Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions


We’ve put together a list of the some of the most frequently asked questions for our Junior Summer Centres. Please read the answers below and consult our Student Guide to see if you can find the information you need. If not, please contact our team on info@wimbledon-school.ac.uk and we’ll be happy to answer your questions. 

We have divided the content into the following sections:

  • Student Information
  • Academic
  • Accommodation
  • Airport Transfers
  • Optional Activities
  • Booking your course 

Student Information

What is the size of the schools? 
We can have a maximum of 110 students at Lord Wandsworth College. At Pangbourne College, we can have up to 120 students.

Do most students travel as individuals or in groups?
Most students come as individuals and some will travel with a friend, sibling or relative. This makes for a really sociable summer school and our students are keen to make new friends. We also welcome small groups of up to 12 students who want to travel together but once they arrive at the school they are integrated like everyone else.

Do we go to the Making of Harry Potter Experience?
The Warner Bros Studios are not part of the programme, but for an extra charge we can organise optional excursions on Sundays from both our centres.

What are the details of the excursions?
Every excursion is different, but they generally involve a tour around a well-known destination and the entrance to an attraction, as well as some free time for shopping. Wednesday trips have a heavy language focus and are led by the teachers, who will have prepared their classes in advance. Sunday trips are with the Activity Leaders who give students the chance to practice their English in a more relaxed atmosphere.

Can I arrive a day early?
Provided there’s space in the accommodation, and it’s agreed in advance, for an extra fee students can arrive on the Saturday rather than the Sunday before their course starts.

Where do the students come from?
In 2018 we welcomed students from 27 different countries. The top 5 nationalities were French, Italian, Brazilian, Spanish and Russian.

What is the student to staff ratio?
On average there is 1 member of staff for every 7 students. The maximum ratio of staff to students on campus is 1:10.

Is it possible to attend as a day student and live off campus?
No, we offer students the full package and living on site with other students is all part of the experience.

Is it possible to follow part of the programme? For example, classes only?
No, all students take part in every aspect of the programme, from breakfast until lights out. There may, however, be different options for the courses, and we offer a variety of workshops and afternoon activities to cater for all interests and preferences.

Will I be able to use my mobile phone at all times?
You can use your mobile phone in your free time and in your room, until lights out when you should put it away for the night (the light from your phone can disturb your roommates who are trying to sleep). In class and on activities, your teacher may allow you to use your phone for research or project work, but they may also insist that you put your phone away.

Academic

I know what my level of English is. Why do I have to do a level test?
We need to make sure that our students are placed in the most appropriate class for their level. After testing many thousands of students over the years, Wimbledon School of English has developed a testing system that works, and unlike in other schools, we make sure that students are in the level classes on the first morning.

Do I have the same teacher throughout my course?
We like to give students a variety of teaching styles, so one teacher will generally teach the first two hours every morning, while the third hour will be with a different teacher. Week-by-week, teachers may change or may stay the same, depending on student numbers, levels and feedback.

What do I do if I feel I’m in the wrong level?
You should first discuss this with your teacher, who will advise you on their opinion. If your teacher agrees, she/he will then talk to the Director of Studies and they will do their best to put you in a more appropriate level.

Can I do the Young Leaders course if I’m below B2 level?
Our Young Leaders course is designed for higher-level English students, as it is skills-based with a less focus on traditional language-learning. If your level is below B2 level, you will benefit much more from the General English course.

What happens if I sign up to a course with a minimum entry level, but on the initial test it turns out that I don’t have the required level?
As much as possible, we will try to accommodate students in this situation. We would encourage them to try the class they want to attend, but ask their teachers to monitor the level. After the first couple of days, we would have a meeting to decide whether the student should be moved or remain in the same class.

What is a Language Skills Workshop?
Our Language Skills Workshops give students the chance to use their English in creative and relevant ways. Before they arrive, students select a number of workshops from the available options, which are: British Popular Culture; Film Making and Social Media; The Language of Sport; Debating, Presentations and Public Speaking; Junior Journalist; University Preparation (Pangbourne College only); and B2 First (FCE) examination course (Lord Wandsworth College only).

