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WHAT's special about
this summer school?

The John Locke Junior Summer School is unlike any other summer courses, and altogether different from an ordinary school. You will notice three striking points of difference: our unusual curriculum, the lively and effective teaching methods of our distinguished faculty, and the astonishing degree of talent among our young students. 


Keep reading to learn more about why this is the perfect academic foundation for tomorrow's leaders.

2024 DATES:
14 - 27 JULY

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Is this for me?

Ages 12 - 15

Even very bright students normally begin to think seriously about high-level academic enrichment only when they are nearing the end of secondary school. But our Junior Summer School students are different. At a young age you are already drawn to big ideas, you love to hear bold claims about contentious topics - as long as they are backed up with careful reasoning - and you are becoming restless about how little you know about the questions that matter most.


We are looking for curious, open-minded students who want to challenge each other, and be challenged, to listen and think and express your best thoughts. At the Junior Summer School you will make friends with some of the most interesting people you could hope to meet.   


Facts are overrated. It's not that they don't matter - they do, very much - but most knowledge is free these days. You don't need to come to Oxford for two weeks simply to get access to more information. 


Our curriculum is designed to nurture the critical skills and mental habits you need to lay down the cognitive foundation and to construct the analytical framework that will serve you throughout school, university, and beyond. You will learn how to apply philosophical reasoning to questions about ethics and political theory; you will experiment with mathematical principles to express ideas and solve problems in economics and finance; and you will assess claims about history and about public policy.   


Through these exercises you will learn how to listen more actively, reason more rigorously, and organise and express your thoughts more effectively. These skills will help you become a better scholar and, ultimately, a better philosopher, lawyer, political scientist, management consultant, historian, investment banker, writer, or economist.



Everybody talks about interactive learning, but the John Locke Junior Summer School takes the concept to another level. The reason is twofold. 


At the heart of the John Locke system is a small, dynamic group activity called a Precept. In this setting students are encouraged to reflect on the texts they have just read and the lectures they have just heard. A large part of what you learn will include contestable claims, so we will invite you to develop thoughtful, critical challenges to the authors and lecturers. The exchange of views in a Precept is usually courteous but often also animated and robust. We will help you learn to be gentle with people but ruthless with ideas!


The reason our Precepts work so well, though, is due to the quality of the people we attract. We are privileged to host professors who have earned a worldwide reputation. Often we also invite a high-profile current or former politician, and a notable author or public intellectual. Engaging closely with well-known thought leaders is a rare treat for a young student. Equally important is the high calibre of the other students you will encounter as you participate in the contest of ideas. Iron sharpens iron, so expect to be changed by the people with whom you share your Precepts.




Some of our Junior Summer School students will come from boarding schools, in Britain or overseas, and will be comfortable about being in a new and unfamiliar environment. Many others will be less confident, and for some it will be the first time they have been away from home for more than two or three days at a time.


Our aim is to make sure all students love every minute of their time with us. We are intellectually demanding, which is what bright, ambitious students need, but we are also gentle and nurturing, so our students know they are in a community that is courteous and kind.


Students will be staying at Radley College, which is only accessible by summer school students, and authorised staff members. All the adults in a position of trust are trained in safeguarding and are background-checked. We enforce the evening curfew strictly to ensure that every student is safe and accounted for twenty-four hours a day.

Breakfast, lunch and dinner are served in the college dining hall. 





You should plan to arrive at the summer school on Sunday, 14 July. 


The check-in time is between 10 am and 11.30 am. We advise you to arrive early to give you enough time to check in, be shown to your room and receive your course timetable. A welcome talk is scheduled for 12 o'clock midday. Parents and guardians are welcome to attend.

If you would like to be met by a driver at the airport on the check in day, we are offering a shuttle service from Heathrow airport at an extra charge. If you plan to take the shuttle please book a flight that arrives no later than 8.30am.

It is your responsibility to determine whether you need a visa and, if so, what kind of visa you need and how you should apply for it. Every overseas student must have a valid passport to enter the United Kingdom. You can find all the information about UK visas here. For attending a short course in the UK, the Standard Visitor Visa is the one you would need. We can provide individual support on request for those who will need a visa.

We advise you to purchase travel insurance.


On the departure day, Saturday, 27 July, check out is by 9am. 

We will be running a shuttle to Heathrow airport at an extra cost. If you plan to take the shuttle please book a flight that departs no earlier than 12 midday.

Our staff will be available to help you on the departure day so you don't miss your flight! 



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