Cambridge Junior Programme

Overview of Junior Programme


Leaving Primary School to join a senior school can be a daunting experience and an anxious moment for young students aged 11 or 12. A degree of independence, a passion for learning and a sense of curiosity are some of the key elements necessary to succeed.

With over 10 years of experience running our academic summer programme in Cambridge for teenagers, we have designed a special Junior Programme to help students leaving Primary School to bridge this important gap. This separate Programme has been running for many years with great success.

Subsidiary Aims

  • To Immerse students within a diverse and typically British curriculum
  • To encourage and develop students' participation and active involvement
  • To develop students' oral and written English language skills
  • To develop teamwork, co-operation and creativity through a wide range of challenging activities


Students will live and learn for two weeks in Fitzwilliam College, Cambridge. They will be mentored by Cambridge scholars in small groups in the ratio of 1 Mentor to 6 students.

Lessons will be taught formally in the mornings by highly qualified and well-experienced teachers recruited from amongst the best academic schools in the UK. Mentors will arrange educational activities and further teach the students in the afternoons.

The Cambridge Junior Programme includes the following five key components:

  • English
  • Drama
  • Science
  • History
  • Art

Programme Highlights & Visits

Journey of Discovery: 5 themes

Life for Children in Wartime Britain
Scientific Discoveries
Habitats and Adaptations
Philosophy and Debating through the use of English and Drama

Life for Children in Wartime Britain

Activities will allow opportunity for students to analyse and explain the reasons for social historical events and situations. The context of exploration being: "Children's lives in wartime Britain". Activities will draw from literature, film and a variety of historical sources. Drama will be used to investigate the typical experiences of evacuees, presenting possibilities for creative writing. Scientific investigation of materials, forces and basic aerodynamic design will support an understanding of the significance of aviation during World War 2, thus linking specifically with the students' visit to the Imperial War Museum in Duxford, about 10 miles from Cambridge.

Scientific Discoveries

Science activities will focus upon key scientists' scientific theories, discoveries and inventions associated with or developed at Cambridge University. Students will be encouraged to hypothesise, to devise experimental questions and to explore scientific processes. Both structured and open-ended scientific challenges will support and consolidate student learning at the Natural History Museum in London and the Wind Turbine at Swaffham. The focal point for activities will be an "Apprentice”-style challenge, requiring students to design and present their ideas for a specified product.

Habitats and Adaptations

Students will learn about Darwin's theory of evolution, as well as about animal variation and classification. Additionally, students will examine local habitat variety and (plant and animal) adaptation. Activities will relate closely to ideas presented during the students' visit to Whipsnade Zoo. Fieldwork activities will include habitat observation, use of classification keys, data collection and culminate in a "creature design" presentation task.

Philosophy and Debating

This theme is designed to develop students' discursive skills, following the great Cambridge tradition of debating. Relevant philosophical questions, selected by the students, will provide the focus for debate. Students will prepare a structured argument as part of a mini-debate as well as also anticipating counter-arguments. Presentation will be assessed according to use of debating language and courtesy, as well as effective eye-contact, articulation and emphasis.


Students are inspired to develop their own natural creativity throughout the art sessions within the Junior Programme. Guided by an experience teacher and artiest herself they are encouraged to experiment with a range of media and also create a small individual sculpture of their own to take home.


  • Whipsnade Zoo
  • Duxford Imperial War Museum
  • Natural History Museum
  • West End Musical or Theatre in London
  • Harry Potter Studio
  • King’s College Chapel
  • Punting on the River Cam

Junior Programme Details

English and Drama

Speaking, listening and acting: Students will learn to:

  • Present information and points of view clearly, appropriately and fluently

  • Structure and organise speech so as to guide the listener

  • Engage an audience, using a range of vocal techniques

  • Listen and respond constructively to others, taking different views into account

  • Take different roles in organising, planning and sustaining talk in groups

  • Use different dramatic approaches to explore ideas, texts and issues

  • Explore the ways in which words, actions and sound combine to create dramatic moments

Reading: Students will learn to:

  • Extract and interpret information, events, main points and ideas from texts

  • Select and compare information from different texts

  • Recognize and discuss different interpretations of texts, justifying views on what students read and see.

Writing: Students will learn to:

  • Write imaginatively, creatively and thoughtfully, producing texts that interest and engage the reader

  • Structure writing to support the purpose of the task and guide the reader

  • Use persuasive writing techniques


Students will:

  • Use a range of scientific methods and techniques to develop and test ideas and explanations

  • Plan and carry out practical and investigative activities in groups

  • Obtain, record and analyse data from a wide range of primary and secondary sources, and use findings to provide evidence for scientific explanations

  • Use appropriate methods to communicate scientific information and contribute to presentations and discussions about scientific issues.


Students will:

  • Investigate, individually and as part of a team, specific historical questions or issues

  • Use a range of historical sources

  • Evaluate sources used in order to reach reasoned conclusions

  • Present and organize accounts and explanations about the past that are coherent, structured and substantiated

  • Communicate knowledge and understanding of history in a variety of ways, using historical vocabulary

Date, Fees and Registration


The 2018 Programme runs from Sunday 29th July - Saturday 11th August 2018 in Fitzwilliam College


GBP £3,988. This covers:

  • Tuition and Teaching Materials
  • Accommodation
  • All Meals, including lunches
  • Cost of visits and travel to and from the airport

It does not cover air-fares, travel insurance or pocket money.


  • Admission to the Cambridge Junior Programme is limited to students aged 11-12 years.
  • In some circumstances, we may ask for the applicant to provide a reference from the school and a copy of their latest school report.
  • Students from one of our participating schools should apply via their school. (Please follow the School’s own timetable for Applications).
  • For individual applications not linked with our participating schools, please download an Application Form below and return it to us by 1st March 2018.

Download Application Form


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