Sixth Form Extended Project
The Extended Project (EP) gives Sixth Formers the opportunity to investigate an area of academic interest in greater depth. The EP runs from June of the Lower Sixth year until Christmas of the Upper Sixth.
Students who submit a viable research proposal are given timetabled time in the Upper Sixth (2 periods per week) and access to a supervisor for their studies. In the first four years of running the EP students have had considerable success submitting dissertations on subjects as varied as the retention of the Human Rights Act to the implications to the UK economy of attempting to cut public debt. Most candidates have opted to submit a dissertation, but the EP allows scope for an investigation, a performance piece or an artefact and some of our students have completed these very successfully.
The qualification is worth half an A-level but, unlike AS examinations, an A* can be awarded as the work is examined at A2 standard. The project allows the students to pursue a research question, of personal interest to them, beyond the limitations of the A-level specifications. The students are encouraged to explore the cross-curricular aspects of their topic and they get the opportunity to develop the research skills that are valued at university, but are not necessarily required to be successful at A-level.
We have been lucky so far to have substantial support from University of Southampton, through the Learn with US program, and the students have had comprehensive and free access to their library facilities.