Students showcase their passion for a particular subject or hobby by submitting their ‘Sparks’ projects.
At Thornton, we run a programme called ACEs, which is designed to push students who are able, committed or exceptional in one or more subjects. In tandem, this year we launched an initiative to further motivate and challenge the more able.
‘Sparks’ is the school’s bespoke version of an Extended Project Qualification (EPQ) and invites Year 6s to Year 9s to develop their research skills and complete a project on a hobby or subject of their choosing.
Over the past term, interested students have attended regular workshops with Mr Cooper to discuss their topics and their research and to learn how to keep a log of their reading and resources and how to structure and present the material – either a report or a song, story or dance.
The finished projects (around 2,000 words in length) have now been handed over, ready for internal assessment. Among them, we had topics ranging from ‘Artificial Intelligence: The End of Humanity?’ to ‘What are Supernovae?’ and a musical composition about the cult of celebrity.
The very best entries will be submitted for a Level 2 EPQ. A selection of the work will also be featured in an anthology to be published at the end of the academic year and there are plans for an event at which the students will get the opportunity to showcase and celebrate their projects.