College recognises the achievements of students' Extended Projects

Posted on Monday 14 January 2013

Celebrating Independent Learning

“I have no special talents. I am only passionately curious.” – Albert Einstein

These words were used to close the celebration of independent learning, which was the Extended Project Awards Evening, held at The Sixth Form College Farnborough on 19 December 2012.

The evening recognised the achievements of students who researched and produced 130 original pieces of work on a topic of their choice. The Extended Project seeks to answer research questions, which the students pose themselves and which bring together two or more subject disciplines. Liberated from the confines of a syllabus they are able to explore with fresh wonder and curiosity the links between subjects. Passionate curiosity is demonstrated in the titles of the work, which this year included:

• Is time travel possible? (Andrew Davey)
• In forensic chemistry is bite mark analysis an accurate way to prove a criminal of being guilty? (Shirleen Hallang)
• Should we stop trying to cure cancer? (Hannah Kerr)
• Would the world still exist as we know it if P equalled NP? (Saleem Akhtar)
• How does Terry Pratchett satirise religion through the use of his Discworld novels? (Stephanie Pascarelii)
• What historical developments in opera have led to the rise of musical theatre? (George Priestly)

Students receive no formal qualification or UCAS points for their essays. Jon Coles (Group Chief Executive of United Learning) presented students with professionally bound copies of their essays. Speaking to an audience of over 300 students and guests he remarked that the Extended Project “exemplifies all that is best” about a well rounded education. Mr Coles congratulated the students, saying “Young people here have been inspired by the love of learning”. At a time when many schools are driven by a motivation to push themselves up the league tables, Mr Coles remarked that it was refreshing to see an institution providing something to students that was good for its own sake, concluding “That's what this College stands for day in day out”.

The essays were referred to as “incendiary devices” by Simon Jarvis, College Principal, continuing, “which have the capacity to change the course of your lives. It may have sparked an interest that leads in the future to one of you being given the Nobel Prize for Literature, or finding a cure for cancer.”

Simon Reigh, Director of the Extended Project, closed the evening by congratulating the students on their commitment: “The Farnborough Extended Project is just one of many opportunities this wonderful College provides you with to develop your intellectual curiosity. You have all produced engaging pieces of work and deserve to be hugely proud of your achievement.”

Since 2006 over one thousand College students have written an Extended Project, all of which may be accessed through the Learning Resource Centre Moodle page .
 

Students who were recognised for their achievements with Jon Coles

Students who were recognised for their achievements with Jon Coles

A Student receiving recognition for her work from Simon Jarvis, College Principal and Jon Coles

A Student receiving recognition for her work from Simon Jarvis, College Principal and Jon Coles

Jon Coles speaking on the evening

Jon Coles speaking on the evening