On Wednesday 16 September, sixteen Year 13 students presented their research findings on an array of topics in the first round of Extended Project presentations. Projects included investigations into zero-carbon housing, organised religion, naval hegemony, architecture, endurance motorsport, bone regeneration and immunotherapies.
The Extended Project Qualification (EPQ) is a super-curricular opportunity and formal qualification that Sixth Form students at BMS can undertake along with their A Levels. This year BMS has seen record numbers of project students, with almost 60 taking part. The EPQ allows students to discover the benefits of independent learning, take responsibility for their own study and develop life and study skills. It is highly regarded by universities. Students carry out research on a topic which is not covered by their other qualifications. They then use this research to produce a written report and, in the case of practical projects, an artefact or a production.
Katie Ashton presented her findings on why the UK isn’t embracing zero-carbon housing. She said: “The EPQ has been a very valuable use of my time. It has helped me in many ways, for example I have now discovered that I want to pursue an undergraduate degree in sustainability in the future – something I had never even considered before. The experience was an amazing way to look in depth at my interest into sustainability, and share it with others, whilst also developing my research skills and learning more about myself.”
For her project, Amy Lewis designed and made a garment which aimed to subvert gender stereotypes. She said: “The EPQ has enabled me to explore the link between fashion and gender, which are two topics I’m really interested in and think are important. As well as this, I had the opportunity to be creative!”
Director of Sixth Form, John White, said: “What is particularly impressive is the enthusiasm each student has for their project, and the amount of time and effort they have clearly dedicated to the qualification. The breadth of project topics is inspiring.”
This year’s students have been more autonomous with the project process than ever before: they worked tirelessly through periods of lockdown and remote learning. Not only were the presentations polished and engaging, they were also a testament to the students’ resilience during what has been a difficult time for independent learning.