Can I choose a Language Skills Workshops after I arrive?
We ask all our students to choose Language Skills Workshops before they arrive. When they get to the summer school, they may be able to change their options, but they would have to talk to the Director of Studies about it, and it would depend on numbers of other students already taking that course.

Can I change my Language Skills Workshop mid-week?
No. It might be possible to change options for the following week, but due to the project-based nature of the workshops, all students have to complete the course that they’re on before changing.

Do I receive a leaving certificate and a report?
Yes. You receive a leaving certificate and a personalised report, as well as a portfolio of your work and an official Wimbledon School of English course photo.

Does the leaving certificate have my level on it?
Yes, it will include your level and details of all the courses you’ve taken.

How many students are there in my class?
Our maximum class sizes are fourteen, but your class may well be smaller than that.

Can I sit the FCE (First Certificate in English) exam at the summer centre?
Our summer schools are not official exam centres, but you can sit FCE (or a variety of other exams) at our exam centre in Wimbledon. Students who have booked the FCE course and exam (only at Lord Wandsworth College) will be transported to the London Exam Centre on the day of their exam.

Can I decide to do an FCE exam when I’m already at the school?
Our exam centre gets fully booked in the summer times, so to ensure you’ll be able to sit the FCE exam, you should book in advance. There may be other exams you can sit in London, but we don’t offer tuition for other exams and you would have to make your own way to the exam centre in Wimbledon (and you’d have to arrange to be accompanied by a responsible adult at all times).

Accommodation

How far is the accommodation from the rest of the facilities?
Dining room – 3 minutes' walk
Classrooms – 3 minutes' walk
Common Room - 3 minutes' walk
Swimming pool & Sports Hall – 3 minutes' walk
Sports Centre and Tennis Courts – 3-7 minutes' walk

How is the accommodation allocated? 
We have a range of different bedrooms, comprising single, 2, 3, 4 and 5 beds. Students will be placed with students of the same gender, similar age, and a different nationality. It is very important to us that you are practising your English at all times so you won’t be placed with another student who speaks the same language as you.

How far are the showers and toilets from the rooms?
They are located a few metres away, generally on the same floor as the bedrooms.

How many students will share one bathroom?
This varies but on average it will be 5 students to 1 bathroom.

Are there sinks in the bedrooms?
Some bedrooms do have a washbasin but we cannot guarantee this at the time of booking.

What furniture do the bedrooms have?
Each student will have a single bed with a pillow and duvet. There is also a wardrobe, set of drawers and access to a desk and chair for every student.  

How often is the bed linen changed?

Once a week

Are towels provided?
No, students must bring their own towels and toiletries

How does the laundry service work?
Students are asked to collect their used laundry and place it in a wash bag outside of their room. During the daily cleaning, staff will collect the wash bags and wash and dry the clothes. Students should allow 1-2 days before their laundry is returned.

Is there Wi-Fi in the accommodation? How is it controlled?
Students will have 24-hour access to free Wi-Fi for the duration of their stay and the signal is strong throughout the entire campus. We have firewalls in place to ensure that students cannot access inappropriate content.

What can students do during “house time”?
This is free time for students so they can use it to relax, mix with other students, watch television, play computer games or have an evening snack. Students also use this time to shower.

Will students have access to a kitchen outside of meal times?
There is a kitchen in the boarding houses and students can make drinks, hot chocolate, toast and other light snacks. All use of the kitchen must be supervised by a member of staff.

Optional Activities

Watersports
Which watersports can I do?
At Pangbourne, students have the option of taking a course in watersports at a nearby lake (For an additional fee). Under the supervision of Royal Yachting Association (RYA)-qualified instructor, students can try kayaking, stand-up paddle boarding, windsurfing or dinghy sailing.

Do I get a qualification in watersports?
If they wish, students can choose to complete their RYA Youth Beginners’ Course stage 1 certification. This gives them a basic understanding of sailing and provides first-hand experience in steering and handling a boat.

