Project Qualifications Introduction to the Projects Qualifications Version 2.0 Copyright © AQA and its licensors. All rights reserved. Project Qualifications The three project levels – Level 1 Foundation, Level 2 Higher and Level 3 Extended – are flexible and can be easily integrated into your curriculum to enrich your students’ learning. Together, they offer students a way of acquiring sophisticated study skills and a route into Higher Education and employment. Version 2.0 Copyright © AQA and its licensors. All rights reserved. Project Qualifications Foundation Project – Level 1 60 guided learning hours GCSE short course at Level 1 Graded A*-B The Foundation Project can encourage students who struggle with traditional academic study by inspiring them to complete a practical project, such as producing an artefact or learning a new practical skill. Via the foundation projects students could: • Gain a focus for learning at school • Build sufficient confidence to engage with other subjects Our specification is designed to allow both these possibilities, and to provide a clear structure within which, with some guidance, all learners can: • Develop transferable and core skills to apply in a future workplace, apprenticeship or further study • Become inquisitive and independent learners • Experience new areas and methods of study, including how to plan and review their progress Version 2.0 Copyright © AQA and its licensors. All rights reserved. Project Qualifications Higher Project – Level 2 60 guided learning hours GCSE short course at Level 2 Graded A*- C By offering the Higher qualification to your students, they can discover the joys of independent learning, take responsibility for their own study and develop new life and study skills. If you want to push bright students beyond the requirements of their mainstream subjects, the Higher Project specification gives them a focused structure in which to deepen their knowledge in a particular field. You could use the Higher Project as part of a Gifted and Talented programme or to provide students who are struggling with the Extended Project, Level 3 with the option to be assessed at level 2. Offering the Higher Project could also: • Provide a foundation for progression to the Extended Project • Introduce students to key academic and project management skills • Support of culture of independent learning Version 2.0 Copyright © AQA and its licensors. All rights reserved. Project Qualifications Extended Project – Level 3 120 guided learning hours A2 level challenge Graded A*-E 70 UCAS points at A* Our EPQ provides an opportunity for students to exercise their abilities beyond the A-level syllabus and prepare for university or their future career. They can also use it to earn extra UCAS point. Our EPQ specification allows each student to embark on a largely self-directed project. They start by taking responsibility for the choice and design of an individual project, or individual role in a group project, and during the process learn to: • • • • Mature into critical, reflective and independent learners Develop and apply decision-making and problem-solving skills Increase planning, research, analysis, synthesis, evaluation and presentation skills Demonstrate creativity, initiative and enterprise. Offering the AQA EPQ may also bring other benefits: • A boost to recruitment by making your curriculum more attractive • Motivating students by allowing them to pursue personal interests not covered by traditional qualifications • Students applying their new skills in other areas of study. • Aiding progression to and success at university. Version 2.0 Copyright © AQA and its licensors. All rights reserved. Project Qualifications Extended Project – Level 3 120 guided learning hours A2 level challenge Graded A*-E 70 UCAS points at A* The EPQ helps bridge the FE/HE skills gap; Universities are very supportive of the EPQ because it is ideal preparation for undergraduate study. More and more universities are welcoming the EPQ as an indicator of realised skills and potential ability in the fiercely competitive arena of entrant selection. “The EPQ provides an excellent introduction to the type of work (students) will be expected to do at university. It encourages development in all the skills required of our undergraduates, such as research, analysis, independent work and thought, and the ability to communicate ideas… We recommend that students discuss their project in their personal statement and illustrate the ways it has helped to build on both their academic skills and intellectual curiosity” University of Southampton The University is supportive of the requirement to undertake an Extended Project … It is expected that some admissions tutors may make two alternative offers to those offering this qualification, one of which involves success in the Extended Project (e.g. either AAA at A-level or AAB at A-level plus Extended Project). University of Bristol Version 2.0 Copyright © AQA and its licensors. All rights reserved. Project Qualifications At all three levels… Learners are required, with appropriate support and guidance from you, to: Choose an area of interest Draft a