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Claremont High School Academy

Flying high

Students secure future success with the Extended Project Qualification

What do an 18th-century ball gown, a small-scale hybrid rocket and the financial inequality between teams in the English Premier League have in common? They’re all examples of the Extended Project Qualification, or EPQ for short.

The EPQ is a standalone A Level qualification designed to develop students’ abilities beyond the A Level syllabus, and to prepare them for university or their future careers. The project can take one of two forms: a 5,000-word report, or an artefact with an accompanying 1,000-word report. The artefact could, for example, be a model aeroplane or a theatrical play.

The EPQ gives students greater independence, allowing them to choose their own projects. They’re able to conduct research on a topic that isn’t covered elsewhere in their education, taking inspiration from something in their formal studies or, if they prefer, something more personal to them. Not only do those taking part become more critical and reflective learners, demonstrating creativity and enterprise, there are direct benefits to their future career prospects: the EPQ is worth half an A Level (28 UCAS points), it’s recognized by universities and employers, and many unis make lower offers to those students undertaking an EPQ.

The projects run from October, when students register their interest and find a Supervisor - similar to a mentor - through to June when they present their finished work. During this time students will have regular meetings with their Supervisors, who will review and monitor the work-in-progress.

Last year’s Year 13 cohort at Claremont had the added challenge of starting later than usual, in January 2023, giving them far less than the standard nine months to complete their projects.

‘Given these circumstances,’ reflects Mr Yamin, Claremont’s EPQ Co-ordinator,  ‘I thought they performed exceptionally well. They regularly attended after-school meetings and, over time, became true independent learners.’

Of the many projects produced by the Year 13s, Mr Yamin highlights Kartik Khuley’s in 13.6: ‘He spent numerous hours building a remote-controlled plane, which actually flew!’

It seems that all the EPQ students have found their wings and are now flying high. Mr Yamin couldn’t be prouder of them: ‘Well done, Year 13s! You managed to not only successfully complete your EPQs, but did it against the odds in a record six months and with amazing results.’

So what passion project would you like to pursue? Get ready for take-off…