Headington Oxford Summer School provides a fantastic location for teenagers aged 13-16 years to improve their English and enjoy an exciting summer school experience in a friendly boarding school environment. English and subject-focused lessons are combined with an activity and excursion programme tailored specifically for teenagers, resulting in the perfect balance of studies and fun.
Headington School was established in 1915 and is now one of the UK’s foremost private schools. Its grounds have a mixture of historic and modern buildings, all located close to the heart of Oxford, the city known as the ‘City of Dreaming Spires’ and famous throughout the world for its University.
At Headington Oxford Summer School, all students receive 15 hours of lessons in the mornings each week, and the maximum number of students in a class is 15. Classes are multinational and delivered by professionally qualified, friendly teachers.
On the morning following their arrival, all students have a language assessment in both spoken and written English, and are then placed in language classes on the basis of ability, age and nationality. Students are monitored and encouraged to practise their study skills throughout their stay. All students receive a Certificate and a Progress Report at the end of their course.
Lessons at Headington Oxford Summer School are inspiring and engaging, and we aim to increase the confidence of all our students so that they feel comfortable using their English language skills in a multinational environment. With project lessons and specific day trip preparation lessons, students also have the opportunity to use their English language skills in real life contexts too.
When booking, students can choose between our General English course available for students of all abilities from near Beginners to Advanced, or our more advanced Summer Study course, available to students with an Upper Intermediate to Advanced level of English.
For students of all abilities, this course has been specifically designed to further the development of our students’ communicative abilities. Through its topical content, students are encouraged to express their ideas and practise the relevant vocabulary and grammar, helping to increase their confidence in expressing themselves in English. Lessons are taught in a student-centred environment and formal presentations are included in the syllabus, requiring students to have an active role in their own learning – a valuable life skill in preparation for the start of college or university.
For students of an Upper Intermediate or Advanced level of English, we offer an alternative to the five mornings of general English language lessons with our Summer Study course, which combines English language with a range of subjects including History, Geography, Science, Creative Writing and English Literature. Summer Study takes place during 3 hours of morning lessons, replacing the general English language classes. Children can take the Summer Study course for a maximum of 4 weeks.
Price: supplementary £145
Afternoon and Evening Activities at Headington Oxford Summer School
Our afternoon and evening Multi-Activity Programme gives students the opportunity to take part in a wide range of summer school activities, making the most of the fantastic facilities available at the school. All the activity sessions are of mixed nationality, allowing students to continue developing their English speaking skills in a relaxed and fun setting.
Oxford is the perfect location for our international students to experience all the UK has to offer: it is close enough to visit London, it is a beautiful city in its own right and it also has a number of attractions nearby. Day trips are also a great opportunity for students to use their English skills in real situations. Day trips at Headington Oxford Summer School include:
During their visit to London, students will have the opportunity to explore the sights and soak up the atmosphere of this world-renowned capital city. Students will see famous tourist attractions such as Big Ben, Trafalgar Square and the Tate Modern art gallery. There will be time for shopping on London’s best high streets where students can pick up souvenirs, before dinner at a London restaurant.
Our London Cultural Experience enables students to enjoy the cultural variety of London. Students will begin the day at the beautiful Royal Botanical Kew Gardens, before exploring one of London’s many amazing museums such as the Natural History Museum or Victoria & Albert Museum. Hyde Park offers the perfect lunch setting before time to explore the Royal Borough of Knightsbridge, renowned for its shopping and home to the world-famous Harrods. The day will be complete with dinner together in a London restaurant.
With over thirty extreme rides and attractions, including one of the world’s most terrifying rollercoasters, enjoy an exhilarating day out at one of the nation’s most popular theme parks!
On their trip to the traditionally British seaside town of Brighton, students will visit the Royal Pavilion and its museum, as well as Brighton Pier and the beach, with some time for shopping in the famous Brighton Lanes. Students will come together for an evening meal in a Brighton restaurant after their day by the seaside, before travelling back to Oxford.
Students will visit the world-famous Stonehenge, one of the wonders of the world and the best-known prehistoric monument in Europe. The afternoon will be spent exploring the beautiful, traditional Cathedral city of Salisbury with some time for shopping too.
