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Winter Explorer

Learning through project-based lessons, study tours and electives gives students a well-rounded learning experience.

Take a look at our new themes for Winter Explorer 2020 as well as the introduction of our Business Leadership academy.

Course type
Young Learners
Age of student
Language level
Beginner (A1) - Proficient (C2)
Staff/student ratio
Maximum class size
Course dates
5 January - 15 February 2020 (All January 2020 start dates are fully booked)
Course Length
1-6 weeks
From £980 per week
Bell St Albans

Who is this course for?

Young learners who want to combine English language study, activities and cultural visits.

Course outcomes

Your child will develop:

  • Gain confidence and become more independent learners and users of the English language
  • Develop their English language skills (reading, writing, listening and speaking)
  • Improve their vocabulary, pronunciation and understanding of grammar appropriate to their level
  • Essential life skills (teamwork, independence and communication)
  • Produce a portfolio of work demonstrating progress, achievements and new experiences
  • An international network of friends

Course description

New project themes for English-based lessons

30 hours per two week course

Winter Explorer is designed around five project themes:

Arrival date Departure date Theme
Sunday 5 January Saturday 11 January SOLD OUT
Sunday 12 January Saturday 18 January SOLD OUT
Sunday 19 January Saturday 1 February SOLD OUT
Sunday 2 February Saturday 8 February Today's science, tomorrow's world
Sunday 9 February Saturday 15 February Heroes & legends

*includes 3-day trip to Edinburgh 

Magic & mystery

Sunset through a trees branches

Week 1: Sunday 5 January - Saturday 11 January

  • How can we invent a new magical land for stories?
  • Can we design a new character to join our favourite story or film?

Students are taken into the world of magical stories, and investigate some of Britain's most famous mysteries such as the building of Stonehenge or sightings of the Loch Ness Monster.

Topics may include:

  • Developing a collaborative class fantasy story
  • Critical analysis of extracts from classical and contemporary English literature
  • Collaborating on a class film, performance or project

Example learning outcomes:

  • Increased knowledge of language structures, vocabulary, style, genre and how they are used in different literary contexts
  • Improvement in their creative writing skills by working on their own fantasy adventure story
  • Develop critical thinking about the various factors that influence literature and its own influence on culture and society

Study tour: Harry Potter Studio tour

Excursion: Warwick Castle

It's only natural

Eco-system in a bulb

Week 2: Sunday 12 January - Saturday 18 January

  • How can different animals and plants survive in their shrinking habitats?
  • What can we do to reduce our impact on the environment?

This course will open students’ eyes to some of the hidden wonders of the natural world.  Students will also gain an insight into the importance of developing global solutions to address environmental issues.

Topics may include:

  • An investigation into a range of amazing natural phenomena
  • An examination of the global impact of human activity on the planet
  • A study into natural disasters, their causes and effects

Example learning outcomes

  • Learn functional language for participating in presentations and debates
  • Improved knowledge and use of a range of modal verbs to give guidance on environmental issues. (B1- B2-level project)
  • Develop and employ critical thinking skills to make connections between cause and effect

Study tour: Natural History Museum and walking tour

Excursion: Christchurch College, Oxford

Castles & kilts

Castle at sunset

Week 3&4: Sunday 19 January - Saturday 1 February

  • Does your national identity influence your personality?
  • How can we design and produce a travel blog for other students like us?

This two-week project invites students to look into British life, and culture. They will discover the uniqueness of different regions of the United Kingdom by undertaking an epic adventure to Edinburgh in the middle of the course.  

Topics may include:

  • Researching different festivals and traditions from around the UK
  • Studying extracts of British literature
  • Designing and writing a Scottish phrasebook

Example learning outcomes

  • Learn key vocabulary and language structures to describe characteristics of their homes, the places in the UK which they will visit and their classmates’ home nations and cities
  • Improved pronunciation e.g. how to correctly pronounce different place names, items, characteristics and other key vocabulary related to the topic
  • Cross-cultural communication and collaboration skills will be developed

Week 3:

Study tour: Open-top bus tour and dinner in London

Excursion: 3 day trip to Edinburgh

Week 4:

Study tour: London Eye

Excursion: Stratford-Upon-Avon - Shakespeare's birthplace

Today's science, tomorrow's world

People fist bumping with computers

Week 5: Sunday 2 February - Saturday 8 February

  • What impact do our cities have on the environment and our health?
  • What can we do to reduce the negative effects on them?
  • How will technology change the way we travel in the next 100 years?

Students will think about how the world around them is changing at an increasingly fast pace, making predictions about advancements in technology and how they will shape the landscapes and skyscapes of the future. 

Topics may include:

  • A comparative study of home cities and towns of the class
  • Researching the development of new technologies and resources
  • Looking into the skills most needed for life and work in the 21st century

Example learning outcomes

  • (B2 level students) Improving their ability to use future constructions and present continuous to talk about and make plans and predictions
  • (B1 level students) Learning to confidently use the present perfect to compare cityscape photos and how it has changed over time
  • Improved pronunciation whilst widening knowledge of the UK by learning about different cities and regions

Study tour: The Science Museum, London

Excursion: King's College, Cambridge

Heroes & legends

Library books on shelves

Week 6: Sunday 9 February - Saturday 15 February

  • What is a hero?
  • How can we design and write our own comic book?

Students will discover the stories that lie behind some of the greatest historical figures, moments that changed our world and the literary works that have shaped British culture. 

Topics may include:

  • Researching Britain’s Medieval History
  • Reading extracts of both classical and contemporary English Literature
  • Profiling inspiring role models

Example learning outcomes

  • Improved reading skills through studying and analysing extracts of a variety of literature
  • The students will be encouraged to think critically about the various factors that influence literature and what influence literature has on culture and society
  • Students at B2 level will learn to (more) accurately use conditional forms and modal verbs for discussions and presentations on the direction of their project work

Study tour: London walking tour and The Making of Harry Potter


People working

Business Leadership Academy

On our new Winter Explorer academy option, students develop a wide range of language, business leadership and life skills.


Discover our new academy option


Students can take part in a wide range of activities, choosing from active, creative or academic options, including:

  • Art & design
  • British literature
  • Drama
  • Journalism
  • Health & fitness

With multiple sessions in each chosen elective, students can build confidence and practise elective-specific language. 

Our electives are delivered by experienced activity leaders from a variety of backgrounds, including keen sportspeople and professional actors.

4.5 hours x 2 electives (total 9 hours) on a one-week course.
6 hours x 3 electives (total 18 hours) on a two-week course.


Study tours

1-2 full day study tours per one week course.

Each student benefits from the opportunity to explore the UK and practise the language they have learned in lessons. Destinations relate to the theme of the week and include:

  • London sights and museums
  • Harry Potter studio tour
  • Oxford
  • Stratford-Upon-Avon

Students booking weeks 3 & 4 (19 January - 1 February) will also enjoy a 3-day trip to Edinburgh, Scotland’s historic capital.

Sample Timetable

Sample timetable
Click on the timetable to view a larger version.
Students playing outside St Albans
Students in class
Students posing outside
Students in bedroom
Example Bell artwork
Colegio Tarbut group from Argentina