University Level Skills Developed in Year 9 Pupils

A group of 35 tenacious and extremely hard-working pupils returned to school this week to learn of the outstanding grades they earned in their Level One Project Qualification, taken in Year 9; 20 girls earned an A*, nine an A and six achieved B grades.

The pupils chose to challenge themselves by undertaking the project, during which they studied a topic of particular interest, and gained a qualification in recognition of the research they carried out. They worked independently on their project, spending time planning and researching, before presenting their findings to an audience of teachers and peers. The Level One Project Qualification is designed to enhance research, time-management and presentation skills; it can be likened to a mini dissertation and allows the pupils to experience first-hand what university work will potentially be like.

The scope for research is endless. Topics this year included: ‘How have the people in Rwanda affected the mountain gorillas?’; ‘What does high-performance swimming teach you that can enable academic success?’; ‘Is the gender pay gap inevitable?’ and ‘How far would an EU ban on plastic bottles reduce the amount of plastic pollution in our oceans?’ Just as diverse was the pupils’ motivation for undertaking such a huge piece of work. Charlotte commented, “I have always enjoyed writing, and when we were given the opportunity to write an essay that we really cared about, I was very excited. I also hoped it would give me good experience for writing essays further on in school and beyond.”

Head Alexandra Neil was delighted with the pupils’ work, ‘The creativity and dedication displayed by the young pupils who undertake the mammoth task of the project is inspirational. They reach beyond their curriculum to educate themselves, their peers and their teachers on a topic that they find interesting. The diverse interests of the pupils at Farnborough Hill continually amaze me and I look forward to the project presentations every year. Congratulations to all the girls on not only completing their research but on earning top grades.’