News from The Kings of Wessex Academy

EPQ Presentations Hit the Mark

4th October, 2017 by Jude Owens

The start of this term at The Kings of Wessex Academy saw the culmination of lots of industrious work by some Year 13 students with the conclusion of their EPQ.

The Extended Project Qualification is an AS Level research project that students can chose to undertake when they are in Year 12 from June and which they finish the following September in Year 13 with the summer in between for bonus prep time. The project is optional and students have the task of project managing their own research based piece of work on a topic of their own choosing of up to 5,000 words under the watchful eye of a staff supervisor, culminating in the presentation.

This year, the students delivered their presentations in school on a dedicated morning with staff and students from all year groups invited to watch and listen to the range of intriguing topics. The presentations are an essential part of the assessment process and the students all showed their knowledge and flair on the following powerful topics (they are so stunning they all deserve to be mentioned):

  • What causes the emotional attachment of animals to humans?
  • Investigating how aerodynamic devices can produce downforce in effective ways.
  • How does the design of 'Speedo Fastskins' affect the streamline of a swimmer and how does this affect their speed?
  • To what extent is our future determined by our blood composition and genetics?
  • Is global warming a global crisis?
  • To what extent does the non-scientific approach of humanistic psychology discredit the approaches usefulness?
  • An attempt to re-create an axe from the Nordic period.
  • The impact of social media influences on behaviours of the youth.
  • To what extent does global warming and environmental change affect animals and their habitats?
  • To what extent does a costume aid the development of a character's progression within a theatrical production?
  • Weapons development from USA and USSR over the Cold War.
  • How far has the British media been able to manipulate the presentation of the Madeleine McCann case?
  • The extent to which progressive labelling hinders societal progress
  • What would the impact of a service for 13-18 year olds in a school environment look like (?) to provide support for the effects of abuse?
  • Investigate how military nursing has evolved from the 1800s to more modern conflicts.
  • The artificial Pancreas: is it the future?
  • In what ways is animal endangerment battled against and how effective are the methods against it?
  • How effective is the use of hypnosis in psychotherapy for addiction?
  • To what extent does ADHD affect a child's development?
  • How are the brain and its pathways different in the brain of an average person and people who suffer from a multitude of syndromes?
  • The most optimum conditions for muscle growth in a short period of time.
  • To what extent does climate change have an effect on the global economy?
  • How are new technologies affecting our home life?
  • To what extent were the ideas behind the Salem Witch killings (1690s) backed with arbitrary reasoning in America?
  • Is Meccano a viable building material?
  • When designing a product, what comes first, function or form?
  • How is language used on twitter for persuasive purposes?
  • Research into influential figures (+ events) in History


Executive Headteacher Gavin Ball greatly enjoyed listening to lots of presentations and praised the students for speaking so confidently and competently about their chosen topics and marvelled about the wonderful buzzy atmosphere as staff and students listened and learned.

Many of the students commented that it was a rewarding experience as they set their own goals and aims for the project and they relished immersing themselves in a topic of special interest to them. Indeed, the EPQ was beneficial as many wish to pursue a career and further study in their chosen subject.

Dillah had studied costume design and researched back to Greek Theatre and Commedia dell’arte up until more modern portrayals from the film Sweeny Todd. Joe explored all the intricacies of making an axe and fortunately he has a forge at home and created the axe at temperatures over 10000C so that his audience could hold the finished piece. Looking to the future, Thomas looked at the fascinating subject of Virtual Reality in the car industry and how it has progressed over the past ten years. With his interest in conservation, Hector investigated two limited edition animals in Africa, the white rhino and the giant panda and had lots of facts and figures.

The EPQ marks will be published in January and the Academy congratulates the students on their exceptional work and wishes them all every success.