What are the benefits of the EPQ programme? Mr Waldron, EPQ Coordinator explains.
The Extended Project Qualification (EPQ) is an optional programme involving the exploration of a topic chosen by the student and leading to a 5,000-word essay or an artefact. It is worth half an A level and is highly prized by universities for the academic skills it promotes.
Last year 26 Upper Sixth students completed the programme, submitting 23 essays and three artefacts for assessment. Around 30 members of staff were involved during the process as supervisors, helping to clarify the students’ ideas, and offering advice on research, writing and presentations.
Previous artefacts have included a house built using primitive technology, a traditional Japanese kimono, a clock radio, an online exercise programme for the elderly and a portrait of two drag queens based on the study of drag and transformations it involves. Essay topics have included an investigation into the role of hallucinogenic drugs in medical treatments of PTSD, OCD and Anxiety, the prevention and treatment of finger injuries for climbers, penal systems in the UK, USA and Norway, the role of revenge in Jacobean Drama, and the effect of microplastics on marine organisms.
To help make this possible, we offer all Lower Sixth students a course covering the necessary academic skills of organisation, research, writing, and presentation. The students then have a year to research and develop their ideas, before completing the project in December of their Upper Sixth year.
The EPQ programme allows our students to extend their curiosity into new and fascinating areas, and to master a range of key skills from project-management to academic research. In short, the EPQ makes them better learners, and better candidates for university.