A morning exploring Birmingham’s innovative and interactive Thinktank Science Museum for some hands-on fun, followed by an afternoon in Birmingham with shopping time at the Bullring Shopping Centre.
The English Plus+ programme enables our students to try new activities and classes or to develop existing interests and skills.
At Headington Oxford Summer School, English Plus+ options can be either academic, such as intensive courses in English language skills, or selected from a range of activities including Dance, Tennis, Adventure Sports and Art & Design. All the courses are led by qualified professionals, and can be selected when making a booking for a small additional charge to the normal course price.
English Plus+ courses are optional and each student can select one English Plus+ course per week. Where selected, English Plus+ replaces the Multi-Activity Programme. Please note, the English Plus+ Dance and Art & Design options must be chosen for a minimum of 2 or 4 weeks.
Open to all levels, these additional language classes are designed to develop our students’ English speaking and listening skills with small classes focusing on pronunciation and fluency.
Price: supplementary £110 per week
For students with an Intermediate to Advanced level of English, this course is tailored to develop students’ written English. These valuable skills are transferable to writing components within the internationally-recognised English examinations such as FCE/CAE.
Price: supplementary £110 per week
Students of all abilities can enjoy these vibrant classes which include modern styles and street dance. The dancers are led by a qualified instructor and the classes lead up to an end-of course performance. This course can be selected for 2 or 4 weeks.
Price: supplementary £110 per week
This two-week course is for students with a creative flair looking to develop their artistic skills. Students will focus on painting, photography, sculpture and drawing, creating their own portfolio over the two-week period and displaying their work in the school’s Art Gallery at the end of the course.
Price: supplementary £110 per week
This course is for our more adventurous students and includes varied and exciting activities can include kayaking, laser quest, high ropes, paintballing, climbing and woodland survival skills. The Adventure Sports course is led by qualified professionals, and accompanied by our own staff. Available activities differ at our different campuses. Enquire now to find out which specific activities are available at the campus you are interested in.
Price: supplementary £210 per week
Please note: if you select the Summer Study course, or any English Plus+ activities, there will be a small surcharge. See the Academic Courses and English Plus+tabs for full details.
At Headington Oxford Summer School we encourage our students to communicate freely and help them to develop their language skills through imaginative teaching. Our lessons are interactive and communicative, designed to cover the areas of speaking, listening and writing as part of our comprehensive English syllabus. In addition to improving language skills, students at Headington Oxford Summer School enjoy a diverse range of fantastic activities and excursions, culminating in a hugely fulfilling stay in the UK.
Accommodation and Facilities
The school’s accommodation is very comfortable and of high quality, with separate boarding houses for girls and boys, and communal areas where students can relax and socialise. The accommodation is mostly single and twin rooms, with some dormitory accommodation available. It is our policy to allocate the older students to the single and twin rooms, with the younger ones in the dormitories. Facilities at the school are exceptional, including a fully equipped sports hall, astro-turf pitches, basketball/volleyball courts, a dance studio, 12 tennis courts and an indoor swimming pool. At the heart of school life is the theatre, which is ideal for entertainment, evening activities and fun. The atmosphere and location of this picturesque school make it the perfect place for a summer adventure.
The Dining Hall at Headington is a light, spacious environment, which also includes an outdoor area with picnic tables. Meal times offer a diverse menu, with a continental breakfast each day and the option of a full English breakfast three days each week. For lunch and dinner there is always a choice of two hot meals, including one vegetarian option. There is a great salad bar selection as well as fresh bread, fruit and desserts. In addition, drinks and biscuits are served before bed.
We care for our students 24 hours a day and their welfare is our main priority. We have a dedicated team of Managers, Teachers, House Parents and Activity Leaders. Headington Oxford Summer School staff oversee all student activities, whether that is during meal times, break times or on an excursion. With 1 member of staff to every 6 students, we are able to offer an extremely high level of supervision. All Headington Oxford Summer School Staff are friendly and helpful professionals, who ensure our students feel supported and cared for whilst away from home.
Summer Boarding Courses is committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children. We have a comprehensive Safeguarding and Child Protection Policy and procedures in place which all employees, volunteers and contractors are expected to adhere to.
For more detailed information about our Managers, Teachers, House Parents and Activity Leaders, please click below:
For full details regarding travel and transfer to our summer schools and colleges, visit our Travel and Transfers page.
