23 of our post-16 students have completed their EPQ this year, making this our highest completion rate for EPQ as a school!
Mr Burton, Associate Headteacher, invited the group to gather for refreshments and a short celebration, commending them for the phenomenal topics that they’ve been working on and for fully completing the programme. He also thanked the staff who had taken on the role of EPQ supervisor and supported their students in succeeding. He added “Many of you will be applying for University. You will now be competing against other people who don’t have their EPQ – around 38,000 had accomplished it last year out of 280,000 – so you will really stand out from the crowd.”
The EPQ programme, which began in 2013, is largely a self-motivated and self-directed project. Bournside has offered this as a curriculum enrichment option since 2014. Each student had to choose a topic, plan, research and develop their idea and decide on their finished product. Topics ranged from being related directly to their study programme while others had decided to go beyond the criteria; curiosity and creativity is a highly encouraged approach to the programme. Each student had a Production Log which allowed them to record their process at each step – something that was of vital importance within the programme, as both the Production Log and Product would later be assessed.
This year has been our highest completion rate as a school, with 23 students seeing through the entire qualification from start to finish, after seeing 2016 have 19 students complete their EPQ and 21 students in 2015. This has been a significant accomplishment and has as a result sparked our intentions to expand the EPQ programme and offer it across the entire of year 12 next year, vastly opening the opportunities for our post-16 students to achieve this milestone. We’re proud to say that we haven’t yet had a student achieve a grade lower than C, with pass rates consistently being towards A/A*:
Peter, one of the year 13 students celebrating his EPQ finish, had chosen his topic on Cognitive Behavioural Therapy. He explained “It was really interesting to cover, looking into ways that the therapy can help treat the many anxiety disorders out there. So far it doesn’t seem to treat all of the symptoms, but it’s something I’m really hoping to go on to University for to study more on.” – Other topics chosen included the evaluation on the history of education and how it has evolved to the modern day and society.
Ms Saunders, Head of Year 13, offered her word of thanks to the students for the amount of hard work they have put in; “You should all be immensely proud. Each of you now have your own EPQ journey and story to tell — no doubt there were moments where you were convinced you wouldn’t make it but you’ve overcome that angst and have now become part of our highest completion rate ever. It’s been an absolute pleasure working with you all to help you gain this big achievement.”