Lampl Summer Blogs

Sunday 4th August to Saturday 17th August

Tuesday 13th August 2019


After a wet start to the day, and our usual routine of classes, Independent Study time and lunch, we headed off to a masterclass with Mitch – a true philosopher of his time. He talked us through the concept of success, using marshmallows and our role-playing skills to demonstrate the subjectivity of the concept.



After DINNER at The Breakfast Club (yes, it’s confusing), we went home with 50 cupcakes and everything we needed to decorate them. Wasan blew us away with her intricate patterns – truly too pretty to eat (speaking of which – we had a slight problem later that night when we found ourselves with more cupcakes than we could possibly eat at 10pm). So, if you’re ever in the mood for cake, the Lampl fridge is the place to look. Another lovely and exhausting day at Lampl!





Monday 12th August 2019


After a morning of toasting waffles and attending class, the Lamplites were off to their masterclasses. Simran, a Barrister and graduate of the university of Birmingham, gave us new perspectives on thinking about our futures. In accordance with this she gave us her experience with the UK university application system, and how to get the best outcome with your grades.



Later that evening, the face masks and nail polish came out to play for our house night! Rhea kept the vibes flowing as DJ, while the rest of us enjoyed the cozy night in – especially David with his manicure!









Sunday 11th August 2019


On Sunday morning, the weather gods smiled upon us and we were able to go punting! We headed down to Folly Bridge for everyone to experience this very Oxford tradition. Some students were uncertain, with Kanika in particular refusing to stand up and try punting out of sheer terror, but others took to it very well – David, Daniel and Aziz were all particularly successful! Teagan tried her hardest but couldn’t seem to stop the boat going in circles, while Tobi decided to throw caution to the winds and jump from the boat in an ill-fated attempt to escape! Luckily, Lavinia was on hand to tow one punt back to safety behind her own…



Laughing but exhausted, we made our way over to Corpus Christi College, one of the colleges of Oxford University, for a well-deserved brunch. In the afternoon, a very motivated group went up to Summertown for badminton, where Saumya, who plays at the national level in India, very kindly and patiently helped us all improve our games. She and Max went head to head several times, but despite his valiant attempts to beat her, she came out on top. Special mention also has to go to Francesco and David who were also very talented!



The evening continued with a pasta dinner at Zizzi’s and an energetic game of Hide and Seek in – and around – the house. Tobi was an excellent seeker, but not quite a match for Sofy who hid behind the bins and wasn’t found until the next round! After such a fun weekend, we had a relatively early night in preparation for a new week of classes starting tomorrow.







Saturday 10th August 2019


After such a busy first week, it was time for a more relaxing weekend! Saturday morning started with our Hero sessions around town. The Young Doctors’ Academy and Discover Medicine students met Khalid, a paediatric surgical consultant from the John Radcliffe Hospital, who talked to them about his journey through medical school and training.



In the meantime, the Enterprise and Discover Business students met Ameya, who has studied at UCL and at Harvard and consulted for various big clients including the UN. He talked to them about Corporate Social Responsibility and social enterprises, and the positive role that businesses can play in society. Students then came up with their own ideas for social enterprises and discussed how they might help make the world a better place through their careers in business.



The afternoon was given over to free time, with Kanika and Sofy hitting the shops at Westgate, Saumya heading up to Bicester Village for more shopping, and others simply choosing to relax and explore Oxford. In the evening, we had burgers for dinner, and then went out to the cinema for a night out to see the new Lion King, which everyone enjoyed. All in all, a relaxing day!





Friday 9th August 2019


Today, students had their Classes and Independent Study time as usual in the morning. This was followed by a quick lunch before they all went off to their Challenges – a four-hour practical session during which they were tasked with putting the theory they had learnt in class into practice.

Our International Relations & Leadership students combined with the Young Lawyers’ Academy for a Mock Trial in Oxford’s Town Hall. Esther and Kenza participated as witnesses for the trial, while Saumya, Kanika and Max cross-examined the witnesses. On the opposing side Ela, Sophie and Amelie were trying to find the witnesses guilty of crimes against humanity. We were very impressed with everyone’s confidence and quick thinking!

In the meantime, our Discover Medicine and Young Doctors’ Academy students headed over to the John Radcliffe Hospital for their Challenge. They met real patients suffering from chronic conditions and had the opportunity to take their medical histories and attempt to diagnose them – Sedra particularly enjoyed correctly diagnosing a patient with diabetes! Here are our budding medics at the hospital:



The Enterprise and Discover Business students teamed up for their Challenge. The Discover Business students had to build, market and pitch a design for a water rocket (check it out below!), while the Enterprise students came up with their own business plans, costed them out, prepared presentations and pitched them to a panel of judges, Dragons Den-style.




The day ended with a ceilidh, a traditional Scottish dance, with the students from Cherwell House, who were sadly leaving us that night. Everyone hugged and said their farewells, before heading off to bed.






Thursday 8th August 2019


Today we started our day early, eating breakfast and then dashing off to our respective classes. After class we had lunch with our friends in town, with some of us shopping and others relaxing and soaking in some sunshine. After lunch, we headed back to the accommodation to go to the Oxford Union, Oxford University’s Debating Society.

At the Oxford Union we had two masterclasses: one on dialogue and one on debating. Mitch, who lead the dialogue class, taught us how to handle tough situations and how to be conscious of our tones and feelings in relation to conversations that we have. Students learned about the importance of resisting polarisation in order to have more productive, respectful conversations. Francesco and Max modelled Mitch’s non-violent communication strategies in a scene depicting a scorned lovers’ tiff!

After the session on Dialogue, it was time for a session on formal Debating, specifically British Parliamentary Style debating. To warm up, students took part in a Balloon Debate, in which they each had to choose a character and then argue to save that character’s place on a sinking balloon.

