuals affecting change in a global context, and then learn the tools needed to develop and enact a plan for changing the world yourself.

  • Learn some of the ways the world has been changed historically by audacious individuals and groups
  • Work with classmates to create an executable plan to create real impact in response to real issues
  • Develop real world skills and keep in contact with friends by continuing your cohort’s mission after the summer school ends

Presentation
What do Richard Branson, Charles Darwin, Elvis Presley and Michael Jordan have in common?

We see them as highly successful people, yet they all had a hard time achieving this success. In this masterclass, you will learn how to grow from failures and setbacks and use as a driving force and become smarter, stronger and better. 

  • Debunk the myths of overnight success and luck  
  • Reflect on why we are all so scared of failing
  • Learn how to use setbacks to create future success

OUR TIMETABLE

Hover your mouse over the timetable to see more information.

First week

8am‑9am 9am‑10am 10am‑11am 11am‑12pm 12pm‑1pm 1pm‑2pm 2pm‑3pm 3pm‑4pm 4pm‑5pm 5pm‑6pm 6pm‑7pm Evening
Sunday ArrivalOur 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 airport Dinner Icebreaker eveningAn evening of fun introductory games designed to get you to know your new friends and our staff team
Monday Breakfast Welcome 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 questions LunchYou'll have the opportunity to visit one of Oxford's many tasty, healthy cafes/restaurants for your lunch each day Oxford TourWe'll be taking you around the most famous landmarks in Oxford, from the colleges which inspired Harry Potter to the historic city buildings Scavenger HuntPut your new found knowledge to the test in our Scavenger Hunt competition, and discover Oxford's secrets Dinner Ice CreamRelax after your first day with a sociable dinner, and some of Oxford's famous George & Danver's (G&D's) ice cream!
Tuesday Breakfast Classes 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. Lunch Failure 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. Dinner Outdoor ShakespeareTonight we'll be watching a Shakespeare play in the beautiful surroundings of the city.
Wednesday Breakfast Classes and Independent Study Lunch PuntingA 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 year Picnic Dinner Parks' 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
Thursday Breakfast Classes and Independent Study Windsor 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.
Friday Breakfast Classes and Independent Study Lunch Applications 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 study Dinner Active 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!
Saturday Breakfast Classes and Independent Study Lunch The 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 Challenges Dinner Film 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‑9am 9am‑10am 10am‑11am 11am‑12pm 12pm‑1pm 1pm‑2pm 2pm‑3pm 3pm‑4pm 4pm‑5pm 5pm‑6pm 6pm‑7pm Evening
Sunday Breakfast Hero 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 College Free 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 downtime Dinner OSA 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
Monday Breakfast Classes and Independent Study Lunch Debating MasterclassIn the famous surroundings of the Oxford Union, sharpen your debating skills and put them to the test against your peers Dinner
Tuesday Breakfast Classes and Independent Study Lunch Change 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! Dinner Conquering HappinessLearn from an expert exactly what it means to be 'happy' and how we can apply these ideas in our own lives
Wednesday Breakfast Cambridge 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.
Thursday Breakfast Classes and Independent Study Lunch Bicester 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. Dinner Oxford'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.
Friday Breakfast Classes and Independent Study Lunch Packing and Feedback GraduationWe'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
Saturday Breakfast Departures

Please note this timetable may be subject to change.

Secure Your Place on the Debate & Public Speaking Academy

This course is perfect for anyone interested in:

  • Studying subjects such as Politics, Law, International Relations or History
  • Developing their ability to put forward persuasive and coherent arguments
  • A career involving public speaking and debate such as the Law, Politics or Media

Entrance Requirements:

  • You must be aged between 15 and 18 at the start of the course
  • You must be motivated and keen to learn
  • You must speak and understand English well. Please contact us if you want to discuss your English level