Learn how to analyse important issues, think for yourself, generate solutions and communicate ideas persuasively. Our courses,  designed for students of secondary school age, include 15 hours of live teaching time plus individual feedback.

Courses cost £200 per student. Scholarships are available for students from low-income families who would like to learn with us, please email us to find out more.

Autumn 2020
half-term courses

5 September - 24 October

Saturdays 10am - noon plus socials and graduation

OR Saturdays 2 - 4pm plus socials and graduation

6 September - 25 October

Sundays 10am - noon plus socials and graduation

OR Sundays 2 - 4pm plus socials and graduation


8 week courses beginning on:

Wednesday 2 September

Thursday 3 September

Friday 4 September

Monday 2 November

Tuesday 3 November

10am - noon plus socials and graduation

(All times are UK times)



Tuesday 6 - Thursday 8 April &

Tuesday 13 - Wednesday 14 April

Morning course: 10am-12pm

This fun and challenging course is a valuable opportunity for live interaction with other young people to learn and practise new skills. Our sessions are a great chance develop your ability to think on your feet and to learn to be an effective and persuasive communicator in a safe environment whilst making new friends

Email us at info@oxfordcatalyst.com for further details and to check availability.

day 1

Analysing presentation styles

  • Understanding the impact of a first impression  

  • Critical analysis of different presentation styles using
    real-life examples

  • Exploring the role that posture, tone, language and style play in effectively communicating to different audiences 

  • Helping students develop a communication style that will convey their individual personality

  • Understanding the role of imagination in creating society
    and culture – from money and capitalism to governments
    and human rights 

  • Exploring how we can use 'stories’ alongside analysis to communicate important messages 

  • Combining facts, statistics and research with fictional stories as a tool for imagining the future  

  • Practical tasks in which students will harness their imagination in order to solve problems 

day 2

Imagination and persuasion


Constructing a convincing argument

  • Considering why constructive argument is necessary  

  • Understanding the dangers of polarised views, and the importance of being able to see things from different perspectives 

  • Learning the basic elements of formal debate including how to construct arguments and undermine opposing perspectives 

  • Exploring the limitations of debate (or ‘winning the argument’) and the importance of wider perspectives when deciding on the best course of action 

  • Practical experience of debating 

  • Applying creative problem solving to a real-world problem

  • Understanding how our  lifestyles and choices  impact each other and the planet; exploring global vs local impacts  and short-term vs long-term impacts  

  • How to avoid ‘action paralysis’   


Developing real-world solutions


Constructing a convincing argument

  • Testing and critiquing Day 4's real-world solutions

  • Practical experience in delivering presentations, and
    giving and responding to feedback 

  • Recap on skills covered during the week and how to use them to stand out as a critical thinker and doer in the 21st Century 

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