Students complete highly regarded Extended Project Qualification

Students complete highly regarded Extended Project Qualification

26 November 2020

On Wednesday 25 November, the first of two groups of Upper Sixth students completed their EPQ (Extended Project Qualification) by each giving a presentation on the project they submitted earlier in the term.

The EPQ is highly regarded by universities since successful candidates demonstrate research skills, independence and perseverance – all the skills needed at university. Students gain the qualification by choosing a specific topic to research on their own, with guidance from a teacher who they meet regularly to discuss progress.

Many students write a 5,000-word essay on their chosen topic, but others choose to produce an artefact (such as a piece of drama, music or creative writing), set up a research experiment or organise an event, and write a detailed explanation of their approach.

Research topics undertaken by Woldingham students this year include:

  • To what extent are hydrothermal vents a more probable source for the origin of life on Earth over panspermia?
  • Did Stalin use architecture as propaganda?
  • To what extent are international engineering companies in India improving gender equality?
  • What factors most strongly influence the development of an addictive disorder, focusing on alcoholism?
  • To what extent did the assimilation policies implemented by the Australian government affect the families of the stolen generations?

Artefact projects include:

  • A playscript titled ‘Dr Death’
  • A selection of songs from a musical about Moses

Head of Psychology Mrs Ruth Deaney, who is Woldingham’s EPQ Co-ordinator, has been impressed by the students’ approach in this difficult year, saying: “Many students have had to change their plans due to COVID-19 restrictions, particularly those conducting their own research. They have coped amazingly well and managed to hold virtual interviews and gather questionnaires remotely.”

The remainder of the 12 Upper Sixth students taking the EPQ this year will present on December 1. As with the first group, this will be to staff and their year group peers, with parents able to watch remotely.