Welcome Valerie, Matt and Emma. Our move to Guernsey has been hard work and I’m only just starting to get my head back into the forum, but you’ve drawn me back in Emma – it’s so exciting to see how small things have ripple effects that come back to you years later! Having spent a fair bit of time supporting the IB Extended Essay I’m now at a non-IB school and have just been appointed EPQ Co-ordinator (as well as part-time Librarian and part-time Science technician. An odd combination, I know!). My EE experience will help considerably with using what I know of the inquiry process to support the EPQ more effectively, and I had just begun working with the Head of Student Research on supporting the EPQ at Oakham before we left. However, I am very aware that the EPQ is a very different beast in many subtle ways and that I have a great deal to learn. The most exciting bit for me is the ’30 hour taught component’ (we do AQA), which has allowed me to insist on a 1hour compulsory weekly activity for skills teaching. Now I just need to design the course… (AQA have a wealth of materials available but I need to reshape them to my situation and my understanding of the inquiry process). This regular weekly access to our EPQ students (it’s voluntary here – I know in many schools it is compulsory for Year 12) is a real opportunity to deliver skills teaching and support at exactly the right stages in the process and is very different to the seminar ‘info-burst’ approach that was forced on us by the EE structure. I think we did a pretty good job under the circumstances with that, but this could be so much more effective!
I’ve got some thoughts and ideas, and hope to start posting them later this week (hopefully tomorrow) in the EPQ discussion here: https://fosil.org.uk/forums/topic/fosil-and-the-extended-project-qualification-epq/ but I’m really looking forward to learning from those of you on the forum who have much more experience than me with the EPQ – definitely including you Emma, but also Sally, Emily, Sarah and Rachel to name just a few who immediately spring to mind. It’s one of the many reasons I am, as always, very grateful to be part of a collaborative community of inquiry.