All Courses

 

Below are some questions and answers related to attending a course with Oxford Science Studies, be that in person or online.

How do you facilitate online tuition?

Online tuition is provided via Microsoft Teams. For all bookings there is a £10 set up fee for the online accounts, though this fee is waived should you choose to extend a booking. Students will need a desktop or laptop, an internet connection, webcam, microphone and speakers (most of these do come built in). In our experience, we find that the tuition works best if both tutor and student can see each other. Students are able to ask questions as if they would in a classroom. Microsoft Teams provides an interactive platform, allowing for audio and visual contact, screen sharing, link sharing and whiteboard features.

What do I need to bring?

We suggest that students bring with them their usual classroom materials. For example, plenty of paper and pens, their subject textbooks (including literature books, anthologies and dictionaries where appropriate), school notes or exam papers for review, and a calculator (if needed).

How big are the classes?

For all courses we offer small group tuition. There will be no more than six students timetabled per class. Due to the nature of some subjects and the specificity of the classes offered you may find that you end up in a much smaller group. Should no one else enrol for your chosen subject/class you will benefit from one to one tuition - we do not cancel due to a lack of enrolment.

Can I have one to one tuition?

It depends! For our Half Term, Christmas & New Year and May Weekend Courses we offer both small group and guaranteed one to one tuition. Our online tuition provision also offers guaranteed one to one. Due to the high demand of our revision courses at Easter and of our preparation courses over the summer we are not able to offer guaranteed one to one tuition, though you may find that you end up benefiting from this, should no one else enrol for your chosen subject/class.

What is covered in the tutorials?

Our classes are specific. Rather than 'GCSE Science revision' we offer GCSE revision specifically for Biology, Chemistry or Physics. Not only is it specific to the subject, but classes are also split by year group, ability and in most cases paper. This ensures that students are allocated to an appropriate group, with others also wanting to focus on similar areas.

The tutorials are student led and we encourage all students to come prepared with a list of topics/areas they would like to focus on. At the start of the first tutorial, the tutor will ask the students what they would like to focus on, finding common ground and ensuring that the content is relevant to all. The more prepared a student, the more benefit they will gain. Tutorials don't necessarily focus solely on subject content, but can touch on exam technique too. It is not possible to give a definite answer as to 'how much' is covered in the tutorials, as this can depend on the pace of the class, the required depth of knowledge etc. Though we can say that it will not be possible to cover the entire syllabus, given the short amount of time that students spend with us. The tutorials will however provide students the chance to consolidate knowledge, fill in any gaps, gain confidence in areas they weren't previously sure on and develop their exam potential.

What is exam practice?

Here at Oxford Science Studies we believe in the test and teach method. Our courses incorporate both tutorials and independent exam practice sessions, thereby allowing the student to consolidate knowledge and to put their learning into practice, whilst at the same time gaining familiarity with the style of exam questions they will face. After the majority of tutorials students are set work by their tutors to complete in exam practice. This may be questions from an exam paper, relevant to their areas of discussions, or work set from a textbook. This work is to be completed in an area dedicated to student work, allowing students to focus without distraction. The quiet atmosphere should help replicate exam conditions, so that students can increase their comfort with such an environment, in an attempt to lead to less exam anxiety when the real thing comes around.

What is study skills?

We offer study skills on our Easter and Summer Courses. All students attend these sessions and listen to a presentation on a particular topic such as note taking, memory techniques or time management. These sessions are aimed at providing useful tips and suggestions for revision and exam preparation.

Who are the tutors?

We have a core of tutors, many of whom work for us course on course and who we know are experts in what they do! Most are full time private tutors, school teachers of PhD students, some even teach at our sister organisation Oxford International College and some are GCSE or A Level examiners. Our tutors are keen to show their enthusiasm for their subject and impart knowledge, having great knowledge of their respective areas and of the exam requirements.

Will I receive any feedback?

Absolutely! Students will receive an electronic report for each of their subjects. This will be written by their tutor and will give an overview of their attitude and effort in lessons. The reports will also provide detail on topics covered and recommendations for further study. Due to the short length of time that our tutors spend with the students it is not possible to comment on current or predicted grades. The reports will be sent out individually, as and when they are completed. As such, you may receive some reports whilst the student is still on the course and some shortly after.

Is internet access provided?

It depends on the course location. For courses at Oxford International College WIFI details are provided upon arrival. For courses at St Edward's School, WIFI is not currently provided.

Is there a dress code?

There is no formal dress code, though we would ask that students are dressed appropriately, that they consider their surroundings and that they do not wear offensive or potentially revealing items of clothing. Students are permitted to dress as they wish to do so, including any religious compliant clothing. If attending a residential course, bringing appropriate clothing for sports activities is advised.

Are there any rules?

