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Summer Fields Oxford

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Academic overview

Pupils are outstanding communicators, insightfully and confidently sharing their views using wide-ranging vocabulary. They delight in participating in class discussion…

ISI Inspection Report 2022

We seek above all to provide a safe, happy learning environment where our pupils can flourish and develop into understanding and enquiring individuals ready to make a positive contribution to the world around them. This is accomplished through educational provision of the highest quality in all areas - intellectual, moral, technical and physical. Instilling a love of learning in boys is crucial, and we endeavour to offer every child the fullest opportunity to stretch the boundaries of his individual ability. Our curriculum is varied, stimulating and demanding, but also flexible enough to suit the ability of each boy. Self-motivation, an enquiring mind and an eagerness to learn are all cultivated. Most importantly, boys learn how to learn - a skill that lasts a lifetime.

Pre-prep pupils benefit from a broad, fun and challenging curriculum, delivered within a nurturing environment. The Pre-prep has its own outdoor space accessible directly from Reception and Year 1 classes, as well as the school's extensive grounds, plantation and river access, which enables Forest School and outdoor learning to be integral to the curriculum and life of the school.

RECEption curriculum

In Reception, the curriculum focusses on the seven areas of learning, based on the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS),

  • Communication and language development
  • Physical development
  • Personal, social and emotional development
  • Literacy development
  • Mathematics
  • Understanding the world
  • Expressive arts and design

French is also from Reception year by a subject specialist, who uses interactive activities such as games and music to develop speaking skills. There will also be opportunities to learn and experience other languages throughout the year through activities and events.

YEARs 1-3 curriculum

In Years 1 - 3, the curriculum builds on these foundations and the characteristics of effective learning will continue to form an integral part of each boy's academic development, underpinning every aspect of it. 

Our overall approach recognises the importance of nurturing positive relationships and tailoring the environment to meet the needs and interests of each unique child.

Prep pupils are taught a curriculum that inspires a love of learning and provides pupils with skills and values on which they will draw throughout their lives. Boys in the prep school experience a timetable that incorporates a wide range of linguistic; mathematical; scientific; technological; human and social; physical; aesthetic; and creative elements. This is achieved through structured teaching in all the core subjects - English, Mathematics and Science - as well as languages (French, Latin and Greek); Geography, History and TPR (Religious Studies). Lessons in these examined subjects are delivered by subject specialists who provide pupils with a varied and stimulating environment, often involving collaboration and pair work. Discovery and challenge are at the heart of every lesson.

Exam success

The current process of applying to 13+ senior schools means that most boys will be required to sit assessment tests before they take Common Entrance; in most cases, this will begin in Year 6 (the year in which pupils have their 11th birthday). The application process focusses on boys' academic ability and extra-curricular involvement and interests. We run a structured programme of preparation for the Common Pre-Test through Year 5 and into Year 6, developing the skills associated with verbal, quantitative, non-verbal and spatial reasoning; familiarisation with computer-based IQ tests; and interview practice. Our expectation and experience is that boys enjoy these assessments and, ultimately, that they will give a good account of themselves when they sit senior school assessments. They should certainly have no fear of them!

Every pupil sits examinations at the end of Year 8 at the highest level they are capable of. We have a long history of outstanding success in achieving academic scholarships, but we are equally proud of the performance of our leavers who sit Common Entrance examinations. Year after year, the performance of our boys in Common Entrance continues to be extremely impressive, the result of teaching beyond (rather than just to) the syllabus.


The timetable demonstrates our commitment to take every opportunity to open our boys’ minds to all areas of learning. Art, Drama, Design Technology, ICT, Music, PE, PSHE, swimming and games are non-examined subjects which constitute an important part of our curriculum. We view them to be just as important as those subjects in which boys sit examinations as we prepare them for life in the modern world, for lives and careers where creativity; imagination; and curiosity; will be just as important as an outstanding set of exam grades.


"Teaching is excellent and varied, and facilities are top-notch."

Talk Education 2023