At the end of the Spring Term, Year 13 Extended Project Qualification (EPQ) students held a fair to exhibit the hard work they have put in throughout the year. Students and staff were invited to drop in to hear all about the students’ project.
The EPQ is equal to a half A level and is taken in addition to three A Levels or a Level 3 Extended Diploma. Students decide on a topic to focus on which can be related to their other courses or something unrelated that they have a real interest in. The students then design the project, carry out research and reflect on the process. As part of the course they have to complete an essay, logbook and presentation. The EPQ is highly valued by universities as it shows a student’s ability to research and analyse material independently.
The EPQ students created displays, PowerPoint presentations and were there in person to give an overview and discuss their projects and findings.
Valya – Idealism vs Materialism: Reality looked at through two metaphysical extremes
Valya studies English Language & Literature, Maths & Statistics and Psychology, but decided to study a topic separate to her subjects by exploring the philosophical debate on what reality is.
Laura – How could the government most effectively increase funding for the NHS hospitals and GP surgeries?
Laura who studies Maths, Sociology, Psychology and Spanish alongside the EPQ decided there were two possible routes to increase NHS funding, privatisation or hypothecated tax – a tax paid directly to and for the purpose of the NHS.
“I was able to use maths skills when looking at the statistics and figures as well as elements learnt in Sociology.”
Eli – How has the use of social networks by hip-hop musicians been a positive influence on the behaviour and self-esteem of young adults?
Eli looked at the positive and negative influences of Hip-Hop music on young people. She found positive influences included freedom of expression, music as therapy, raised confidence, the positive contribution many hip-hop stars have on communities through donations and educational schemes etc. Negative influences included the glorification of drugs and violence and unattainable body images that can lead to low self-esteem.
Brittany – To what extent is gender becoming irrelevant in the fashion industry?
Brittany felt this was a prominent topic and looked at areas including androgynous models, gender-neutral campaigns and was able to use some of what she had learnt in Sociology to contribute to the project.
Emmy – Will robots make humans redundant from jobs for the new age of manufacturing?
Emmy is taking the EPQ alongside her BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma in Engineering, and is planning to go on to study Electronic & Electrical Engineering at Kent university. Her chosen topic helped to show her passion for the subject when making UCAS applications. Emmy visited the Mini Cooper factory as part of her research, where hundreds of jobs previously performed by humans have been replaced with robots.
Benjamin – How has the development of a land onshore drilling rig’s design been enhanced by today’s technology?
Benjamin looked at the design on drilling rigs throughout history and the differences in design as the rigs were drilling deeper, from 800 to 12,000 feet. He created a model electrical drill as part of his EPQ, which he is taking alongside the BTEC Extended Diploma in Engineering. He is very relevant to his planned future career path in Petroleum Engineering.
Maria – The Pendle Witches
Maria’s project focuses specifically at the case of the Pendle Witches – 12 women accused of witchcraft in Lancashire in 1612 – but also more globally at the concept of witchcraft and how it relates to feminism.
Sandra – To what extent do overstated expiration dates contribute to our growing food waste dilemma?
Sandra takes Biology, Chemistry, Psychology & Level 3 Maths Studies along with the EPQ, so was able to apply her scientific knowledge to her project. “£13 billion worth of food is wasted each year – I wanted to understand why.” As part of the project, Sandra looked at people’s understanding of food date labels, food preservation methods as well as conducting an experiment measuring the growth of microbes after the use-by date.