St John’s College to welcome more than 240 pupils over three action-packed Summer Schools!

Summer Schools 2023

St John’s is looking forward to welcoming over 240 secondary school pupils across three Summer School residentials. Now a hallmark of the Access calendar, these free visits invite pupils from across our Access programmes to sample College life, enjoy a range of activities and make new friends.

So, what can we expect from this year’s residentials?

After the success of last year, the access team have been working hard to make 2023 even bigger and better. Notably, we have doubled the number of pupils attending each Summer School, ensuring more pupils can experience St John’s and enjoy the action-packed timetable on offer.

We have also expanded our team of student ambassadors to help run events, many of which have been designed by students, with prospective students in mind. Attendees will experience different aspects of university life, giving them the skills required to live and study away from home.

They will also enjoy a range of Oxford activities such as punting and theatre trips, as well as being treated to a lecture from our President, Professor Dame Sue Black.

But before we preview all the other exciting activities on offer, let’s provide some more context behind each residential.

Who will be attending and what makes each Summer School different?

Inspire Scholars (Year 9) Summer School: 23–25 July

The Summer School season will commence with Year 9 pupils enrolled on our Inspire Scholars Programme for Years 9, 10 and 11. These pupils attend non-selective state schools within our link regions* and have enjoyed our Inspire Club classes throughout the academic year. Many of these pupils will have visited the College on an Inspire Scholars visit, but they will be looking forward to a longer stay this time.

Inspire Year 11 Summer School: 26–29 July

Next to visit will be Year 11 pupils from our Inspire Critical Thinking Programme for Years 9, 10 and 11. These pupils attend non-selective state schools nationwide and have enjoyed our Critical Thinking workshops throughout the year. They will no doubt be keen to tackle some of our Summer School workshops soon!

Inspire Year 12 Summer School: 1–3 August

Finally, Year 12 pupils from the Inspire Programme for Years 12 and 13 will visit the College at the start of August. Much like pupils on our Year 9 residential, these pupils attend non-selective state schools in our link regions.* These pupils will have benefited from our various in-person Study Days and skill sessions, exploring their academic interests and building confidence in their academic abilities. They will no doubt be excited by the prospect of experiencing a university environment, especially as many will be applying in the not-too-distant future.

Summer School collage

So, what else can pupils look forward to during their visit to St John’s?

Our student ambassadors have devised specifically curated timetables for each residential, each packed with exciting activities and thought-provoking workshops.

By popular demand, the evening BBQ is back for a second serving, alongside tours of Oxford city centre and arts and crafts workshops.

We are also excited to introduce new activities created by our student ambassadors, including everything from critical thinking sessions to murder mysteries!

A great deal of effort has been put into the planning, and the team can’t wait to welcome all our summer visitors!

*Our link regions are Ealing, Harrow, East and West Sussex, Southampton, and Brighton and Hove.

Article by Thomas Lockyer, Digital Engagement Officer, Access Office