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Extended Project Qualification

The Extended Project Qualification focuses upon helping pupils acquire the skills needed for independent learning.

It provides an excellent preparation for future studies and enhances learning in other A Level subjects. It also promotes the development of skills in critical and analytical thinking and in project management. Pupils study a topic of personal choice and investigate it in depth. They meet a supervisor each week to discuss their topic one-to-one. They also attend a weekly lesson on the skills needed for independent research. The Extended Project can be based within the subjects that a pupil is taking at A Level, in which case the study must extend beyond the remit of the specification.

Alternatively, the project can focus upon an area which is completely different and thus enables pupils to extend their learning into areas that would otherwise not be covered within the curriculum. The Extended Project process begins with choosing a topic area which pupils then research independently. An individual title is crafted and an extended essay written.

All the way, guidance is given on how to find academic resources and how to recognise which resources are most reliable. The research part of the process continues roughly from September to December. Then the essay is written, usually between January and Easter. During this time, instruction is offered on how to write in an analytical way. At the end of the Lent term pupils present their projects at a poster event where they create a display to demonstrate their findings and answer questions on what they have learned from undertaking an Extended Project.

Throughout the year all pupils maintain a Production Log to demonstrate the management of their projects. The Extended Project is a process-based qualification and the log is the means by which pupils evidence their progress. Many pupils find that the freedom to choose their own subject enables them to discover a new joy in learning.

EPQ is highly valued by many universities. Some will reduce their grade offer to candidates with an A or above in EPQ. For candidates applying for highly competitive courses, the EPQ provides the opportunity to show off their commitment to their subject and thereby enhance their application.

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