Cambridge Dream prides itself on achieving high standards of teaching and learning. Our aim is to challenge and extend our students to help them develop vital skills, such as collaboration, critical and creative thinking, communication and independent study, valued by top universities and employers – and give them the confidence and practice to be able to apply them effectively. So we involve our learners in as many different learning experiences as possible – from robotics to 3D design and printing; Model United Nations debates to Shakespeare workshops; product inventions and business investment pitches to lateral thinking challenges.
We also restrict the total number of students on our courses and provide lots of one-to-one support and small class teaching by highly expert and knowledgeable staff.
The teaching staff of Cambridge Dream comprise many scholars from Cambridge and Oxford Universities (together known as Oxbridge). They are carefully selected for their expertise, passion and ability to enthuse and inspire students. Not only will they enhance students’ subject knowledge during lessons, but they will also be able to suggest further areas for reading and research which students can continue to work on when they return home. We follow rigorous quality assurance procedures, which meet the standards of the British Accreditation Council.
At Cambridge Dream, it is our strong belief that students will rise to academic challenges, if they are engaged and supported.
We use an activity-based, interactive teaching approach, both inside and outside the classroom, to encourage students to:
- Apply a range of practical learning skills and techniques.
- Ask probing questions and challenge others’ viewpoints.
- Express and substantiate their points of view.
- Participate actively in class discussions and debates.
- Take a planned, strategic approach to their own learning and personal development.
- Grow in confidence, competence, self-awareness and self-regulation.
Our staff employ a range of teaching and learning methods to plan and deliver stimulating lessons that engage and actively involve learners. These include, for example, discussion and debate, role-play, peer teaching and feedback, experiential learning, practical activities, interactive seminars, case studies, projects and research-based assignments.
As well as learning through timetabled lessons and activities, the older programme participants (15-18 years) work with their student mentors to produce a Personal Development Plan which enables them to identify their individual values, learning styles, strengths and weaknesses, assess academic choices and career options, and develop objectives and action plans, which they can continue to work on after their return to their home countries.
To apply successfully to a UK university, young students need to develop more active learning skills and have the confidence to apply them. As a result of attending the Cambridge Dream summer programme, learners will understand the concepts below, and gain practical experience, skills, knowledge and insights in all these areas.
- Leadership and Teamwork.
- Critical Thinking and Problem Solving.
- Creativity and Lateral Thinking.
- Independent Study.
- Academic Writing.
- University Preparation.
- Personal Development Planning (15-18 years only).
Further outcomes will include:
- extension of subject knowledge beyond the examination curriculum, providing opportunities for discussion and exploration during interviews
- changes in learners’ attitudes and behaviour as they grow in self-awareness, confidence, self-reliance and motivation
- the creation by learners of SMART strategies for managing their own learning and personal development.
Programme and Lesson Planning
Programme-level planning takes the form of a curriculum and schemes of work, which are annually reviewed and updated. Teaching content and delivery are clearly planned at every stage to meet the learning objectives set out in the curriculum.
Lesson plans are tailored to meet the needs of each class, including their educational background, culture, language ability, age range and gender mix.
The English level and academic ability of each learner is assessed by means of a written English test before they commence the programme in Cambridge. Learners are assigned to classes based on their results to ensure they are being taught at the right level and receive any additional support they require.
Monitoring and Assessment of Learners
Our teaching staff use evaluation criteria, such as teamwork, critical thinking and group discussion, against which to monitor and assess learners throughout the programme. These assessments, together with the learners’ own self-assessments, are used to produce the end-of-course reports. We ensure that all learner assessments are constructive and tailored to meet learners’ specific needs.
The end-of-course reports are handed out with the certificates of attendance at the final presentation after formal dinner. Awards are also given to learners who our staff believe have made the most improvement during the programme or have demonstrated outstanding class contribution.