Inspiring individual excellence: Festival of Scholars preparation

Posted In Academic

Here at Bethany our focus is to inspire individual excellence in every pupil, enabling them to love what they learn. All our pupils are encouraged to actively engage in reflection on their own achievements and set targets for improvement each half term. The breadth of activities that Bethany pupils are involved in – both inside and outside of school – is always staggering!

This week, Academic Head, Emily Hill, has specifically been working with staff and pupils to prepare for our annual Festival of Scholars. This is always a rewarding event because not only does it give us another occasion to celebrate the achievements of Bethany pupils, but it also provides us with an opportunity to talk to pupils individually about their successes, interests, and the progress they are making. Many of these are pupils who epitomise what it means to challenge yourself – pursuing interests beyond the classroom, talking with enthusiasm and questioning the world around them.

As a School, we are particularly looking forward to seeing how some of the projects of our Key Stage 3 Academic scholars are panning out – over the course of the last term and a half they have been busy planning, researching, organising, and presenting on a topic of personal interest. The range is vast – from basketball to child exploitation, to Harry Potter, to geology and geography of specific coastal locations, the list goes on! Some have undertaken fund-raising activities whilst others have been busy thinking about how they can make their presentations interactive, including some form of audience participation.

This focus on developing skills for independent project work is the appropriate groundwork for completing an Extended Project Qualification (EPQ). The Level 3 EPQ is offered to all Bethany Sixth Form pupils. It gives pupils the opportunity to complete a project about something that they are interested in. This could be part of an A level topic, or something completely different. The EPQ can also add value to university and employment applications as it allows pupils to demonstrate their ability to complete independent enquiry and develop research skills.

High Flyers Profiles: Lewis Baker and Michael Roshier

Lewis and Michael are Year 13 pupils. They are Academic High Flyers and, over the last nine months, have been busy completing Extended Project Qualification (EPQ) projects. Lewis is planning to study Economics at Exeter University next year. He has an offer which requires him to achieve AAA in three of his four subjects. He is currently studying Geography, Economics, Maths and Further Maths.

Michael has a very different career path in mind. He is currently hoping to pursue a career in Mechanical Engineering. Next year he is planning to take a gap year before commencing university study and is currently applying for industry placements. Michael is taking Maths, Physics and Business A-Levels.
For his EPQ project, he decided to explore fixed wing power units and potential developments that we are likely to see in the future based on their history of design and development.

As part of his project work, Michael delivered a 40-minute talk to a Year 9 Set 1 Science class who proved to be a very attentive and engaged audience. This was certainly no easy option – overcoming any nerves, Michael’s presentation skills were excellent, and he made good use of voice, body language and visuals to inform and explain the topic to his chosen audience.

Emily will be meeting with Year 12 pupils in the next few weeks to give out some information about EPQ Projects and recruit the next cohort of Bethany pupils who are looking to enrich their learning. If you are particularly interested in finding out more about the EPQ, please do contact Mrs Hill directly ehill@bethanyschool.org.uk.

Please do look out for a write up and some fabulous photos from the Festival of Scholars in next week’s newsletter!