Yes absolutely - we want to make sure that students make the most of their time with us, enjoying the course, but that they do so in a safe environment. As such, we may ask students to sign an agreement with us on arrival, to confirm that they will adhere to our rules and that they understand the potential consequences of any such violations, including immediate expulsion without refund.

For a detailed list of rules, please click here.

To summarise some of the most crucial rules:

- We operate a strict no alcohol/drugs rule (regardless of the students age).
- All students are to reside in their own boarding houses and room after curfew.
- Students are expected to show respect to others and treat others as they expected to be treated. We do not tolerate any form of harrassment or bullying.

What should we do if there is a problem?

The best thing to do is to contact us straight away, as soon as the issue presents itself. We are available in the Course Office/at reception at all times and are there to discuss any concerns that you may have. Students may feel more comfortable approaching tutors or other staff members, who may then bring matters to the attention of the core staff or safeguarding team, depending on the nature of the concern.

If there is an issue with an element of the course, such as tuition, we appreciate being informed quickly so that we have time to rectify the situation. Sadly, if we are not made aware of an issue we cannot assist, and we do not offer retrospective refunds.

There are a number of ways to contact us, either in person at the above locations, via telephone on 01865 240637 or via email. We will do our absolute best to resolve any issues in an acceptable way, as quickly as we can. Parents/guardians/agents will be kept informed as necessary.

What happens if a tutor is ill?

Unfortunately, there are times when an allocated tutor is unable to teach. In such a situation, we act as quickly as we can to provide an alternative tutor. Where there is a delay, time will be made up at mutually convenient times. If necessary, we may suggest that we provide revision for an alternative subject/area, if agreeable.

What is the cancellation policy?

The following refunds will be given in the event of cancellation, please note these refunds are based on the first day of each course, and not the first day the student will attend:

- Over 4 weeks before the course commences: 100% refund minus any banking fees and a £75 non refundable deposit
- Between 4 and 2 weeks before the course commences: 60% refund
- Between 14 and 7 days course commences: 30% refund
- 6 days or less before the course commences: no refund
- No-show on the day the course commences will not be refunded

Please note the onus is entirely on the parent or guardian to claim the refund. All refunds must be claimed within 1 month of the finish of the course – outside this period no refunds will be made.

Please note that we operate a 'no complaint - no refund' policy. This means that if we are not informed of an issue as soon as possible while the revision course is running, we cannot retrospectively offer a refund. We pride ourselves on the quality of the courses; if there is an issue we would like the opportunity to address it during the course.

The above cancellation policy is detailed in our Terms and Conditions and agreed to upon application.

What if my question isn't answered here?

Your specific question may be answered in the course specific Joining Instructions, so please check here first. If your question remains unanswered please contact us directly, either via telephone or via email to info@oxss.co.uk.

Residential Courses

 

Below are some questions and answers specifically related to attending a residential course with Oxford Science Studies.

What do I need to bring?

As above, the usual classroom materials, but in addition to this...

You may wish to bring a small amount of pocket money for snacks or for purchases during the Evening Entertainment Programme. Please also remember appropriate clothing, this is England and it can rain - be prepared for it! It may also get chilly, so layers are good. Trainers and sports equipment is also advised. Although bedding is provided, towels are not, please remember to bring one! There are no locks on bedroom doors - please avoid bringing expensive items an abundance of cash with you, that you may not wish to carry on your person.

How much supervision will there be?

Staff are present at all times during the course, and can be contacted 24 hours a day during a residential course. The Course Office will be manned by our administration staff during teaching time, who hand over to our Residential Manager for the evening and night-time. Our Residential Manager leads a team of Wardens, Evening Entertainment Team Members and Night Patrol staff. Our Evening Entertainment Programme is fully supervised, after this our Wardens take over signing in students at curfew and our Night Patrol staff are then onsite for a couple of hours, to ensure that the boarding houses are quiet and that students are where they should be. All students are aware as to who their wardens are and where to find them, along with being given the 24 hour contact telephone number for emergencies. Students over the age of 16 are allowed off campus, outside of lesson time, without supervision. Any student aged 15 and under must partake in our Evening Entertainment Programme and must remain on campus at all times, unless accompanied by a member of staff. We register all students in the morning, to ensure that they are up and where they need to be.

What is the Evening Entertainment Programme?

Our residential courses provide an all rounded experience, with a rigorous academic timetable throughout the day and an enjoyable social programme arranged for the evening. Engaging in our Evening Entertainment Programme is not only the ideal opportunity to have some relaxation time but also to work on personal development, interacting with new people and building friendships.

For further information, including how much pocket money to bring, please click here.

We’d be happy to help with any questions not answered above.

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Contact

Oxford Science Studies,

1 London Place,

Oxford

OX4 1BD

+44(0)1865 240637

info@oxss.co.uk