After months of research, reading, writing 5000 words, reflecting and revising – not forgetting the precise formatting of lengthy bibliographies – over seventy pupils presented their work for the Extended Project Qualification (EPQ) in a stimulating evening with their assessors, teachers and peers.

Lower Sixth Formers at Oundle take an EPQ alongside studying for three A Levels. The qualification asks students to undertake a longer piece of research culminating in a dissertation style essay or the production of an artefact. It is regarded as excellent preparation for university.

The projects reflected the pupils’ personal interests and passions with a huge range of topics and methodology. The pupils’ presentations displayed in the Great Hall drew a large audience and stirred conversations among their friends who gathered round to hear about their research.

Some pupils explored highly technical problems. Rupert (L) investigated the role of epigenetics in cancer treatment; Favour (N) questioned the impact of hormones on IVF treatments. Computing and design skills were showcased by Christine (W) who created a 3D animation based on 90s fighter games, and by Aidan (Sc) who worked on 3D minimalist interior designs.

Other pupils waded into highly contentious social issues and current events such as freedom of speech, Trump’s presidency, Putin’s Russia, Gaza, artificial intelligence and sportswashing.

This year, many of the investigations had an historical focus, including studies of Herodotus, Heracles and the masculine ideal, Gascony in the late Middle Ages, Mussolini, Ancient Egypt, and the fall of Constantinople.

The School’s last ISI Inspection Report highlighted the pupils’ EPQ achievements: “The quality of work and attainment in the Extended Project Qualification is exceptional, and show strength of argument and ability to handle complex ideas.”