EPQ at Heathcote - Angry Little Troll

Lesson 1: intro to EPQ
olibelas.weebly.com (Angry Little
• What is the EPQ?
• AOs
• Roles and responsibilities of mentors and
• Parts and stages of project
• Dual accreditation
• Provisional calendar
• Dual accreditation
• Marking & moderation
What is the EPQ?
• Extended Project Qualification
• Half an A Level, graded at A2
• Began life as A Level “dissertations.”
• Usual route is “traditional” academic (an extended essay of
approx. 5,000 words)
• “Artefact” route also an option (e.g., make a film, put on a
play, build a bike etc.; shorter essay or “write up”)
• Individual and group projects allowed
– Group projects: Each group member must have a clearly
defined role; the role and the difference it makes must be
evidenced in the Production Log and “write up.”
AOs & Weighting
•Despite different
weighting of AOs,
EPs are marked
•More to follow
standardization &
Mentors & Supervisors: Roles and
• Subject-specific/expert advisers
• No marking responsibilities
• Primary commitment is time
• Secondary commitment – check you’re not being
Mentors & Supervisors: Roles and
• Non-subject-specific role – guidance of overall direction, rather
than directly shaping content of project
• Checking that Production Logs are being kept, & that students are
keeping records of all meetings
• Checking that students are able to stick to the calendar of deadlines
• Completing relevant sections of the Production Log
• Advising and flagging any (potential) problems
• Signing off the stages of the project; not signing off poorly
planned/conceived projects
• Reading and feeding back on one draft (summer term)
• Assessing supervisee’s overall performance, final project, and
• Taking part in (some) moderation
Parts of Project
Parts of Project
• Production Log
• Completed project/artefact
• Presentation
• Additional evidence: e.g., research log/diary
Supervisors ensure that projects are viable and ontrack & assess their supervisees’ projects; they do
not teach, draft, re-/write the project.
Dual Accreditation (see p. 6, Production Log)
• Projects must not substantially overlap with, or simply
repeat, any parts of their AS/A2 courses.
• Projects can extend and depart from modules, units,
• E.G.: The Great Gatsby – AS coursework text
– Can’t do a dissertation on Gatsby.
– Can do a dissertation on other works by Fitzgerald (inspired
by Gatsby), and/or American literary modernism,
– Can do an investigation into fashion in 1920s/30s America,
with end product a flapper dress
The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly…
The Good
The Bad
Uni.: very positive about the
It strengthens UCAS
Talking point in interviews
DOES give you a head-start
on generic research skills; big
advantage first term/year of
A chance to pursue interests
beyond the
(narrow/narrowe?) scope of
A Level
Added pressure – must
be “juggled” with AS
(and start of A2)
Emphasis is on you;
failure to meet
meetings with
supervisors etc. = no
longer on the course
The logbook: must be
kept up to date; more
marks lost for poor
logbooks than anything
Marking is
“conservative”: don’t
treat this as “Mickey
Mouse” course
The Ugly
• Taught skills:
essential, but
often?) dull…
Still interested?
How are you finding AS?
How’s your tracking?
How organized are you?
How independent are you?
• EPQ: an outstanding addition to UCAS
applications; excellent way of pursuing your
interests and gaining A Level credit for them.
• NOT a substitute: AS must come first.
Task 1
• Initial Proposal (1)
• Note: at this early stage,
everything is subject to
change; you are not “locked”
into your initial proposal.
• Size 12 font (standard font:
Times New Roman, Calibri
• 1.5 spacing between lines.
• Name and form to appear in
• 1 side, outlining ideas for
– What do you want to
– How do propose to carry out
your investigation?
– What resources will you need?
(E.g., books, articles; workshop;
scientific apparatus [specify])
– Any early ideas as to what the
thesis/conclusion of your
project might be?
• Short bibliography, indicating
early reading/research. No
Wikipedia references.
Initial Proposal (1)
• To be handed in, in hard copy, to Mr. Belas by
27th January 2014. If you cannot find me, ask a
teacher to put the work in my pigeon hole.
• Any problems, come and find me. I’m always
open to discussion, but not to missed
Session 2
• Review of the EPQ?
• The planning and development process
• Developing initial ideas
• Calendar for the rest of the academic year
You will need…
• A research diary/notebook
• A folder for all notes, essays, ideas etc.
• An electronic copy of the Logbook
• All Logbooks to be done electronically.
Planning and Development Process
• Record of initial planning (based on initial proposal): To be done
with me over the next 2-3 weeks
• Project Proposals A-C: Formal proposal of project; more focussed
project defined
• Planning Review: Reflections on and development of project,
following proposal process
• Mid-Project review: research mostly done; writeup/demonstration/performance underway/near completion
• End-of-project-review: Reflection on project and any “last-minute”
• Presentation: Presentation on your EPQ process as a whole (not
just a lecture on your essay itself)
We aim to be finished by Dec./Jan. of
next academic year
• Record of initial planning (based on initial
proposal): By 4th April (last day of term)
• Project Proposals A-C: A to be with supervisor
by Friday June 13th
• Planning Review: By Friday 4th July
The “1-strike” rule
The Logbook
• Logbook records need to be specific and
• They should reflect decisions you have made
following advice from your supervisor
– i.e., don’t begin sentences with “My supervisor
has told me to…”; rather, “My supervisor has
asked whether…”, or “… has suggested I think
• Between each stage, you should aim to keep
research/reading on “tick-over.”
– Thursday sessions can be used for this, too.
• Use Google Books and “Look Inside” feature at
• I can help source some academic essays.
Previous titles: what might their aims
and objectives have been?
• Concrete or asphalt for motorway surfaces?
• Design and make a dress inspired by the development of
women’s freedom from society’s restraints.
• To what extent has the economic development of
Mauritius aided the government in meeting its economic
• How has English affected the German language? Is this
leading to its decline as a world language?
• Is the banning of plastic bags in Lyme Regis making Lyme
Bay a greener place?
Getting ideas flowing…
• While some of you may have an idea of what you want to for
your project, others may not OR you may not have a clear idea
• If possible, arrange yourself into similar/same subject groups.
Take turns sharing your project ideas and brainstorm possible
avenues that the person might take to complete their project…
• Try to start thinking about questions you’d like to investigate; or
hypotheses/theories you’d like to prove/disprove; or
objectives/challenges you’d like to meet (e.g., a high-quality,
low-cost electric guitar; recreate the Aurora Borealis in lab
• Group for initial planning next week.

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