WEEKEND WORKSHOPS

Our workshops, designed for students of secondary school, run for two hours, with morning and afternoon options. They either explore an important real-world topic from a variety of angles and in ways that helps participants develop their critical thinking skills, or focus on developing a particular skill.

Weekend workshops cost £40 per student with a maximum of 10 students in a class. Scholarships are available for students from low-income families who would like to learn with us, please email us to find out more.

 

Click the ‘book now’ button for details of available dates and times for each workshop. 

"Our son found this to be a very good program, he really developed through
the course and his confidence was definitely boosted. He enjoyed doing the presentations most, analysing other speakers' presentation styles and thinking
on his feet. He's much more conscious now of his speech in general. He was nervous before it took off but settled in very well thanks to his tutor, Ben, who
he got on brilliantly with. He really enjoyed the tutor interaction. Would we
book another course? Definitely!" 

Parent of Sidhesh, 13, Ireland

Skills-based

Introduction to debating

A lively workshop teaching young people the basics of effective debating including: 

  • how to prepare for a debate and plan your arguments 

  • how to predict counter arguments 

  • support in articulating yourself clearly and effectively 

  • familiarisation with formal debating terms and methods  

  • practise a live debate on a topical issue in a supportive small
    group environment 

(NB includes a preparation pack with background reading on the
debate topic)

Saturday mornings 10am-noon every two weeks:

26th September, 10th October, 24th October

Skills-based

How to be more creative 

Ever feel like you’ve run out of ideas or are applying the same approach time and again to a familiar problem rather than finding new solutions? Being creative isn’t just for ‘creatives’; mathematicians, lawyers and engineers all need to be creative in order to solve problems and develop game-changing ideas. Creativity is the difference between finding a solution based on what already exists, and dreaming up a new concept, then finding ways to make it a reality. This workshop is a fun creativity booster including: 

  • exploration of what creativity is and why it matters 

  • group and individual activities to get the creative juices flowing 

  • opportunities to apply your new creative thinking skills to knotty real-life problems

 

Sunday afternoons 2-4pm every two weeks: 20th September,
4th October, 18th October

Skills-based

How to feel confident speaking in public

Does the thought of standing up and talking to a class or large group of people fill you with dread? You’re not alone, and this workshop will take the sting out it and help you feel better prepared for public speaking. It will cover: 

  • fun exercises to work on posture and speech 

  • understanding of the elements that go into an effective talk 

  • tips and techniques to overcome your fears and seem confident (even when you’re nervous) 

  • opportunities to hone and practise your skills in a supportive, small-group environment 

(NB includes a preparation pack and some advance planning on a subject of your choice)

Sunday mornings 10am-noon every two weeks: 27th September,
11th October, 25th October

Topic-based

What is nationhood and why does it matter?

A workshop in which students will develop their critical thinking skills by learning about some of the complex and competing ideas around nationhood, exploring why they matter in the world and understanding how they can both bring us together and divide us. Students will be encouraged to understand, challenge and defend different points of view as they explore questions like: 

  • who decides what is and isn't a country? (e.g. could your city, state or county be a country in its own right?) 

  • what are the challenges associated with, say, California, Cornwall or Catalonia becoming independent nations?

  • can new nations to be created peacefully? 

  • does belonging to a nation bring us together?

  • what are the pros and cons of national identity?

Sunday afternoons 2-4pm every two weeks: 27th September,
11th October, 25th October

Topic-based

What is fake news and how can you spot it? 

A practical, timely workshop for young people, helping them to navigate the confusion of modern media by sharpening their critical thinking toolbox. Students will work individually and in groups, using real, contemporary examples and will cover the following: 

  • Practical tips to discern between fake and real news 

  • The difference between opinions and thoughts 

  • The role of opinion in reporting (and the point at which reporting bias crosses over into fake news)

Saturday mornings 10am-noon every two weeks: 20th September,
4th October, 18th October

Topic-based

What is bias and how to overcome it? 

Bias is a thorny issue that can make people angry, defensive and wary but it’s also a very important area to be able to have a constructive discussion in. This workshop will offer young people a safe space to look at what bias means, where it comes from and how it can be addressed. In it, we’ll explore with students: 

  • Where our biases they come from and how they are tied to our psychology 

  • How we can learn to be more objective

  • Whether bias is ever justified 

  • What conditions make biases more likely to be more prevalent

  • How understanding of our own and other people's biases can help us be more fair

Saturday afternoons 2-4pm every two weeks: 20th September,
4th October, 18th October

Topic-based

What would a fair system of migration look like?

This workshop investigates migration from all angles, helping young people to look beyond polarised and simplistic news headlines to understand the full complexity of the issue. During the session we’ll be encouraging students to think how we balance the desire to give everyone fair access to opportunities regardless of where they were born with practical considerations relating to limited resources such as housing, schooling, healthcare. The workshop will cover: 

  • What drives migration patterns 

  • What the main resourcing issues are 

  • Pros and cons of different migration systems

Sunday mornings 10am-noon every two weeks: 20th September,
4th October, 18th October

"Geena really enjoyed her course and felt she gained a lot from it. We only wish it was on-going. She found her tutor, Ben, very engaging and fun. I could hear her laughing from the other room, which is so lovely as I want her to enjoy learning. 

 

The structure of the sessions worked for Geena. She felt motivated and supported. I think it has given her confidence and drive a boost – as a mum, I can see a change! We would love to continue with sessions in order to build on what she has learnt so she just continues to become stronger and more confident. Thank you – I'm so glad we found you!" 

Parent of Geena 15, UK

Newsletter sign up

Want to hear our critical thinking skills tips and recommendations?

  • Facebook Social Icon
  • Instagram

©2020 Oxford Catalyst