The Extended Project Qualification
Ibstock Place School has introduced a new qualification into the Sixth Form which is taken by all Sixth Form pupils.
The Extended Project aims to support learners in their transition to Higher Education, or into the world of work. It provides opportunities for the development of critical, reflective, problem-solving and independent learning skills through the planning, research and evaluation of a self-selected project.
Pupils undertake a major piece of individual project work in which they have the opportunity to explore a topic or question of particular interest to them. Its aim is to extend knowledge and skills in ways that are challenging and new, with extension moving in three directions: deepening understanding, broadening skills and widening perspectives. Throughout their in-depth study, and under the supervision of their tutors, learners are guided to develop research, project management and writing skills creatively.
Teaching of the Extended Project Qualification
Edexcel, the examination board whose qualification IPS has chosen to offer, allows a variety of approaches to teaching the Extended Project. Extended Project tutors at IPS teach for two hours a week during the Autumn Term, continuing with this level of contact in the Spring Term but assuming more of a supervisory role as pupils’ independent research work gets underway.
The areas covered during this teaching include:
- asking questions;
- identifying and evaluating sources of evidence;
- researching information online;
- developing critical thinking skills;
- becoming familiar with ethical frameworks and considerations in research;
- evidence based research;
- setting out and analysing arguments;
- identifying a project topic and research question;
- devising and revising a project proposal;
- organising a research timetable;
- identifying a suitable supervisor;
- locating and accessing research sources;
- structuring a project (abstract/introduction/research review/discussion/ conclusion/bibliography/appendices);
- undertaking a literature review;
- becoming familiar with conventions of academic writing;
- avoiding plagiarism;
- using footnotes and Harvard referencing;
- developing the skills to give an oral presentation on the research topic.
Writing up is completed over the Summer Term and during the first part of the Autumn Term of the Upper Sixth year.
Access to a University Library
As well as being able to draw on the excellent resources of the School Library, in the Spring Term research visits are organised for all pupils to take advantage of the nearby Roehampton University Library.
A successfully completed Level 3 Extended Project includes a dissertation of 5,000-6,000 words and counts as half a GCE (i.e. an AS Level) for UCAS points status.
Successfully completed Level 2 Projects allow pupils to acquire an additional GCSE qualification.