A headline from last week – ‘Mini dissertations help thousands of pupils boost their university chances’.
Newspapers last week said that universities were extolling the virtues of the Extended Project Qualification (EPQ), where students have to write a mini dissertation or carry out detailed research to produce an artefact on a subject of their choosing. Sixth formers jostle to get into top universities and this qualification helps them to stand out from the others. Examiners also found that these essays are invaluable to students to prepare for university study as they allow them to debate complex issues, organise notes as well as helping them understand the intricacies of plagiarism. EPQs, worth half an A level, are increasingly popular with top university such as Bristol, Manchester, Southampton and Leeds all of which actually lower their A level grade requirements if students attain a good EPQ grade.
The papers stated that not all schools offer this qualification and, if they do, often only a handful of students undertake it as it requires a great deal of input from the staff and in large establishments there are not enough staff to manage the workload. Here at HOHS, all of our current Year 12s are taking EPQ and our Year 13s completed this qualification last year. In the past this qualification has helped our students to attain the university places of their choice.
Our Year 13 applied for university last term, way ahead of the January 15th deadline. They all have several offers of places already. Well done to our Year 13 girls and their Sixth Form tutors!