How much time to I spend on the water?
In total, students should have approximately 90 minutes per day on the course, four times a week. So 6 hours per week in total.

Is insurance included?
Yes

Horse Riding
If I choose the Horse Riding option, how long will I spend on a horse?
The horse riding option is four sessions a week. Each session consists of 45 mins of riding and 45 mins of stable management. So in total there are 3 hours of horse riding and 3 hours of stable management per week.

Is it definitely for all levels?
Yes, we can cater for all abilities and ages, from children who want to sample the excitement of riding for the first time, right through to skilled riders who want to brush up on their techniques in dressage, lungeing, show jumping, cross country, or hacking out in the charming Oxfordshire countryside.

Where does it take place? On-site or off-site? If off-site how far to the club?
Both our equestrian centres are off site. They are British Horse Society-approved Riding Schools, with qualified and professional staff, and are approximately 20 minutes’ drive from each summer school.

Is insurance included?
Yes

Is the horse-riding instruction exclusively for our students or will they be mixed with UK students?
It will be exclusively for our students but there will be other riders at the stables at the same time as us.

How many riders in the group?
A maximum of 8 can be riding and 8 doing stable management at one time, so 16 overall.

When exactly will we do the horse-riding option?
On Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday afternoons, after the workshops. We should leave site at 15:30 and be back by around 18:00.

What equipment do the riders need to bring?
Students only need to wear long trousers as all other equipment is provided, including riding hat and back protectors.

Professional Tennis Coaching
What is the difference between the tennis activity & the tennis coaching?
The tennis coaching option (only available at Lord Wandsworth College) includes four sessions a week with an accredited tennis professional, in which you learn about shot development and technique, as well as getting match practice. The tennis activity is more focussed around enjoyment of the game and is only available a few hours a week.

How long does a tennis coaching session last?
The tennis coaching sessions last for 2 hours a day from 15:30-18:00 Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday, including time to get changed and get into groups.

Where does it take place?
It takes place on-site at our Lord Wandsworth College centre only.

Who is my tennis coach?
All our tennis coaches are experienced professionals who have been accredited by the Lawn Tennis Association (LTA).

Is insurance included?
Yes

Is it definitely for all levels?
Yes, we are open to all levels, although the more information about the students’ experience we can have in advance, the better.

What does the coaching session include?
Our LTA-accredited coach will use a combination of individual and group coaching for the first half of the sessions, focussing on shot development and technique. The last hour consists of guided match practice.

Do I need to bring my own tennis racket?
We do have all equipment for students to use, however players who choose tennis may have played at home and have their own tennis racket.

Airport Transfers

Who will meet me at the airport?
If you are using our shuttle service (10:00 – 17:00), you will be met by a member of staff from Wimbledon School of English. Prior to arrival you will receive confirmation of their name and contact number in case of emergency. When you come out of arrivals, please look for a sign with the school logo and the words “WSE Junior Summer Centre”. You will be escorted to campus together with other students that have arrived that day.

If I use the shuttle service, what is the maximum waiting time?
We work within a 2-hour window from landing time and this is the longest you will have to wait. You will be supervised by a member of staff at all times and usually the waiting time is much less.   

If I arrive outside of the shuttle window, can I share my transfer with another student?
Shared transfers are only available to students that are travelling together. These have to be arranged in advance by parents or educational tour operators. For more information on pricing please visit fees and dates.

Booking your course

How do I apply?
Please contact us to check there is still availability for the course dates you require. You should download the application form and this must be completed in full and returned, with a copy of your passport, to Barbara@wimbledon-school.ac.uk. We request a deposit of £300 to secure your place. 

Does WSE offer visa support?
Yes, we can provide an invitation letter for all students that require a visa to study in the UK. You will receive detailed guidelines at the time of booking.

What are the terms and conditions?
Please refer to our pricelist for full terms and conditions. 

Pangbourne map coming soon.

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