Debate and Public Speaking Academy

Are you fascinated by the power of speech? We created the Debating and Public Speaking Academy especially for bright 15-18 year olds to help you develop your confidence and ability to persuade and captivate your audience. You'll also discover how you might use debating and public speaking skills in different professional contexts

Latest Availability

1st-14th July 2018

Limited Availability

15th-28th July 2018

Limited Availability

29th July-11th August 2018

Good Availability

Welcome to the Debating and Public Speaking Academy. This two-week course is a hands-on, practical opportunity for you to explore and experiment with the power of speech in the contexts of Politics, International Relations, Law and Economics. Along the way, you’ll learn about the British Parliamentary debate system, and how to develop your critical thinking and reasoning.

This course is perfect for you if you’re considering:  

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

Our Learning Philosophy

We want to help you discover your future study and career path, and we don’t think you can decide if you enjoy public speaking or debating just by reading out of textbook! As a student on our Debating and Public Speaking Academy you will:

LEARN

How do famous speakers captivate their audience?

Try out some of the techniques public speakers from history have used to engage their audience

T

SEE

What’s a career in public speaking really like?

Meet our hero—a lawyer who debates on an almost daily basis—who you can ask questions, and discover what it’s like to speak in front of others regularly in your job

DO

What’s it like to discuss significant international issues at a global platform?

Our Model United Nations Challenge gives you the chance to represent a country and debate critical worldwide issues with other diplomats who have conflicting interests

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

 

Entry Requirements

 

Aged 15-18

Keen to learn

Speak and understand English well

Debate and Public Speaking Academy Class Outline

As part of the Debating and Public Speaking Academy, you’ll take part in a series of 10 classes. The first class is an introduction to the course, your tutor and your classmates, and the following 8 classes are structured around the topics below—the final class will be a surprise, created for you by your tutor, focusing on an area of their particular interest

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1. Introduction to Debate and Public Speaking

What speaking techniques are most effective? Work together to identify and evaluate techniques used by renowned public speakers to captivate their audience. Put what you learn into practice with a short speech of your own

2. British Parliamentary Debating

What is British Parliamentary (BP) Debating? We’ll discuss the rules, styles and strategies of this format of debate and you’ll be able to give it a go yourself in a practice debate

3. Schools Mace Debating

What’s the difference between BP and Schools Mace debating? We’ll outline the difference in rules and styles between the two, and you’ll be able to experience the difference as you give Schools Mace debating a try

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4. Critical Thinking

How can I use critical thinking to construct a solid argument? We’ll explore key features of critical thinking by looking through a range of real-life speech excerpts to help you logically defend your argument

5. Rebuttal

What makes an effective rebuttal? We’ll work together to evaluate examples of rebuttal used by a range of real-life speeches and you’ll learn to master how to effectively deconstruct opposing arguments

6. Politics and International Relations

What’s the role of the UN in international crises? You’ll discover how the political system of democracy works. We’ll also explore the roles of major bodies such as the UN, EU and NATO in relation to significant conflicts such as 9/11 and Israel/Palestine

7. Economics and the Law

What does the World Trade Organisation do? In this class we’ll discover the role of global trade organisations (IMF and WTO) and discuss economics in relation to the recent financial crisis. We’ll also explore the ethics of human rights legislation

8. Balloon Debating

Can you persuade others not to throw you out of the sinking hot-air balloon? In this style of debate, you’ll need to pit your wits and reasoning skills against your classmates as you all take on the role of famous historical figures and try to justify your worth over theirs

Are you ready for the Model United Nations Challenge?

Are you ready to feel the heat of discussing significant international issues at a global platform?

In this Challenge, you’ll join the Leadership & International Relations students and find yourself in the role of a diplomat in a simulation UN Security Council!

Demonstrate your newly refined debating skills and international relations knowledge as you:

  • 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!




Full Accreditation

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

Meet your Tutor and Hero

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, and 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.

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

Tom Corby


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. He is now a barrister practicing at 20 Essex Street.

He specialises in commercial law which includes shipping, international sale of goods, conflicts of law and banking, and has acted for and against a variety of parties, including the Kingdom of Spain, a major Eastern European drinks brand, and an England cricketer

Masterclasses

In addition to your classes, you'll get to mingle with the students from other courses in our Masterclasses. These masterclasses are designed to be an interactive and fun way to broaden your knowledge and provide you with new skills.

Get ready to sharpen your wits and 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 - here, 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 the opposition's points
  • Work collaboratively in teams to create and articulate solutions to big problems
  • Improve your self-confidence, speaking, and listening skills in this interactive session
changemakersWant to change the world?

Even small actions can have a big impact! In this Masterclass you will explore examples of people who are creating positive change around the world through their social enterprises. We'll then work on developing the tools you need to create an action plan to bring about change that you're passionate about.
 

  • Learn some of the ways the world has been changed historically by ambitious 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 - see our OSA Foundation page for examples of past students who have secured funding to pursue their mission

You'll one day be faced with a job application process, and we think it's important for you to understand how these processes work. In this masterclass, we'll explore:

  • 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
What do J.K. Rowling, Richard Branson, and Charles Darwin all 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 them as a driving force to 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

Greatness means different things to all of us. This motivating masterclass will get you thinking about how you define greatness, and equip you with the tools you need to create your own personal development plan to help you achieve your own version of great!

