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Summer Fields Oxford

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Extra-curricular activities

Clubs and activities feature strongly for all age groups. … boys can sign up for whichever activities they fancy with plenty of flexibility from week to week. It’s less about what you do and more about just getting stuck into something.

good schools guide 2023

School life is considerably more than what takes place inside the classroom or on the sports fields. We take great pride in the number of boys who discover a new interest - or who hone a previously undeveloped talent - in their time at Summer Fields. This is a direct result of the range of activities they have access to. Extra-curricular pursuits enrich the lives of all pupils, in both the intrinsic pleasure they bring to the boys and the enhanced self-belief and self-confidence from taking part. 

The huge range of activities on offer means every boy can find something in which he is interested. Each boy's pastoral tutor plays an important role in ensuring their tutee seizes the opportunity to sample as many different activities as possible whilst being able to manage all of their other work and school commitments. 

Pre-prep activities and clubs

Boys in Years 2 and 3 take part in a structured programme of activities and clubs between 3.40 and 4.25pm each day.

These include art, craft, ball games, cooking, gardening, ICT, drama and music.

Activities and clubs are distinct from after-school care. After school care is available after activities and clubs end until 5.45pm.


Prep activities

In the Prep school, activities is a timetabled period - following all academic lessons and games - on MondayTuesday, Thursday and Friday afternoons.

The Friday afternoon activities period is longer than the other three sessions in the week, supporting pursuits (such as the Art Portfolio group and car building club) which flourish in a longer time slot.

There is a tremendous range of activities to choose from. Archaeology; bridge; board games; cross-stitching; croquet - and crochet; Doodle Maths; Fives; knitting; pottery; scrap booking; and table tennis; are just some of the options on offer.

There are also clubs for science, swimming, gymnastics, history, running and model railway building which operate within the timetabled activities period, supporting participation in external events such as the annual Townsend-Warner History Prize and the Independent Schools Gymnastics Association national championships.  

The Video Production Unit (VPU) uses timetabled activities to edit footage of important school events and develop their technical skills. The VPU team works incredibly hard to produce high quality recordings and live broadcasts, including school plays; first team football and cricket matches; and - a highlight of the year - school cross-country.     

A different range of activities is on offer each day for the boys to chose from. Some activities are also seasonal, such as gardening, athletics and flag football. The variety available from day to day - and from term to term - keeps pupils engaged and inspired. 

A number of off-site activities also take place for boarders at the weekend, either on a Saturday evening or on Sunday. These include rock climbing, caving, kayaking, camping, raft-building, navigation, survival skills, laser quest, Zorbing, bowling and trampolining.

Paid for specialist coaching

The Prep school also offers a range of paid extras which can be signed up for. These paid extras are taught by specialist teachers / coaches; whilst some occur within the timetabled activities period, others take place at different times throughout the school day.

Instrumental music lessons are enormously popular, with most boys receiving weekly instruction on at least one instrument. Achievement in ABRSM examinations - and senior school music scholarships - is outstanding. A very large number of pupils also attend weekly LAMDA (speech and drama) lessons, achieving superb results in termly examinations. Instrumental music and LAMDA lessons are timetabled on a rota that changes every seven days in order that pupils do not miss the same academic lesson from week to week. 

We have a number of fantastic external tennis coaches who deliver a huge number of lessons throughout the year. There is an extremely high demand for tennis lessons, the work of our external coaches supporting the fantastic success of our school tennis teams in regional and national events in recent years. Additional lessons in tennis; golf; clay pigeon shooting and rifle shooting; fencing; squash; and chess, do not involve boys missing academic lessons, with break and lunchtime; games; or the timetabled activities period; all being times of the school day when this coaching occurs.  

Residential trips

We are extremely fortunate to have our own camping facilities on the school grounds. The Plantation – a large area of woodland close to our section of the River Cherwell, fitted out with permanent sleeping shelters and a dining shed - is well-used throughout the year for outdoor activities. Camping and woodland skills are undertaken alongside games of laser quest in and around the living maze.

In the summer term, every member of our junior year groups in the Prep school - Year 4, Year 5 and Year 6 - undertake a residential 'trip' within the plantation, working alongside visiting experts in outdoor skills and team building. 

The Year 8 leavers' programme includes a residential trip to Dartmoor where boys apply the skills they have developed in the Plantation to challenges in a less familiar environment. Other residential trips in Year 7 and Year 8 can be undertaken in the UK and overseas. In recent years, a number of overseas trips have been undertaken to both France and Belgium, incorporating significant sites from the Napoleonic and First and Second World Wars within the itinerary. Cricket tours to South Africa for the 1st XI squad have also provided a sporting focus for overseas residential trips.