Following the disruption caused by COVID-19 to schools across the country, many students have found that they have fallen behind in their studies. Schools were unable to continue the same consistent teaching for most of 2020 and into 2021. As such, many students have turned to attending a summer school in order to catch up on what they missed, in addition to gaining extra knowledge on subjects that they might not otherwise be taught in their usual classes. In this blog, you will know Is it worth attending a summer school next year.
A lot of summer schools, such as the Oxford Royale Academy, managed to adapt their curriculum to solely online learning during the pandemic. However, as the education sector slowly returns to normal, the question that many students will be asking is whether it’s still worth attending a summer school.
Students who attend summer school will be able to prepare for university applications and exams, as well as work on their grades. Summer schools will also improve students’ independence and confidence, and those in the UK offer overseas students the chance to improve their English which can help boost their chances when applying to a British university.
We’ve compiled a guide to help you answer your most pressing questions about summer schools to help you decide whether it’s the right decision for you or someone you know.
What are the pros of attending summer school?
The most obvious benefit of summer schools is the chance to build on the knowledge that you’ve already been taught during normal term time. You can go over topic areas that you previously had trouble understanding within the extra weeks of education over the summer. This can help you to polish up on subjects before you take exams the following year and will potentially improve your grade by a significant level.
You can also study more unusual topics that aren’t available in your school to see whether you would like to pursue them in the future. If you’ve never had the chance to study something like business or philosophy, then summer school gives you the perfect chance. You’ll also have the opportunity to talk to experts in your chosen field and gain guidance from tutors to really give you an immersive experience.
Another reason that students attend summer school is to help them stand out when they come to submit their university applications. Voluntarily choosing to work on your studies over the summer shows initiative and willingness to put in extra work to become a well-rounded individual. You can learn extra skills and experience life within high-quality education facilities around the country and across the globe. It can help students prepare for university by giving them an insight into what they can expect.
You can live on campus and attend classes and lectures amongst peers that have similar interests to yourself. This allows students to make lifelong connections and friendships.
Summer schools can also help candidates stand out to future employers. When you attend summer school you’ll gain a range of new skills and interests that you can add to your CV. For example, you could add a niche topic that you studied. You could also talk about the teamwork, time management and communications skills you learnt.
Luckily it’s not a case of all work and no play at summer school. There are plenty of extracurricular activities that you may be able to engage in too, such as trips to local sites to learn about the history, life and culture of your host city. These can be especially interesting if you have decided to travel abroad for your summer school and want to get to know the surrounding area of the university.
You can also gain independence by attending a summer school, which will help you to grow in confidence. Students are responsible for putting in a high level of commitment and enthusiasm to their studies, as well as interacting and making friends with the other students. It’s just as important to improve on your social skills as it is to concentrate on your studies and exams over the course of the summer.
Students from different countries and cultures attend summer schools, which will help to give you a broad view and understanding of the world as you come to get to know them and their backgrounds. You may even make life-long friends, which will provide the perfect opportunity to visit each other’s home countries in the coming years.
There will be plenty of stories and experiences that you can share with your friends and family once the summer is over and you’re back home. Although many students choose to relax and go on holiday over the summer, you can instead use the time to learn new skills and help to improve your future prospects through attending classes.
What are the cons of attending summer school?
Summer schools offer a wide range of classes and activities, but they don’t come cheap. It can cost thousands of pounds to attend a course over the summer. However, you do get value for your money as this usually includes board, food and trips in addition to the classes and tutor support.
If you’re worried about the cost, lower-income families are usually eligible to apply for scholarships to help with the funding of a summer course. You can reach out directly to the summer school provider to see how you apply for this kind of financial support.
Students have to be fully committed to the programme in order to get the full benefit of all that a summer school has to offer. There’s plenty of opportunities to learn from the staff and other students, but you need to be willing to put in the hours to achieve as much as you can. Everyone works differently, so if you think you won’t be willing to give up a few weeks of your summer holidays for extra work, then this type of programme may not be for you.
However, even if you don’t decide to attend summer school whilst you’re in full-time education, you may be able to attend summer classes as an adult. This can help to propel you onwards on your career path, as well as provide a fun educational experience that you can enjoy as a mature student.
What classes can I take at summer school?
When you attend summer school, there is a colourful range of classes that you can pick from. This includes many different topics that may not be covered in a mainstream school, such as engineering, law and medicine. There are courses that specifically target exams and career preparation. These courses will give you a good idea of what it will be like to study these subjects in a university
environment. This is especially helpful if you’re struggling to pick which subject to study once you leave school. Another key aspect that summer schools focus on is the personal interests of students. You are able to choose a subject area that interests you and will potentially aid you in getting on the university course that you want in the future.
Another popular course choice for students centres on SAT exam preparation. These tend to cover diagnostic tests and example questions to help you if you want to prepare applications to American universities. Courses like this can give you an edge over other applicants when it comes to applying to universities and colleges. The boards of these further education institutes are often inundated with students with excellent grades, which is why it can help your application if it shows that you have gone above and beyond to prepare for the future of your education.
Whatever you want to study, there’s bound to be something that appeals to you. Given the range of summer schools throughout the UK and internationally, there really is something for everyone. For example, summer classes often include featured courses such as STEM programmes, arts and culture, as well as business and finance.
However, summer schools focus on lots more than just the classes. For example, you will be able to tour the university that you are staying at and learn about its history, as well as speak to leading industry professionals who can give you advice on university life and the industry that you are hoping to enter.
Attending these types of summer courses can be a big financial undertaking, but it can also be very beneficial. Students will grow in confidence and have a chance to improve their grades. Students that attend extra educational programmes stand out amongst their peers because it shows that they have invested extra time in expanding their knowledge of subjects and learning about new topics.
You will have the opportunity to interact with subject experts, travel and make new friends from lots of different backgrounds. Not only will this broaden your social circle, but it can also improve your language skills. Summer schools provide a great chance for independent learning on a wide range of subjects, helping you to narrow down what you want to study in the future.
All the skills picked up at summer school will be valuable additions to your university application as they will showcase your academic achievements as well as your commitment to study.
It may seem hard to give up some of your long summer holidays after you’ve finished the academic year. However, the chance to try something new with fellow students and boost your future chances at university and beyond can more than make up for your shortened summer vacation.