In January 2021 Felsted’s Upper Sixth students received their confirmed grades for their Extended Project Qualification. Despite all the enormous challenges of remote learning, half of those who completed the project received a grade in the A*B category.
Projects at Felsted serve to imbue our students with the essential life skills of time management; the structuring ideas; research skills; the monitoring and reviewing of progress and the communication of opinions in both the written and verbal form. We have been running the qualification at Felsted for 5 years and are seeing marked improvements in our students’ ability to work more independently on their A Level subjects, armed with the skills and confidence to enrich their understanding outside the classroom. Something that is particularly relevant in these Covid times.
Equally they become experts in the field of their EPQ topic, often an extension of an A level topic or a to a degree course, and are given the platform to communicate this new found knowledge to their peers, and the reward in the grade they receive, although we feel the value is more in the process than the outcome. Unfortunately this year’s celebration is not unanimous. Some students were moderated down by AQA, which is incredibly disappointing. We are currently seeking ways to appeal their decision and will provide feedback as soon we can.
This year’s projects were as eclectic as ever in their titles, forms and topics.
In these Brexit times, Fiora M, a keen linguist, explored ‘Why do British People have such a bad relationship for learning modern foreign languages?’ concluding that there is simply less motivation for the British to learn languages (she details the reasons in her report as to why).
Alexa Tinvestigated ‘Are embryonic stem cells an effective treatment for neurodegenerative disease? enriching her A Level Biology (and achieving full marks).
Daniel SOB, who you will have seen in many a school production over the years, posed the question, ‘Is acting a meaningful job?’ perhaps helping him consider his future career options.
Ella F evaluated ‘To what extent have government budget cuts impacted on the service provided by the police force and on crime rates in the UK?’
I think my favourite, however, comes from Archie F, who set out with the question 'Is Brexit the hardest challenge a British Prime minister has ever faced?' Before having to reconsider his whole line of reasoning when we went into lockdown.
He, and many others not listed above, produced projects that were insightful, well supported and often compelling to read.
Mrs Catriona James