EPQOne of the things that we have been growing in the Sixth Form at St Mary’s Calne is the number of girls undertaking an Extended Project Qualification (EPQ). This is a fantastic opportunity for girls to research an area of personal interest that lies beyond the A Level specification. It is highly valued by universities because it is evidence that the girls are learning the types of skills that will help them with their undergraduate studies. The qualification is marked holistically, taking into account the whole research process including how you manage the project, how you identify and use resources, how you develop and realise your ideas, as well as your ability to reflect on what has gone well (or perhaps not so well and how you overcame this!).

This term has seen 15 girls in the Sixth Form complete an EPQ and this is a brilliant achievement. Each girl has a supervisor who is a member of staff who meets with them when needed to help them debate their ideas and hone their thinking. This guidance builds their confidence as they develop their research moving forward. The level of scholarship and independence of thought which the girls have shown has been impressive. The EPQ has three strands: the production log, the 5,000 word essay and a presentation to a non-specialist audience. I have had the great pleasure of sitting in the audience of almost all of the presentations and I have thoroughly enjoyed hearing about the wide and varied research that the girls have undertaken. The table of research titles below highlights the breadth of research that has taken place:


Titles of Research

Is Truth to be found in History? A discussion of the Ownership of the Falkland Islands.

To what extent is the current water crisis in California and India the result of human mismanagement?

How does mental rehearsal affect sports performance?

To what extent do the teachings in behavioural economics and game theory support the implementation of the waste charging scheme in Hong Kong?

To what extent has UK trade been significantly affected by membership of the EU?

To what extent did Mao’s Cultural Revolution impact China’s culture, heritage and tradition?

Was the assimilation of the Kaifeng Jewish Community into Chinese Society inevitable?

To what extent does Caste impact the aspirations held by school children and continuation to higher education in Nepal?

What evidence is there in Cicero’s ‘Pro Milone’, that the Roman Republic was in danger of failing?

Is the engineering used in earthquake proof zones globally being repeated in the rebuilding of Christchurch as a city?

How did the Non-Objective Artists and Movements in Russian Art Develop During the First Decades of the 20th Century?

To what extent was the impact of British Imperialism on India positive?

How do we smell smells?

Should bariatric surgery be offered for children and adolescents?

To what extent does sports led regeneration actually regenerate areas? And can this regeneration be maintained?

Since the introduction of the new A Levels and the introduction of our new supra curriculum in the LVI we have seen the number of girls undertaking an EPQ rise further to 32. We look forward to hearing about their findings. 

Miss Lianne Aherne, Head of Sixth Form