Abberley Hall transfer costs are as follows:
Option 1 – Coach Transfer Service.
The Coach Transfer Service runs between Heathrow Airport and Headington on arrival and departure days.
Arrivals: available between 09:00 and 17:00.
Departures: available from 10:30 onwards. We recommend booking flights departing between 10:30 and 17:00.
|Coach Transfer Service||Price per journey
Arrival OR Departure
|Heathrow Airport||£90 per journey|
Option 2 – Taxi Transfer Service
Flights arriving at Heathrow before 09:00 or after 17:00 will need a Taxi Transfer. All students arriving into other UK airports will also need to make use of our Taxi Transfer Service.
For departures, students whose flights are scheduled to depart Heathrow before 10:30 can use our Taxi Transfer Service. The Taxi Transfer Service is also available for students departing from all other UK airports.
|Taxi Transfer Service||Price per journey
Arrival OR Departure
|Heathrow||£205 per journey|
|Gatwick||£250 per journey|
|Stansted||£270 per journey|
|Luton||£220 per journey|
For other airports or train stations, prices are available on application.
Q: How do students get to and from Headington Oxford Summer School?
A: We offer an Airport Transfer Service for students attending Headington Oxford Summer School, at an additional cost to the weekly course price. Please see our Travel and Transfers page for further information.
Q: What happens on arrival at Headington Oxford Summer School?
A: When the students arrive, they put their valuables straight into the school safe in the main office. Then they are shown to their rooms and given time to rest and eat. Once refreshed, they meet the other students and have a tour of the school.
Q: How many students and staff will be at the school?
A: We welcome a maximum of 185 students each week at Headington Oxford Summer School. All students are residential and there are usually over 40 different nationalities each summer. We try to place as many different nationalities in each class as possible. The maximum number of students in classes is 15. Headington Oxford Summer School staff are responsible for students 24 hours a day, and because student welfare is our main priority, there is 1 member of staff for every 6 students, meaning we can offer extremely high levels of supervision.
Q: What are the sleeping arrangements?
A: The accommodation is mostly single and twin rooms, with some dormitory accommodation available. It is our policy to allocate the older students to the single and twin rooms, with the younger ones in the dormitories. At least two members of staff are on duty in the girls' and the boys' boarding areas each night.
Q: Can I contact or visit my child?
A: Students have access to the Internet and email at approved times. They are encouraged to phone home upon arrival and all students receive a UK SIM card to make it cheaper for parents to phone the UK. Friends and family are welcome to visit students or arrange to take them out for the day. 24 hours’ notice must be given in writing, prior to any visit to the summer school. If a student is to be taken out of the school or out of the care and responsibility of our staff during an excursion, the parent or guardian must provide written permission by signing an absence form.
Q: What are the dining arrangements?
A: The Dining Hall at Headington is a light, spacious environment which also includes an outdoor area with picnic tables. Meal times offer a diverse menu, with a continental breakfast served every day and a full English breakfast three days each week. For lunch and dinner there is always a choice of two hot meals, including one vegetarian option. There is a great salad bar selection as well as fresh fruit, bread and desserts. Students are provided with packed lunches for day trips, and the tuck shop is open three times a day. Additionally, drinks and biscuits are served before bed.
Q: Can students with special diets be catered for?
A: Yes. Please inform us of any special dietary requirements at the time of booking.
Q: What do students need to bring?
A: A guidance list of casual clothing is sent to you after the booking has been completed. All students must bring a pair of non-marking trainers to use in the sports hall (without black soles). A free laundry service is provided (please mark all items of clothing with the student's name) and sheets and bed linen are provided by the school. Students must bring a towel as these are not provided by the school.
Q: How much pocket money should a student bring?
A: As everything is included in the course fee, the only money students need is for sweets and drinks from the tuck shop and for presents and souvenirs. We would recommend around £50 per week. The students are able to collect pocket money from the office at specific times during the week.
Q: Can the school look after valuables?
A: Yes. We will look after all passports, travel documents and pocket money. We would recommend that students bring as few valuables as possible. It is important to note that the bedrooms do not lock from the outside (this is nearly always the case in British boarding schools) for reasons of personal safety. We are only able to look after important documents (passports, money etc.) in the school safe.