Pictured above are some of our Balloon Debaters, who included: Wonder Woman (Nimzi), Hermione (Amelie), Scarlet Witch (Sophie), Iron man (Max), Antman (Francesco), Wasp (Tomasin), Simba (Kenza) and Spiderman (Sedra).

We heard some very convincing speeches as to why each character should remain on the hot air balloon. Simba made some pretty convincing arguments, but others pointed out that she is from the cat family and therefore not that helpful…! Many pointed out that Iron Man, although a millionaire, was just not helpful in this situation because he weighed a lot. However, in the end, Wonder Woman stole the show. “I’m Wonder Woman guys, it’s wonderful,” concluded Nimzi!

After the Masterclasses, we headed into the Chamber for the final debate. Francesco and Saumya were selected to compete in the finals and gave strong arguments for their team. Francesco thought quickly and was able to give a quick rebuttal and take on points of information, while Saumya was extremely passionate and articulated all her points clearly and with a lot of emotion. We were very proud of both of them!




Wednesday 7th August 2019


The morning started with our new routine: breakfast, classes in the Blavatnik School of Government, and Independent Study time. In the afternoon, however, was something new: our first trip! We visited Blenheim Palace, the ancestral home and birthplace of the UK’s wartime Prime Minister, Winston Churchill.



Our students had the opportunity to explore the extensive grounds and get some lunch in one of the Palace’s many cafes, with some choosing to explore this summer’s temporary exhibition: a replica of Shakespeare’s Rose Theatre, built temporarily in the Palace grounds. Afterwards, we all went into the Palace together to explore the state rooms, chapel and exhibition on the life of Winston Churchill. Only the very dedicated Jingyi and Amelia from Cherwell House wanted audioguides, while all of Lampl chose to experience the Palace at their own pace!



The day didn’t end after the trip, however – we had a delicious pizza dinner, a little bit of time for everyone to rush around madly getting ready, and then we set off for the much-anticipated OSA International Ball! We had a private boat for Lampl and Cherwell students, which sailed down the River Thames while the DJ played a selection of tunes featuring everything from Billie Eilish to the Macarena! Esther and Anna W had so much fun that afterwards their only comment was “We just wish it could have been longer!” – girls, we’re glad you enjoyed it.









Tuesday 6th August 2019


Anna, David, and Mira went for a run impressively early in the morning today! Other students had a more leisurely start, with breakfast in the morning and then heading to their respective classes.

In the afternoon, punting was postponed for another day due to heavy rains. Instead, students were given free time, with many opting to watch movies and have hot chocolate. We then walked to Wolfson College for a barbeque. After everyone was nice and full, we brought out a cake and sang happy birthday to Anna, while presenting her with a giant chocolate cake on her special day.

Students then had activities and enjoyed learning how to make friendship bracelets from Tia. Safietou was eager to learn, while Ela quickly mastered the art and Amelie challenged herself to learn more complex patterns.

After the creative arts session finished, students attended a Masterclass called Conquering Happiness, from Oxford philosopher Michael Plant. Michael shared his personal experiences with mental illness, before discussing the meaning of happiness and how to achieve it with our students. We rounded off the session with some meditation and mindfulness!

All in all, a happy day!





Monday 5th August 2019


Today started bright and early, with breakfast in the house and then students’ first classes, which take place in the Blavatnik School of Government (the Politics Faculty of Oxford University). Students met their tutors – Max was particularly impressed with his Young Lawyers’ Academy tutor Ivo, commenting “he looks smart”! Max – we can confirm, Ivo is very smart!

Our Young Doctors’ Academy students were introduced to the topic of cardiology today, while Enterprise students learned about the different types of businesses. In the meantime, other students had a Welcome Talk from Louise, Lavinia and Pascha, before swapping over for their own Classes.



The afternoon continued with free time for lunch and tours of Oxford by the team. Maeve took students into the Oxford University college where she studies, Jesus College, and Lavinia’s group particularly enjoyed discovering Bubbleology bubble tea on the Oxford High Street! The students saw the Sheldonian Theatre (where Oxford students matriculate and graduate), the Bodleian Library, Bridge of Sighs, and iconic Radcliffe Camera, among much else.



After a sushi dinner, Lampl students went out again for a special experience – the Creation Theatre production of Shakespeare’s The Tempest. Creation Theatre productions are no ordinary shows, and this one was no different: it was an interactive experience, based around the metaphor of a voyage onboard ship (just like in the beginning of The Tempest). It involved audience improvisation, physical theatre, and actors in boats – as well as some exploring of Oxford on foot in search of clues!








Sunday 4th August


Welcome to Oxford Scholastica! A new cohort of students arrived in the afternoon, to a somewhat mixed Oxford sky of sunshine, clouds and drizzle. After our students got settled into their rooms, some chose to go out into town and explore, with our 4-weeker Amelie kindly playing the tour guide and showing everyone around the Westgate Centre. Others relaxed in their rooms until it was time to head over to the rooftop of the Oxford Castle, for a BBQ and some icebreaker games.



The Oxford Castle was a prison until 1996, and is now the Malmaison Hotel, which has retained the prison theme (the bedroom doors are still heavy cell doors!) and hosted us for our Welcome Event. Our new Lampl students met another group of Scholastica students, from Cherwell House, for a selection of icebreaker games including the ever-popular Splat, Name Aerobics (or Animal Names for our less energetic groups), and Wink Murder, all run by our lovely staff team at Lampl, Maeve, Omar, Tia, Jessie and Brendan.

After such an exciting day, we had a brief welcome from the team, and then an early night in preparation for the start of classes in the morning!