Every Senior School pupil at Forest will take, as part of their studies, at least one Project Qualification. All pupils in Year 11 take the Higher Project Qualification (HPQ), a GCSE-standard qualification in which pupils research and write a university-style dissertation on a subject of their choosing.
The Extended Project Qualification (EPQ), completed in Year 12, is a standalone qualification designed to extend and develop pupils’ skills in independent research and project management. At Forest, it is part of the Forest Diploma’s core academic element.
What are Projects?
Project Qualifications require pupils to carry out research on a topic they have chosen. They can choose almost any topic, so long as it can be researched. They then use this research to produce a written report, or, in the case of practical projects, an artefact or a production.
A pupil can take inspiration from something studied in class or something completely unrelated to their studies.
Project Qualification aims
The Project Qualifications offer opportunities for pupils to:
Develop and improve their own learning and performance as critical, reflective and independent pupils
Extend their planning, research, critical thinking, analysis, synthesis, evaluation and presentation skills
Use their learning experiences to support their aspirations for higher education and/or career development
Transfer skills developed as part of their extended project to other areas of study
The Sixth Form EPQ attracts UCAS points, is worth half an A-level (although it is graded at full A-level standard so an A* grade is possible) and is widely valued by universities and employers. Some leading universities, such as the University of Southampton, make adjusted offers to pupils undertaking an EPQ.
What do pupils research?
For the EPQ and HPQ, pupils can study virtually anything that is of interest to them, be it age old questions or issues that are more contemporary. Here is just a small selection:
To what extent is society biased towards extroverts?
Dante’s Nine Circles of Hell, a modern interpretation
To what extent is Momentum a threat to the Labour Party?
In the Sixth Form, students have to prepare and give a presentation about the project and process (including a Q&A session). The presentation provides candidates with an opportunity to tell the story of their project journey, from initial project choice right through to final reflections.