Beyond The Classroom
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The Pearson Edexcel L3 Project Qualification is designed to stretch, challenge and motivate aspirational A Level students.
Students have the opportunity to research and produce an extended essay (or dissertation) that adds depth or breadth to one of the subjects they are already studying at A Level. Alternatively, students have the freedom to explore other areas of academic curiosity as a taster and springboard for higher education and careers in areas such as (but not limited to) medicine, law, engineering or architecture.
The EPQ provides students with the opportunity to:
Could electroshock therapy be the most effective method of treating depression? Should museums return all their historical artefacts to their country of origin? Is corporate and commercial law the most effective way to fight against climate change? How did the 2008 financial crisis make house buying impossible for the majority of millennials? What are the positive effects of machine learning on healthcare? Can zero carbon housing ever really exist?
Students are assessed on their ability to plan, manage, complete and review their project. The project is marked internally by teachers at school and then sent to Pearson to be moderated. There are four assessment objectives that students are evaluated on: managing the project; using resources; development and realisation of outcomes; and a review of all aspects of the project.
120 guided learning hours over one year as well as personal time as needed. Of these, 40 hours are recommended for the taught element.
The EPQ is for students that possess a natural intellectual curiosity - they are not simply academic and great at passing exams, these are the students that actively seek out opportunities to further their learning in their interest areas.
For students who want to apply to a course that you cannot study at A Level - medicine, engineering, architecture, dentistry - the EPQ gives them an opportunity to showcase their interest.
This is for students who already know what they would like to study and the project allows them to identify a particularly relevant, cutting edge or controversial topic in that area as a point of differentiation.
My name is Sam Yates and I am a History and Law Teacher here at CGA as well as the Teacher in Charge of EPQ and Academic EnrichmentI. Before joining CGA, I spent 12 years teaching in a large and successful independent school in the North of England.
I have enjoyed a variety of roles including deputy head of department, sixth form tutor, head of academic extension and Oxbridge Coordinator. I have particularly enjoyed supervising students for their Extended Project Qualifications (EPQ). The EPQ is a fantastic opportunity for creative and critical independent learning and we've have now introduced this programme to CGA and its students.
I have recently completed my British Council training as a UK education counsellor. The British Council works with partners around the world to help students access high-quality education and to gain internationally recognised qualifications. The UK agent and counsellor training ensures that agents and counsellors are equipped and qualified to advise on the UK education system and to support international students making applications to study in the UK. I am looking forward to putting this training into practice to further enhance the outstanding all round service that CGA is able to provide its students.
Over the coming years, I hope that I can inspire a future generation of bright and aspirational CGA students to grapple with the challenges of the Cambridge University law essay competitions that are on offer and appreciate the value of History as the ultimate facilitating subject for studying Law at university. Beyond the (virtual) classroom, I enjoy walking the family dog, watching football and rugby with my older son, playing cricket with my younger son and building a collection of retro vinyl for weekend listening.