On the 12th of March, 65 dedicated Year 12 students stayed behind after school to present 120+ hrs worth of work to family and friends. It was a resounding success, showcasing the remarkable academic endeavours of our students. This was the perfect platform to reflect on our dedication, research prowess, and critical thinking skills.

The Extended Project Qualification (EPQ) project is an opportunity for A level students to pick a topic of their interest and study it in great detail. It could link to their future aspirations or just something that they enjoy. The diversity of topics explored by our Year 12 students was truly impressive. From investigating the impact of artificial intelligence on society to delving into the complexities of mental health stigma, each project demonstrated a unique perspective and depth of understanding. Visitors had the opportunity to engage with a wide range of subjects, spanning across various ideologies, including science, humanities, and the arts.

Visitors were quick to ask questions, provide feedback, and engage in discussions, creating an enriching environment for academia. Moreover, witnessing their peers' presentations served as inspiration for younger students as a few Year 11s were present, igniting their interest in pursuing their own EPQ projects in the future.

On the actual day itself, we set up our pasteboards with captivating pictures we had collated earlier and decorated our boards anticipating questions, discussions and debates with any engaging spectators. Some interesting setups included a live survey, clothes, aeroplanes, listening to an original song and many more. At 4pm, the doors opened and we were all ready to proudly showcase our work. Along with presenting to family and friends, we also had to present to our supervisor who was assessing us on our presenting skills, yet another skill to gain from the EPQ. Armed with microphones and clipboards, teachers went around all the stalls as students confidently (or nervously) described what the past 6 months have looked like in terms of their progress.

The event was meticulously organised thanks to Mrs Aris and the EPQ teams, with each student given a name card and a poster board to display our findings. The atmosphere was palpable as it buzzed with anticipation along with pride. The process of actually presenting them took a lot of preparation and diligence as we had to get picked within our classes and then put together an 8 minute speech that covered not just our academic explorations but how we unravelled the complexities of balancing arguments, referencing styles and analysing sources while balancing 3 A levels. Some parts of our speech included obstacles faced, conclusions, support of supervisor, link to future goals, research preparation, how we have benefited and any advice we would give to future EPQ students - my advice definitely would be to plan early!