The Best People
Inspirational, Caring, Reliable
A summer at Oxford Scholastica is designed to be lifechanging. You’ll experience the best courses in an inspirational city. You’ll achieve things you’ve never done before. You’ll gain clarity and motivation about your future.
But, just as importantly, you’ll meet the best people – the staff, tutors and fellow students who’ll make up your community this summer.
Oxford Scholastica people are special. There are lots of summer schools who offer courses in wonderful settings around the world. But go onto their website and you won’t read much about the people who make up their programme.
We’re really proud of our people – the staff, tutors and students who will make up your experience. What truly makes OSA and our Oxford Summer School stand out is the quality of people who participate.
Your main academic point of contact will be your course Tutor. We are fortunate that our mission (to inspire young people to discover, experience and prepare for their futures) attracts high quality tutors, many of whom teach for universities such as Oxford, Cambridge and other leading academic institutions. They are subject experts, often at the cutting edge of research in their subjects.
We carefully interview and select the brightest, the best and most engaging tutors to teach our curriculum. And Oxford Scholastica tutors often stay teaching with us for many years – they find teaching OSA students stimulating and thought-provoking. We support them with training, observations and development opportunities, so that they truly become part of our family.
You’ll also get to meet our Masterclass leaders who will help you to build your skills and get you thinking about your future. So you might hear from Michael, a happiness expert researching the philosophy of happiness at the University of Oxford. Or experience a Masterclass on how failure can inspire success, run by Mitch, a tutor in Politics at the University of Oxford and trained psychotherapist. Or be trained in public speaking skills at the famous Oxford Union debating chamber by Ivo, a lawyer who has worked at the International Criminal Court.
Finally, you’ll get to meet our Heroes, young professionals who have studied your subject and gone on to impressive achievements in their early careers. They will talk you through why they decided to go into their field, what they did to get there and what they love – and don’t enjoy – about their work. You’ll get a realistic understanding of what kinds of things you can do in the future after school.
Our Heroes are inspirational, and they include doctors, lawyers, coders, entrepreneurs, writers and many others. Amongst our talented Heroes we have heard from an engineer who helped to develop Virtual Reality on the Playstation, young political leaders who have campaigned for change on an international level, computer scientists who have modified computer games to enable people with disabilities to play, award winning junior doctors, young barristers and many more.
Oxford Scholastica tutors are the best – world class. And so are OSA staff. We combine qualified education leaders, up-and-coming bright undergraduates and experienced Matrons. One of our most important values is “Caring”, and we get to know each student personally.
Our leadership team of Photis, Louise, Lavinia and Jo, headed up by husband and wife Jamie and Dr Sophie Dear, have many years’ experience of running summer schools, and are passionate about the care OSA gives to every student.
Your first point of contact will be with Photis, who is there to help parents and students make sure that OSA is a good fit for you. You’ll also be supported by Lavinia, who offers a personal 1-1 video-call for students once they’ve signed up – a friendly face to say hello, learn more about why you want to attend OSA so we can tailor your experience, and answer any of your questions.
Our mission is to make sure you feel comfortable and confident about coming to OSA – for many students, this is their first time away from home and we are keen to make sure everyone feels fully supported. During the summer school we are all on site every day, rather than being in a remote office. This means we’re able to get to know the students and are able to be responsive if there are any problems.
Parents are also given an emergency 24 hour number and are encouraged to get in touch with questions at any time.
Our students are divided into campuses, with 30-60 students in each of our buildings. This enables a close, family-based environment in which all students are a name rather than a number. There are lots of opportunities to meet with students from other campuses too.
The main day-to-day contact for students are our Activities Coordinators, who tend to be undergraduate and graduate students from the University of Oxford. They are role models as they have successfully navigated the paths our students are starting to think about, and this means students are able to relate to them.
One of our other values is “Inspirational”, and our Activities Coordinators are dynamic, successful and motivating to be around. We encourage our students to ask them lots of questions about what it’s like to apply to and truly experience university life, and these conversations help to shape many of our students’ future thinking.
We often say that Oxford Scholastica is not just for summer – it’s for life. You’ll be part of our community of thousands of young people who have experienced the OSA magic. We love to stay in touch with our students, and many of them return to Oxford or our London campus in future years, or recommend us to their friends and family.
As a former OSA student you’ll have access to our network of resources and advice, ranging from articles written by leading writers through to our book clubs, podcasts, webinars and more. It’s all free, part of our mission to continue to inspire you after you leave Oxford.
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My Scholastica journey didn’t end with the two weeks. The support I derive from it continues as far as today, through every step of my academic life and university application process. Staying in contact with my friends from summer school, as well as the staff, has pushed and challenged me to make the most out of my last year at school. I was motivated to work hard, without which I would never have achieved an offer from my dream university, Cambridge. The support from my Scholastica family keeps me focused on my A levels and making a difference. They make it increasingly clear that they’re as excited for me to live my dream as I am, and I couldn’t be more grateful!
When they say “Scholastica family” they’re really not joking. Even though that summer ended ages ago, I’ve been able to keep in contact with staff and friends who continue to teach me. The intake of new knowledge never really ends! I’ve learnt so much about culture and determination by staying in touch with the people I met at Scholastica. The friendships I made that summer, with truly the best people, are ones I hope to keep for a very long time.
Last – but definitely not least – are the students who make up the Oxford Scholastica cohort. In order to attend OSA you need to apply for your place. This means that everyone who joins us in Oxford wants to attend the programme. We have a limited number of places each year, and we select students who demonstrate motivation to want to attend, and who have good levels of English language.
Our students come from all over the world. No nationality makes up more than 15% of our cohort, meaning that you’ll meet lots of people from different cultures and backgrounds. With nearly 100 different nationalities represented last summer, you’ll be introduced to students with different perspectives, religions, political views etc.
They may be from different countries, but what unites them all is their willingness to make the most of the opportunity to learn more about their courses, themselves and other people.
OSA students go on to impressive things. Many of our former students go on to leading universities around the world, from Oxford to Cambridge to Harvard to top universities in Singapore, Switzerland, China and more. After university, they go onto careers in professions ranging from law to medicine, finance to business, engineering to the charity sector.
Some of our students go on to set up their own ventures, including not-for-profits, and apply for funding from our charitable Foundation – established to support causes our alumni are passionate about.
It’s these three groups of people – staff, tutors and students – who make up the Oxford Scholastica magic. OSA’s people are truly the best.