Manage, Develop, Realise, Reflect. Focusing on the EPQ Manage, Develop, Realise, Reflect. What is the EPQ? The EPQ is an opportunity for 6th form students to produce an extended piece of work of their own choice, with guidance from staff, which is assessed at school, and then moderated and graded by an exam board. It counts as half an A-level; it is worth the same UCAS points as an AS-level, but is graded from A* to E. Manage, Develop, Realise, Reflect. Why we like it! To get a good grade in the EPQ. • • • • Students need to have excellent independent working skills to identify their project & produce an effective design & thorough plan and to carry out project in highly organised fashion. Students need to show clear evidence of responding very effectively to guidance given, allowing them to reflect on how to make the best use of a supervison/seminar. They use a wide range of resources critically, learning how to analyse data effectively and apply findings to good effect and how to show clear links between sources of information and the themes of their project. They have to fully explore the complexities of their chosen topic. Manage, Develop, Realise, Reflect. • • • They have to carry out full, in-depth evaluations, showing a high level of insight into how they conducted their project and the limitations of the resources at their disposal. They have to reflect on themselves critically as learners so gain useful insight into how they work most effectively. They have to use a range of communication skills to present outcomes and conclusions clearly, which is great practice for seminar presentations (and interviews!). They have to show a deep and extensive knowledge of their chosen project area of study which helps them demonstrate, both to themselves and us, their motivation to study, in their applications, interviews and when they have to get up for a 9am lecture! Manage, Develop, Realise, Reflect. Why should students do the EPQ, and schools support the EPQ? • It demonstrates key skills that are fundamental for success at University: writing, research, referencing, independent thought, criticality etc… • It is very useful for the personal statement section of the UCAS application: demonstrates motivation, passion, independence of thought, engagement etc. • It is very useful for interviews, which are increasingly a key part of applications, and other written assessments for entry. • It helps us judge a student’s potential and may make a difference at confirmation. • It helps them become more effective learners, which we would hope will help them in their other year 13 studies. Manage, Develop, Realise, Reflect. What other universities are saying… Cambridge "We welcome the introduction of the Extended Project and would encourage you to undertake one as it will help you develop independent study and research skills and ease the transition from school/college to higher education.“ Newcastle "We value the skills of research and independent learning that the Extended Project is designed to develop. We welcome applications from students offering the Extended Project alongside A levels. As the Extended Project is optional it is not a requirement for application. If you offer an Extended Project, it will be taken into account. Your offer may be varied as a result, in recognition of the level of study skills you will have developed." Oxford "Where applicants have undertaken the Extended Project (EP), the University will not make this a condition for an offer (as the EP is not a compulsory element of post-16 study) but recognises that the EP will provide an applicant with the opportunity to develop research and academic skills relevant for study at Oxford. Candidates are encouraged to draw upon their experience of undertaking the project when writing their personal statement, particularly if the topic is allied to their chosen degree course." Leeds, Bristol, Manchester, UCL, and other Russell Group Universities have welcomed the EPQ, as has the 1994 Group (which includes St Andrews, Durham, York, Sussex, UEA etc…) Manage, Develop, Realise, Reflect. What is the University of Leeds doing to support students, parents and teachers? • We have worked with a group of partner schools to help them throughout the EPQ process, offering: • Introductions, in school, to help the selection process and guide students through the benefit of undertaking the EPQ and the university view. • A session on how to focus the project. • Primary Resources and Research Skills days on campus • An introduction for parents. • We also have a programme of Developing Research Skills days which schools can book into, and are developing a primary source roadshow to take into schools. • We are running teachers twilight events, with a focus on effective supervision and referencing (in Leeds and in London presently). • We have developed, and continue to develop, on-line resources (http://www.leeds.ac.uk/info/125097/activities_for_schools_and_colleges/1939/teachers_resources). • We have provided support to the moderation process, including staff from the University helping to moderate presentations. • We have provided enrichment lectures. • We are working with the exam boards to ensure that our advice is as effective as possible. • We are working with staff at the university to make sure they are all aware of the EPQ. Manage, Develop, Realise, Reflect. Any questions?