Throughout the past six months, the majority of Year 12 students have been working towards an Extended Project Qualification (EPQ), a research-based project focusing on a title of interest to the students. This Wednesday, students gathered in the DCGS main hall to present their work at the annual DCGS EPQ exhibition.

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The EPQ is an exciting opportunity for students taking three A Levels to learn more about a field of research that either enhances their current A Level courses or allows them to gain an understanding of something completely foreign. Furthermore, the EPQ also allows students to improve key life skills such as research, analysis and independance.

The chosen titles of the EPQ projects varied hugely, across a broad spectrum of topics including economics, medicine, psychology, history, music and literature. Amongst these projects, one student, Louis Williams, wrote a 90,000-word novel titled ‘Hemlock and Butterflies’. He wrote it around the theme of dystopia, under the title ‘To produce a novel incorporating the evolution of dystopian literature from the 20th-21st century’. Another student, Freddie Foster, produced a graffitied recycling bin under the question ‘Graffiti, does the world perceive this as "art" or "vandalism"?’ He held conversations with Darren Cullen, the manager and owner of ‘Graffiti Kings’ - a professional graffiti street art team - as part of his research.

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The final EPQ exhibition collected some of the most interesting projects and gave students the opportunity to present their findings to students, teachers, governors and parents. Each of the students gave a 10-15 minute presentation based on their topic, including research findings and how they produced their project. Some of the featured titles at the exhibition were ‘Is it possible to produce a youth radio show that is relatable and applicable to modern teens?’, a project produced by Charlie Hardy with a focus on social science and literature. Another was my own project, ‘To what extent does sleep deprivation affect the human body and brain’, with a heavy focus on neurobiology. The exhibition was a great success, with many parents and teachers coming out to see what the Year 12 students had produced.

Thank you to all the boys involved and particularly to Miss Gee for coordinating the EPQ project.