Above and Beyond Winners

Gifted and Talented pupils from Mill Chase Academy scooped first prize in this year’s Above and Beyond Competition. The theme this year was ‘2016: A Pivotal Year in History’ and Year 10 pupils from Eggar’s School, The Petersfield School, Mill Chase Academy, Weydon School and Perins School worked in teams to prepare an EPQ-style project (for example an artefact, presentation or performance) and gave a 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

The competition brief allowed for a wide range of topics to be covered as demonstrated by the diverse range of subjects chosen. Perins chose to discuss the impact of two individuals, David Bowie and Prince. The students discussed how pivotal they were in society, not only for their original musical sound, but for their image and identity. Perins highlighted how Bowie and Prince made people start to question social convention on gender identity and people’s attitude to image, arguing that they were fundamental in progress, change and acceptance.

The Petersfield School chose to discuss the impact of terrorism and the media coverage of particular events. They spoke about Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, and the election of Donald Trump and how biased slants from certain media corporations impacted on this. They also discussed how certain political movements used terrorism to instil fear in the electorate, leading them to vote in a particular way.

Weydon School chose to talk about climate change. They outlined the issue giving historical references to support their evidence and highlighted that it isn’t all doom and gloom and that there are positive movements in place giving us some hope for a better future. They outlined some solutions to the problems including Low Emissions Zones and discussed the Paris Agreement.

Eggar’s School chose to investigate the US election and Donald Trump with particular reference to climate change and immigration. The winning team from Mill Chase Academy discussed prejudice in 2016. They covered the incidents of hate crime after Brexit, Islamaphobia and the media portrayal of these events. They discussed gender, religious and racial equality and how 2016 was of particular note in all those areas.

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.’