Extended Project Qualification
The chief purpose of Project Qualifications is to establish and develop skills that students can take with them as they progress through their education. For example, all students undertaking the Extended Project Qualification will produce a formal academic report, developing writing skills that will be of immense value. The Extended Project Qualification will develop and extend students’ skills that will enhance attainment in their sixth form studies and beyond.
Key benefits of the EPQ:
- develop and improve their own learning and performance as critical, reflective and independent students
- develop and apply decision-making and problem-solving skills
- extend their planning, research, critical thinking, analysis, synthesis, evaluation and presentation skills
- develop and apply skills creatively, demonstrating initiative and enterprise.
- use their learning experiences to support their aspirations for further study and/or career development.
- transfer skills developed as part of their project to other areas of study.
Students apply these learned skills to a project that is unique. At Level 3, this independent working is expected to be at least 90 hours. However, the independent working of students is supervised throughout; students are not sent away to ‘get on with it’. Project Supervisors meet one to one each week with students to teach skills and support the planning, research, writing, presenting and reflecting stages of the process. Project Qualifications provide a great opportunity for students looking to enhance their skills by studying at home or outside the timetable or school environment.
The qualification provides students with an opportunity to delve into an area of genuine interest. There are clear guidelines concerning the appropriateness of research topic titles. As part of the Qualification they receive taught/timetabled input into effective research methods, referencing, planning and presenting although the main onus is placed on the student.
Previous students have presented their reports to students, friends and parents. Topics ranged for the Ethics of Eugenics to the Metallurgy of Coins as well as creating cocktails and writing and directing short films. Student evaluations have consistently acknowledged their enjoyment of the intellectual challenge and the liberation they felt in studying a project over which they had control.
The Extended Project at Level 3 is unlikely to form part of the formal offer to University but it differentiates students and provides a fantastic focal point for interviews as well as showing a willingness to accept an intellectual challenge. Increasingly students find that University offers are lowered if an EPQ is successfully completed at a B grade or higher. It will certainly develop transferable research skills and Universities and Work Organisations value the head start that it provides for young people’s ability to manage large independent projects or pieces of work.
The Learning Journey
An Extended Project Qualification (EPQ) is equivalent to half an A-level. It is part of Level 3 of the National Qualifications Framework. It is currently graded A* to E. It involves choosing a topic, carrying out research, then creating either a 5,000 word report or an artefact plus a 1,000 word report. After that students must deliver a small 10-15 minute presentation to a group of non-specialists about their topic and learning journey. At Oxted School students are allocated a personal supervisor to support the process.
There are three elements to the EPQ
- The Production and Process Log
- The Artefact or Report/Essay
- The Presentation with Q&A
Taught Core Skills
- time management skills
- research skills and evaluation of sources
- ethical principles of research
- health, safety and risk assessment related to research and project management
- report writing skills
- referencing and bibliography creation
- how to avoid plagiarism
- presentation skills
- reflection and evaluation
Year 12 students commence the journey in September and complete the process in June allowing time for entry for the November of Year 13.
Some Year 13 students pick up the qualification at the end of Year 13 and complete the process in April of Year 13 allowing entry in the summer of Year 13.
Examination Board Information
Centre Co-Ordinator - Mrs H Harber - firstname.lastname@example.org