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Students Put Their Passions Front and Centre


The culmination of a years’ hard work by Shrewsbury’s Year 13 Extended Project Qualification (EPQ) students was presented to audiences and filmed for judges last week. It was clear for those in attendance that the effort and time invested in their individual projects were significant and that shone through in some fantastically-researched, written and designed work.

Equivalent to 50 per cent of an A Level, The EPQ is an opportunity for students to choose a topic that interests them. The only guideline is that it must have evidence of a high degree of planning, preparation, research and autonomous work. The result, in the case of the dissertation, is a 5000-word document that answers a question set out at the beginning of their research.

This was just the second year of the EPQ at Shrewsbury, but the first year that students could choose to do the ‘artefact’ component. An artefact can be a physical outcome such as a book or a short film, or it can be a presentation to a specific audience, a play, it could be an event such as a fashion show or a musical evening. In fact, there is almost no limit to what can constitute an artefact, as long as it has research at its core. 

EPQ is a subject that is fast becoming a consideration for students wanting to get that edge with their university applications. Many of the 14 students (doubled from seven the previous year) who presented, spoke of their desire to impress university admission representatives.

Head of Secondary, Mr Rob Millar, was blown away at the quality of the presentations, commenting on the diversity of ideas and the completeness of their research.

“It was really fantastic to see what our students are passionate about outside of their studies. We had a medical aspirant doing a photography project, an economist waxing lyrical about existential philosophy and a business studies student creating a Muay Thai sculpture. It was both surprising and astonishing to see the diversity and quality of the work,” he said.

The teacher in charge of overseeing the EPQ, Mr Chris Langridge was also delighted with the outcome and the challenges each student faced and overcame to present their EPQ in full.

“There is no shortage of challenges with completing the EPQ. It replicates the research-based methods a student expects at university so it can be tough to manage time appropriately, source correctly and complete the final product that you see here. I am satisfied that all presentations we have seen have met our high standards and the Year 13s who took up the challenge should be proud,” He insists.

Now that it is finished, all the students have to do is wait for their results and the possible pay-off of having universities look at their work favourably. For now, we congratulate these students for their excellent dedication and final presentations. We look forward to hearing the results!

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