What is the EPQ?
This is the 10th year in which d’Overbroeck’s has offered the Extended Project Qualification (EPQ). An EPQ gives every student in the Sixth Form the opportunity to embark on a largely self-directed and self-motivated project in addition to studying for their three main A levels.
- gives students the opportunity to choose their own topic to research
- makes students responsible for their own learning and development
- inspires and motivates students completing the project gives them greater confidence and a sense of achievement
- teaches new skills, such as independent research, project management, self-directed learning and multimedia presentation technique
As one of the first schools in Oxfordshire to introduce EPQs into the Sixth Form, our experience of the qualification has been wholly positive.
As well as providing students with a competitive edge when applying to top universities, the EPQ offers students a genuine opportunity to engage in high level research or to plan and produce a creative product, all in a supportive environment.
What types of project are possible?
We do not assign EPQ titles to students at d’Overbroeck’s. We expect each student to develop their own ideas and we delight in any project concept that is both original and that pushes beyond the boundaries of A level. Having said this, we do encourage students to focus on topics that relate to their chosen university course, since this is most likely to provide a benefit when students are writing their personal statements, for university application, and in any interviews that they might have.
A small proportion of d’Overbroeck’s Sixth Formers complete ‘practical’ EPQs, in which they might, for example, construct a scale engineering model, put together a photographic exhibition or choreograph a dance performance.
We have had a great deal of success of late with creative writing projects, which also fall into the ‘practical’ category. Students doing a practical EPQ must document the planning and organising process underlying their project and also support their practical product with a sourced 1000 words of academic theory.
The majority of d’Overbroeck’s EPQs, however, take the form of ‘research’ EPQs, in which, supported by extensive reading, the student attempts to answer an academic question.
Students doing a research EPQ must document the planning and organising process underlying their research and then produce a report on their findings of 5000 words or more.