Gifted and Talented pupils give new perspectives

Gifted and Talented pupils from Weydon School scooped first prize in this year’s Above and Beyond Competition. The theme this year was ‘2017 has given us new perspectives on our world’ and Year 10 pupils from Eggar’s School, The Petersfield School, Weydon School and Farnham Heath End School worked in teams to prepare an EPQ-style project (for example an artefact, presentation or performance) and gave a 10-minute presentation on their investigation outcomes on campus in March. 

The competition is based on Alton College’s EPQ (Extended Project Qualification) taken alongside other courses which is highly valued by universities as it develops critical thinking, research, planning and reflection. Find out more about the EPQ here.

All participants were enthusiastic and had put a lot of thought into this year's topic. Their remit was to identify a line of enquiry relevant to the topic, research it in-depth and then present it to the panel of judges, Peter Cox, Director of Learning, Libby Smith, Curriculum Manager for Biology, Fiona Webb, Curriculum Manager for Humanities and Social Sciences, and Yvette Wands, Teacher of Law and Criminology. 

The five winning Weydon pupils (Jasper Burvil, Philip Kurchaski, Toby Mallett, James Cracknell, Freddie Freeman) gave an excellent presentation on the international rise of right wing political groups, which was clearly structured and included some good analysis of the issues involved. Deciding on the winning team was a difficult decision. Farnham Heath End's confident presentation on gun violence was equally topical and made informed use of evidence and examples. The Petersfield School provided a dynamic and creative presentation, which included a vox pop survey of fellow pupils and a well-edited video. Eggar’s School provided a humorous and emotive reflection on significant events of 2017, which was wide in scope and very engaging. Overall, the standard was high, and the panel look forward to seeing these bright pupils at Alton College in the future.

Peter Cox, Director of Learning at Alton College, was on the judging panel and congratulated all the participants explaining how impressive all the different presentations were and how difficult the decision had been. He said ‘Each team showed a great grasp of understanding the topic, displayed a fantastic sense of teamwork, organisational skills, the ability to prioritise work and their communication skills were extremely impressive. I am sure that each individual in the competition would succeed with the Extended Project Qualification at College.’