A Future Learn and GDST partnerships offers students a unique learning opportunity

Students at Northampton High School have joined an innovative FutureLearn course to help them study for their Extended Project Qualification

future learn

Sixth form students at Northampton High School have been invited to join a bespoke online course as they prepare for their Extended Project Qualification (EPQ), hosted on FutureLearn. FutureLearn is a social learning platform offering access to hundreds of online courses, usually running for four weeks. The GDST has a partnership with FutureLearn, enabling schools to develop innovative courses with the provider, such as this one for Northampton High School students.

Throughout this online course, exploring the skills needed to complete an EPQ, students are guided through the process of choosing a topic to study in depth, advised on how to become a reflective researcher and supported to think critically about the range of print and online resources available to them. Learners can sign up and study at their own pace through a variety of videos, articles, activities and discussion steps, supported by expert mentors.

The EPQ is an independent research task that requires students to write an extended essay or create a product with an accompanying shorter essay.

An important part of the EPQ is skills development so students are set activities to help develop strong time management and research skills ensuring that they bring a critical and robust approach to their project. Alongside hearing advice from GDST alumnae who have recently completed an EPQ, students are also encouraged to contribute to polls, peer-review each other’s ideas and problem solve together.

Since March, students have become familiar with learning online as digital schooling was delivered through our Guided Home Learning Programme. This course is an extension of that provision and exploits the opportunities afforded through online learning such as learning anytime, anywhere through collaborative activities.

Adèle O’Doherty, Deputy Head Pastoral Care & Guidance and EPQ Lead at Northampton High School said:

“The student’s ability to access online teaching materials in their own time and collaborate with other students online, fits well with our aim to encourage students to develop a new way of working in the future. Delivering a course in this way enables us to make full use of a range of digital resources to inspire and engage learners.”

Isobel, a student at Northampton High School, who has taken the course, said:

“It was a great way for me to learn skills at my own pace and in my own time, especially when I was doing most of my studying online. The course is invaluable to learn the skills necessary for writing coursework and EPQ, and since it is online, it is easy to refer back to it whilst writing these pieces.”