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Enrich your education with the EPQ!

The EPQ - or Extended Project Qualification is something we are extremely proud of at Hornsey. Launched by Rebecca Wildish in 2014, it allows our students the opportunity to gain their first taste of university study as they take on the challenge and gain the freedom to research something of their choice.

What is the EPQ?

So what is it? Why should people do it and what makes it different? We caught up with Rebecca Wildesh to put these questions to her.

Rebecca can you explain what EPQ is?

This is an intellectually rigorous course which helps students develop the research skills needed for success at university. Students select their own area for intellectual enquiry, and hone their ability to plan, research, write and self-evaluate. It carries equivalent UCAS points to one AS level.

What has been your proudest moment whilst working with students in completing the EPQ?

My first 4 EPQ students worked through their lunch breaks to achieve A and B grades. Their dedication was inspirational. After the first trial group was so successful, we now have EPQ on the timetable with all the other subjects.

What EPQ project do you think has been the most memorable so far?

Asking me to choose a favourite EPQ is like asking a mother to choose between her children! All the projects I have worked with have been fascinating and memorable in their own way. The following titles give you a flavour of the kind of unique areas you can explore:


What are the effects of violent video games on young people’s behaviour?

Compare the government’s response to the 1985 Broadwater Farm riots to the 2011 Tottenham riots.

What is the Higgs Boson and why is it important?

Why do I get migraines?

To what extent is the Syrian refugee crisis similar to the Holocaust and how has the response been similar or different?


Rebecca Wildish received a First class honours in English from Oxford and a First class honours in Victorian Studies MA from UCL, and has worked at Hornsey School for Girls since January 2012. She is currently co-ordinator of KS5 English as well as the EPQ. A local resident and parent as well as a teacher, her favourite place in Haringey is the YMCA Harringay Club opposite Hornsey station.

What would you research if you had the opportunity?

Ebi Shehu shares an insight into what drew her towards the Golden Ratio, famous amongst artists, biologists, mathematicians and architects alike.

“I chose to study EPQ as it was an opportunity to try something new without constraints - I could follow my own interests. I’ve honed my skills to be able to research effectively, evaluate to a deeper level and on a practical note I can present research in a university style - including tricky footnoting!”

“After some initial research I agreed on The Golden Ratio as my focus. It’s polarised my thinking - as a STEM student,  it was nice to study something which required me to think differently. Also, The Golden Ratio is a course in its own right at some universities so I felt I was gaining a head start – I’m a maths geek and hope to pursue this through to uni.” 

“It’s not been easy, putting all of my ideas into one and actually writing 5,000 words when none of my other subjects (since GCSE) have required me to write at such length. I’m not going to lie, at times it was a struggle, however, I am proud of what I have achieved. Especially the research I produced from raw data and the questionnaires I created.”

“If these sounds like this could be the course for you,  my advice would be to start early - I mean really early! Decide on the topic you enjoy the most (not one that people say you enjoy) and stick with it. Footnote from the beginning, plan your time realistically – you also have other A levels subjects that need your focus too. As long as you can motivate yourself, then I say do it – I’ve gained so much. The hard part is deciding what to focus on.”


Ebi Shehu has a place at UCL to read Maths.