Discover Writing Academy
Have you always loved writing? Or maybe you’ve always wanted to but don’t know where to start? We created the Discover Writing Academy especially for creative 12-14 year olds to help you improve your writing skills and give you a taste of the different study and career paths available for writers.
Welcome to the Discover Writing Academy. This two-week course is designed to help you get your creative juices flowing as you gain hands-on experience of different fields of writing.
You’ll learn about developing plot and characters, and also how stories can be translated to stage and screen. You’ll also discover how you can apply your writing skills to the world of journalism.
This course is perfect for you if you’re considering:
- Studying arts related subjects such as English, Media or Drama
- A creative career involving writing, including journalism
- Developing your ability to write fluently and coherently
Our Learning Philosophy
We want to help you discover all the possible study and career paths available to people who love writing, and explore if any of them could be right for you! As a student on our Discover Writing Academy you will:
What are the different writing formats?
Explore the characteristics of different writing forms; from novels to screen-plays, and blogs to news features.
How can you make a career from writing?
Meet our Hero—a real writer— who you can ask questions, and find out what studying and working in professional writing really looks like
How do you write and edit a magazine?
Our magazine challenge gives you the chance to work together to design a magazine, cover to cover!
Keen to Learn
Speaks and Understands English Well
Discover Writing Academy Class Outline
As part of the Discover Writing Academy, you’ll take part in a series of nine classes. Eight classes are structured around the course topics below. 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.
1. An Introduction to Creative Writing
What makes writing effective? We’ll analyse creative writing extracts and work together to identify the common features that make the writing engaging. You’ll also develop your own creative writing skills through exercises and starting to build good writing habits
2. Plots and Characters
What makes a character believable? Find out about the seven basic plots in literature and learn what makes characters interesting. You’ll then have a chance to design your own character profile
3. Short Stories and Novels
What makes a novel a novel? We’ll look at short stories and what makes them special, and also look at the features of novels and how the genre originally developed
4. Writing for the Stage and Screen
How is writing a play different to a novel? Looking at Romeo and Juliet, we’ll consider how writing structure needs to be adapted for the stage and screen, focusing on the intricacies of writing dialogue
5. Introduction to Journalism
How do journalists get their information? We’ll explore how journalists gather their information, and the different journlism styles that are used to present that information to readers, watchers, or listeners
6. Reporting the News
Why is the same story reported differently by different newspapers? We’ll examine how different journalists report the same news stories using real examples. We’ll also analyse language features of this kind of reporting
7. Feature Writing
What is feature writing? Learn how features are constructed and developed to inform and intrigue an audience. Have a go writing a feature about an issue of relevance to students attending OSA
What makes a blog work? We’ll examine a variety of interesting blogs and identify improvements that could be made to them. You’ll also develop writing skills to suit this medium and come up with your own concept for a blog
Are you ready for the Magazine Challenge?
Are you up for the challenge of creating and editing a magazine, cover to cover?
In the magazine challege, you’ll work together and pool your skills to combine journalistic news stories with creative writing.
Demonstrate your new skills as you:
- Collaborate with team mates
- Design a magazine cover-to-cover
- Have the chance to be published in a printed magazine!
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
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 and Heroes are subject to change.
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
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.
- Change the World
- Failure to Success
- What Does it Mean to be Great?
- Conquering Happiness
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
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
- 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
Help 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.
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 Izzy 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 Izzy face-to-face, and start to get to know some of the other students who will be your classmates!
Take a look at our example timetable below. You can hover your mouse over parts of the timetable to get more information.
|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||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||PicnicAfter our punting afternoon we'll spend the evening having a picnic and playing games on Wolfson College’s beautiful harbour lawn||Happiness MasterclassLearn from an expert exactly what it means to be 'happy' and how we can apply these ideas in our own lives|
|Wednesday||Breakfast||Classes and Independent Study||Blenheim Palace TripWe're off to visit Blenheim Palace today - the only non-royal place in England to hold the title Palace and birthplace of Winston Churchill|
|Thursday||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|
|Friday||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!|
|Saturday||Breakfast||Hero MeetingOn either Saturday or Sunday you'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 their 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.||Lunch||Oxford Museums, Football Tournament or Free TimeYou can join us in exploring Oxford's famous museums including the Ashmolean Museum (the world's first university museum) and the Natural History Museum, 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||Quiz NightTest your knowledge in our Oxford Scholastica Quiz Night! Laughter and nibbles guaranteed.|
|Sunday||Breakfast||Hero Meeting||College BrunchYou'll eat a delicious brunch in the beautiful dining hall of Corpus Christi College||Volunteering MasterclassYou can take part in our Volunteering Masterclass and get some hands on experience in being a volunteer||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||Smart Steps to Success and Dealing with Failure 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 Oxford Castle.|
|Tuesday||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!|
|Wednesday||Breakfast||Windsor Castle 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.|
|Thursday||Breakfast||Classes and Independent Study||Lunch||Social Impact ConferenceDo you want to make the world a better place? Our Social Impact Conference will inspire you to change the world and 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||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 Free Time||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|
Please note this timetable may be subject to change.
Click here to take a look at our example timetable and learn more about how your classes, cultural experiences, trips and activities are scheduled.
Dates and Prices
|2 weeks||30th June to 13th July 2019||£4,595||Book|
|2 weeks||7th to 20th July 2019||£4,595||Book|
|2 weeks||14th to 27th July 2019||£4,595||Book|
|2 weeks||21st July to 3rd August 2019||£4,595||Book|
|2 weeks||28th July to 10th August 2019||£4,595||Book|
|2 weeks||4th to 17th August 2019||£4,595||Book|
|4 weeks||30th June to 27th July 2019||£8,895||Book|
|4 weeks||7th July to 3rd August 2019||£8,895||Book|
|4 weeks||14th July to 10th August 2019||£8,895||Book|
|4 weeks||21st July to 17th August 2019||£8,895||Book|
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!"
"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."
"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."
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 set up the OSA Foundation to help them, by offering them a chance for continued advice, publicity, and funding for the ventures they go on to pursue.
By joining us this summer you'll be eligible for this funding and support for any future social impact project you set up or are involved with!
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
- 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