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Y12 EPQ Get Ahead Day – Enrichment Success!

Y12 EPQ Get Ahead Day – Enrichment Success!


Matthew O'Kelly
Matthew O'Kelly
Y12 EPQ Get Ahead Day – Enrichment...

Last Friday an eager cohort of our outstanding Year 12 students spent the day working on their Extended Project Qualification (EPQ) in the Sixth Form Centre. The EPQ is an accredited AQA qualification which seeks to develop a student’s independent research skills. It teaches study skills and also introduces the students to planning and then conducting their own academic research. Students then go on to produce a high quality product – usually a 5,000 word essay drawn from their research findings.

Students have to become reflective learners, adjusting their research to take account of the challenges they face, such as lack of reliable data or dealing with too much information – so having to make their research more specific to be manageable. Students also give a presentation of their research findings to their peers at the conclusion of the research process. The AQA qualification carries UCAS points and is viewed very favourably by many Universities and Higher Education providers as it provides essential independent research skills as preparation for University and also the transferable study skills for professional qualifications in the workplace, such as accountancy or higher level Apprenticeships.

After a brief introductory talk from Mr O’Kelly, the Year 12 students showed how they had developed their independent learning skills in their short time as Sixth Formers. They were incredibly focused and highly productive, using the opportunity to have 1:1 meetings with Mr O’Kelly or Mr Monks to discuss their initial research aims and then refine them into working research proposals. As each student is able to choose their own unique research proposal, so Mr O’Kelly and I enjoyed discussing an amazing range of research topics, from considering the ethical or personal motivation behind the activities of the ‘Wolf of Wall Street’ to medical developments in heart bypass surgery or the impact of social media on mental health.

It was inspirational as a member of staff, to have these lively and well-informed discussions on such a diverse and engaging set of research proposals. Students also started their research log, analysing at least 15 research items. Here they skillfully reflected on their utility and reliability to their future research project.

It was certainly an intense day, but showed the Year12 students at their best; focused, energised and enthused with researching topics which they had chosen and were keen to discover more about. The Sixth Form Center was a buzz of activity and discussion all day. It bodes well for very successful EPQ projects later in Year 12. Well done Year 12 an excellent, productive and enjoyable day!

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