title and determine the aims and objectives of their project for formal approval by their supervisor and project coordinator Plan, research and carry out the project Deliver a presentation to a non-specialist audience Provide evidence of all stages of project development and production for assessment using the clearly structured production log. Version 2.0 Copyright © AQA and its licensors. All rights reserved. Project Qualifications At all three levels… Project students follow the same basic project process and have to supply the following evidence for assessment: • Project product, in the form of 1. A research based written report. The recommended length of the report is appropriate to each level. At level 1: 1,000 words. At level 2: 2,000 words. At level 3: 5,000 words. OR 2. An artefact (e.g. a piece of music or drama, an event, a piece of art or a realised design such as a lighting system) with a shorter research based written report. The recommended word counts are; At level 1: 250-500 words. At level 2: 500-2,000 words. At level 3: 1,000 minimum. • Completed Production Log which helps students to record the process they have undertaken • Presentation of the completed Project to a non-specialist audience. Version 2.0 Copyright © AQA and its licensors. All rights reserved. Project Qualifications What do students actually do? Ben Greenwood, former A-level student at Queen Mary’s College: ‘I Love films and film posters have always been something I enjoyed…I knew I was going to do something artistic at university. I wanted something I could physically show…that was about independent learning and research…they were very impressed by that.’ Click here for more information on Ben’s Extended Project. Isis Marcus-Deardon, former Level 1 Foundation Project student, Isis: ‘I went to the Natural History Museum and looked at bugs. Some of the butterflies and the insects have really beautiful patterns on them and so I thought I could use that in my dress designs.’ Click here for more information on Isis’ Level 1 Foundation Project. Version 2.0 Copyright © AQA and its licensors. All rights reserved. Project Qualifications At all three levels… Students are taught to understand and apply independent learning, research and project management skills. 30 guided learning hours are devoted to teaching these skills. You appoint a project coordinator who is responsible for: •Coordinating the delivery of the taught skills element •Supporting the supervisors •Approving project titles with appropriate advice to the supervisor and student •Ensuring that all supervisors mark to the same standard. We support your coordinator with free standardisation meetings, a free adviser from our team of moderators and direct contact with the projects team at AQA. Each student has an allocated supervisor who is responsible for: •Initial approval of project titles •Advice and support throughout the process •Marking the completed projects. We support your supervisors with clear specifications, exemplar material, guidance on delivery and CPD meetings. Version 2.0 Copyright © AQA and its licensors. All rights reserved. Project Qualifications Support for Delivery - AQA The support from AQA is excellent: Free adviser - your allocated expert will be available to give you guidance and advice by email and telephone throughout all stages of launching and delivering the Projects. Direct support from the subject team at AQA. Free standardisation meetings to help you get your marking right. Range of CPD - running throughout the year in key locations including Introductory Meetings and training on the Taught Element. On-site Support bookable via the AQA CPD team. Secure Key Materials – access to a range of resources including marked projects to exemplify the standard. Case studies of how other schools and colleges are successfully delivering the projects at http://www.aqa.org.uk/qualifications/projects.php. Version 1.0 Copyright © 2009 AQA and its licensors. All rights reserved. Project Qualifications Support for delivery – Universities Get direct support for delivery from universities up and down the country. Universities recognise the need for students to progress and develop their skills over time. Some universities and higher education institutions are backing the Projects by working directly with schools and colleges to help deliver the taught skills element. Contact your local university for support or visit our website www.aqa.org.uk/projects to get a flavour of the support that’s out there and appropriate contact details of the following universities: University of Wolverhampton Brunel University London University of Essex University of Southampton University of Sheffield University of Manchester University of Hertfordshire Version 2.0 Copyright © AQA and its licensors. All rights reserved. Extended Project Qualification Next Steps Visit the projects website at www.aqa.org.uk/projects to read the specification and review the case studies Call the projects team for support on 0161 957 3980 or email us at [email protected] Register for an adviser at www.aqa.org.uk/projects Version 2.0 Copyright © AQA and its licensors. All rights reserved.