Venturing abroad to immerse yourself in a whole new environment at Summer Boarding Courses to accelerate your English learning is a real adventure. For some students, this may be their first time ever in the UK! We are so proud of our students and understand just how difficult it can be to arrive at a residential Summer School.
Studying English abroad can be a mixture of excitement, worry, anticipation and many changes. You may have never been away from home for more than 2 weeks. You may be worried about the food, whether you will make friends and whether you’re going to like the activities and subjects you’ve signed up for.
This is how we make the experience as smooth as possible for you whilst taking care of students welfare and wellbeing…
Arriving at the airport for your Summer Boarding Courses Summer School
Stepping off the plane from your home country can be an exciting yet unknown experience. Summer Boarding Courses will be ready and waiting for you at the airport to welcome you, reassure you and ensure you are supported and accompanied.
A space to adjust and revitalise
You will be travelling to your new school with your new friends. Whilst you are waiting for others to arrive, we have a fantastic Welcome Centre at each airport where you can play computer and board games, relax, read a book and revitalise yourself with drinks and snacks whilst waiting for the transfer bus. You will then go with your new friends and staff to the school, where we will be waiting for you.
Welcoming you to your new Summer School
When you arrive at your new school, we will introduce you to everything you need to know, and make sure you settle into your accommodation. There will be lots of time to meet your new teachers, student friends and house parents / college mentors.
Summer Boarding Courses believe in each Summer School being a strong community and family where every individual can shine and be part of tomorrow’s global citizens. For students who are placed in a house, each house will have its own identity. At SBC Oxford for example, each house is a different habitat! Our most recent house themes were the Arctic, the Jungle, an Enchanted Forest and Under the Sea!
24-hour emergency contact information
All students are given an ID card with 24/7 emergency contact information when they arrive at Summer Boarding Courses. This will be on their person at all times. Details on this card include their name, nationality, age and our emergency number for their safety and identification.
We want to ensure that our students are encouraged, supported, heard, energised and inspired by our staff. We seek out staff that are passionate about our students’ progress and wellbeing, who are going to be excellent role models and leaders throughout SBC Summer School.
All our staff are professionally DBS checked and receive training in student welfare and safeguarding. Summer Boarding Courses asks for a minimum of 2 references from staff applying to be part of our team, and every one of our Summer Schools have staff trained in First Aid.
We ensure that our students are supervised following the Department for Education and Science recommended ratio of adults to students. For ages 8 to 10 it is 1:10-15 and for 11+, 1:15-20.
Our house parents are essential for our students during their residential Summer School experience, as they are primarily responsible for the day-to-day pastoral care of our students. They are approachable, enthusiastic, diplomatic and flexible.
We strive for our students to feel confident and happy. This often stems from a positive, structured and inclusive atmosphere in our boarding houses. Our house parents work towards creating a positive environment with inclusiveness, compassion, respect and empowerment whilst also being responsive to the individual needs of students.
In contrast to our house parents, at our Oxford College Summer Schools, our college mentors deliver the social programmes at our colleges and provide the day-to-day pastoral care of our students. They are highly attentive and well-organised when managing the supervision and welfare of our students. They are the big brothers and sisters for our college students and are there to listen to any problems or worries our students have whilst they are staying with us.
Our Welfare Coordinators are our essential liaisons between our Summer School staff and Head Office. They hold regular meetings with staff to assess our students’ welfare and keep up-to-date with their wellbeing. They will speak with staff at Head Office to inform them of anything that needs to be communicated, who will then inform parents of what needs to be raised.
Our Welfare Coordinators also create accident logs and reports. All our activities and excursions are fully risk-assessed.
We also have our own nurse on site who will be able to assist students immediately if they are feeling unwell by checking their temperature, supplying essential medicine and first aid. Medical treatment is also available via the National Health Service if necessary.
Understanding our students’ welfare
Coming to Summer School means a lot of changes for our students and we do our best to help prepare them for their time in Britain.
Students are understandably going to experience a change of diet, time zone, climate, sleeping arrangement and friendship circle. All these changes can naturally make a student feel tired and it can take time to adjust.
Structure throughout the day
Providing a structure throughout the day in all our Summer Schools means that students will know what is ahead and expected of them every day. There are times to study English, but there are also times to study English in their key interests with English Plus+, and relax with our Wellbeing programme.
Homesickness is very common for our young students. To support students with this, we approach homesickness in several helpful ways.
Staff are trained to notice homesickness such as the student being withdrawn, crying at night, not wanting to engage in activities or interact with other students. We encourage students to understand that homesickness is normal, and we empower them to overcome it.
Students at SBC Oxford aged 8 to 12 have 45 minutes everyday to speak to their parents at a designated time. This ensures that the students know when they are going to speak to their parents and can focus on their lessons and activities. It is also great to see students depending on the support of their new friends too. Some students will decide to call the new friends they have made at Summer School!
Parents are also given a guide prior to Summer School starting which outlines what homesickness here, what we do at the school and what they can do at home beforehand.
We encourage our students at Oxford College to have their say about how Summer School is run and raise any questions, queries or concerns they have with their Student Council. Members are elected by the colleges and meet every couple of days to discuss what has been brought forward to them. We then try our best to act upon to these points to continually build and improve Summer Boarding Courses for years to come!