RMS Sixth Formers year after year achieve highly in the prestigious Extended Project Qualifications and this year is certainly no exception, with 10 entrants receiving an A* or A grade, and all entrants' grades being A*-B.

The EPQ offers students the chance to research their own area of academic interest, and to write it up as a dissertation, with the help of a supervisor and a series of focused research skills seminars.  There are a number of reasons why girls choose to study for an EPQ; it earns students as many UCAS points as an AS Level; it allows students to develop an area of academic interest outside the constraints of examination subjects, and encourages development in research and writing skills, which is invaluable practice for the girls’ future learning at University. It encourages the development of the following skills:

  • Critical Thinking and problem solving skills
  • The application of knowledge for practical results
  • Understanding rigorous academic content
  • Development of innovative and creative thinking

This year’s topics included:

“Is it possible to analyse song lyrics like literature?”,  “Will Italy ever have a balanced budget?”, “Do humans naturally think logarithmically or in a linear manner?”, “To what extent does Eva Peron deserves her epitaph?”

EPQ Co-ordinator and History Teacher at RMS Hester Eccles commented “It is notable that some students will have received lower entry offers to university based on their success. The skills they have developed will undoubtedly assist them during their A levels and once they go on to higher education, such as researching, presenting their findings and writing at length as the essay component is 5,000 words. Students have been very pleased with their achievements and despite finding the enterprise challenging at times, notably when managing their array of additional responsibilities or extra-curricular activities they are all pleased with their resilience to complete the EPQ process and to have done so well.”

Head Girl at RMS, Amber Baksh de la Iglesia said of the experience “Conducting an EPQ allowed me the freedom to pursue a topic I was enthusiastic about – the impact of the media on terrorism. I undertook analytical methods I had never been exposed to such as discourse analysis, developed my time management skills, learnt how to Harvard reference and enhanced my critical thinking, all of which will be essential for my years at University and beyond. After dedicating a lot of my time into researching my topic area and spending my summer holidays writing the 5000-word essay, I managed to obtain an A* which I was incredibly proud of since I had independently produced a project for the first time which very much relates to my chosen degree. Although it was a very busy period, I do not regret opting to do an EPQ since I enhanced my academic skills which I would never have learned purely through my A Level course. Therefore my EPQ has given me greater insight into the level of work required from me over the next few years and has this undoubtedly facilitated the jump between A Level and University.”

Fellow Sixth Former Anna Baker added “I chose to undertake an EPQ as I believed it would equip me with invaluable skills such as independent learning and help further my research skills and critical analysis. The title of my EPQ was, 'Should Islamic terrorists be starved the oxygen of publicity in the UK?’. After attending a debate in London regarding terrorism and the media , I felt intrigued to find out more about the topic due to the controversy surrounding it and the unfortunate recent attacks which have been on the rise. From completing an EPQ, I learnt how to reference and set SMART targets. Furthermore, it has improved my time management skills and my ability to make my work more concise. These skills have already proven useful to me as I take three essay based A Levels, but more importantly, at university I will be writing long essays and dissertations so having already gained the skills I will need is highly beneficial. I achieved an A* in my EPQ and would highly recommend it to anyone who has a particular interest in a subject area that they are not already studying.”

Head of Sixth Form, Clare Freeman commented “RMS’s excellent results in the EPQ, this year and in fact every year, are a wonderful testament to the independence, commitment and creativity of our Sixth Formers. The sheer breadth of subjects studied never fails to amaze and impress me, and I know that the skills the girls have learnt will stand them in very good stead for their future studies.  We are delighted to celebrate the girls’ successes’ the whole school is incredibly proud of what they have achieved”