  • Explore your values and identify your purpose
  • Identify your strengths and innate talents, and gain awareness of your weaknesses
  • Develop a personal development plan so you can track your progress towards your goal

What does it mean to be truly happy? This thought-provoking masterclass, led by Doctor of Philosophy candidate Michael Plant, will take you on a mission to discover happiness: why it matters, how it works, and the different places people seek it in life

 

  • Identify what happiness means to you
  • Explore the impact technology and social media has on our day-to-day happiness
  • Learn practical things you can do to focus more on the things that make you happy, and less on things that don't

Volunteering MasterclassHelp make the world a better place for local children on an afternoon helping a local charity build a children's garden! This is a really fun masterclass where you get outside and hands-on helping the Oxford community. You'll learn about sustainability and how you can make a difference locally, 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.

Graduation Certificates

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 of the summer course, at the impressive Saïd Business School which we hire for the evening.

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

Make friends from around the world

We welcome students of all nationalities, so you'll make friends with students who have come to us from countries and cultures all over the world. We also make sure you can all stay connected as part of our OSA Alumni community after the Summer too! In past years, these countries have included:

Where you’ll study

Blavatnik School of Government

 

Your classes will be held in the Blavatnik School of Government, an award-winning building which is part of the University of Oxford. Finished in 2015, the building is a modern addition to the University and is located right by the Oxford University Press building.

"Inside, the building is quite simply breathtaking. It is one of those rare moments in architecture when the spirit soars. This is a modern cathedral of learning that at the same time stimulates, soothes and excites. … It is a truly inspirational piece of design and one so fitting for its purpose." - RIBA Judges (Royal Institute of British Architects)

Please note, while we use their facilities, we have no formal connection with The University of Oxford.

Preparing for the course!

 

To help you prepare for joining us in the summer, both Photis and Shannon from 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, they'll both be on-site over the summer getting involved and joining in the fun!

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

Photis Loizou

Shannon Miller

Timetable

Take a look at our example timetable below. You can hover your mouse over parts of the timetable to get more information.

First week

 8am‑9am9am‑10am10am‑11am11am‑12pm12pm‑1pm1pm‑2pm2pm‑3pm3pm‑4pm4pm‑5pm5pm‑6pm6pm‑7pmEvening
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 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.

Dates and Prices

LengthDatePriceBook
2 weeks1st to 14th July 2018£4,495Book
2 weeks15th to 28th July 2018£4,495Book
2 weeks29th July to 11th August 2018£4,495Book
4 weeks1st to 28th July 2018£8,695Book
4 weeks15th July to 11th August 2018£8,695Book

Recommended by Students & Parents

"It was an amazing adventure for Zayyan. He learned business basics like branding, business growth and management theory, which has been crucial to his aspiring business career. It has motivated him to pursue higher degrees in Business from the best schools and start his own company and make it successful. This is in addition to a great deal of time to create memories and develop friendships with other students from around the world. We really appreciate the instant communications with the staff. In brief, it exceeded our expectations!"

Suzanne Takieddine USA

"Oxford Scholastica was one of the best experiences of my life. Not only was I very well looked after, with all members of staff being nurturing and responsible, but during these 2 weeks I was able to meet absolutely amazing people from all over the world. In addition, the course I took was informative and entertaining. Class sizes were small enough to get plenty of feedback from our tutor, but large enough to be able to have engaging, interesting discussions on the topic of economics and the business world. The academy had a perfect balance of social activities and academics and I would no doubt recommend it to anyone who is looking for the most memorable summer of his/her life."

Rachel Scharff-Hansen Switzerland

"I could not have entrusted my daughter to a better course. The calibre of teaching, pastoral care, experiences and other students on the course was excellent. I researched many summer schools before deciding on this one and I loved that I could speak to the course leaders directly rather than to marketing staff of a large company who had never been to the location and had no direct knowledge of course content."

Rachel L USA

Not just for Summer...

 

We're often told that the two or four weeks spent with us at OSA are the best summer breaks our students have ever had, but we are passionate about continuing to support our alumni after those two weeks are over, and well into their futures.

That's why we've set up the OSA Foundation, OSA Inspires, and OSA Mentors — to help you stay connected to our network of incredible young people from around the world and get the support to need to make your future ambitions a reality.

Did you know that OSA alumni go on to change the world, in a whole variety of ways?

As part of our on-going commitment to helping our students be incredible citizens of the world, we want to do something to help them, by offering them a chance for continued advice, publicity, and funding for the ventures they go on to pursue.

OSA Mentors is an ongoing programme of weekly coaching for any of our alumni who wish to be further supported by OSA after their course. Students are matched with one of our team and will have Skype mentoring sessions on a regular basis.

OSA Mentors is designed to give students greater:

 

  • Confidence about their skills, knowledge, and potential
  • Awareness of the possibilities and opportunities they could go on to achieve, broadening their horizons
  • Clarity about exactly which university, course, and career path to choose
  • Ambition to stretch and challenge themselves, setting goals which take them out of their comfort zone
  • Understanding about how to reach these ambitious goals
  • Motivation to succeed

OSA Inspires is an online resource hub which aims to give students greater clarity over their potential future choices.

 

  • Discover how your interests and skills could lead you to amazing jobs you never knew existed
  • Think about how we can prepare for a quickly changing job market in the future
  • Explore what real life studying a subject is like with personal accounts from students across the world
  • Hear from professionals in a huge variety of industries to find out if their job sounds like a good fit for you
  • Get the tools and information you need to apply to follow your dreams

Ready to kickstart your future?