A webinar with Nick Brown – EPQ

How to enhance your learners’ cultural knowledge through the Extended Project Qualification (EPQ)


The Recording:

ALL London organises webinars for the MFL community and this webinar, held in a Zoom room and also viewable on an unlisted YouTube stream, is open to all MFL teachers.  We hope that you will like us and want to join!

We also thank the presenters, who give freely of their time and expertise.  Where possible, most sessions are recorded and available for viewing later.


The Extended Project Qualification (EPQ) offers  learners the chance to   investigate any aspect of the culture of a language that they are studying. At level 3, the EPQ carries the same points as an AS level – it is  the standard of an A level but only half the breadth.

This session will introduce the EPQ, with examples of successful projects created by A level language students.

Project learning is ideally suited to both a face to face and an online learning environment. Learning is richer and more rewarding when learners have the skills they need to take charge of the learning process and when they have  the opportunity to utilise questions and challenges that engage their interest.


Nick Brown is a teacher of Languages with a passion for project work  He has been a head of department in schools in a variety of different contexts and worked as an assistant Headteacher with responsibility for Teaching and Learning. He spent a year’s secondment as a county adviser and his master’s degree focussed on preparing students for life beyond the classroom.  He has produced guidelines on how teachers can best use  the EPQ with their language learners.

Class Photo


The Chat


00:39:31 ALL London: Hi Céleste – good to see you!
00:43:01 Jane Harvey: https://www.all-languages.org.uk/secondary/
00:45:45 Jane Harvey: The link is to an article on the EPQ – under Guest blogs
00:46:57 Céleste Robillard: The student I am supervising is looking at the impact of the French revolution on the way of life in France today. She will be looking at les manifestations and this kind of things 🙂
00:47:36 Jane Harvey: That’s a great topic!
00:47:52 Céleste Robillard: Yes really interesting I’m looking forward to see what she produces
00:49:28 Céleste Robillard: We have the same timings at my school
00:50:30 Helen Myers: If she’d like an audience, perhaps we could share on the ALL website?
00:51:46 Helen Myers: This is inspiring
00:52:26 Céleste Robillard: I will ask my HOD if that’s something we could do
00:52:56 Jane Hill: I get at least one serial killer essay every year! Miserable youths, bless them
00:53:22 Helen Myers: Yes – I suppose there may be restrictions if it is an exam .. but it would be great to give them an audience. And I’m sure people would be interested.
00:54:13 Céleste Robillard: Of course 🙂
00:56:21 Jane Hill: Minimums for AQA are 5000 words for an essay, 1000 words for an artefact essay (just finished my TAGs!)
00:56:43 Sarah Hau: We’ve just finished a round of Y12 EPQs – supervised one of my own Y12 French student who looked into whether growing up bilingually has an effect on child development. Tied into her love of languages and psychology. Was a really interesting 5000 word read!
00:57:08 Céleste Robillard: Wow Sarah that’s so interesting
00:57:19 Céleste Robillard: I would love to read something about this
00:58:14 Sarah Hau: There is a lot of research on this – she did have quite a few initial ideas, but I really liked this one (slightly biased as a linguist, but hey!)
00:59:03 Liz Fotheringham: Plenty of scope to do research and find primary sources in the TL with these suggestions
01:03:40 Laura Hill: Q How have students managed their time and the demands of their other A Levels etc
01:04:59 Doug: How many UCAS points? And for those of us at the back of the queue, how many UCAS points are achievable overall?
01:06:10 Céleste Robillard: Sorry I’m eating my dinner at the same time!
01:06:32 Jane Hill: They can also pick up marks for being rubbish at the beginning, so long as they improve and talk about how!
01:07:26 Doug: I haven’t taught A Level, yet!
01:07:41 Jane Hill: A lot of our students use it in their personal statements, even if it’s not part of an offer
01:08:09 Jane Hill: helps students to stand out in things like veterinary and medicine
01:08:51 Sarah Hau: I find the students I supervise often find the IRP part of A Level MFL very useful if they’ve done EPQ too!
01:09:15 Jane Hill: we had a student this year who wanted to go into midwifery, and so she studied the changes in that role since the start of the NHS – so interesting!
01:09:28 Céleste Robillard: I agree Sarah, one of my Y13 this year had done an EPQ and her IRP was amazing
01:09:30 Laura Hill: Q How do you persuade non-languages A Level students to do something language or TL country oriented?
01:10:48 Jane Hill: I don’t think I’ve had an MFL-linked project yet! But did have a fascinating and very personal (to the student) project on Moldova a few years ago. Hoping to take ideas from this session to our MFL staff to encourage it
01:11:51 Jane Hill: I think it would be a lovely way to sustain interest and curiosity in languages beyond GCSE for the students who don’t take it to A Level – it’s for life!
01:11:55 Céleste Robillard: I guess it could be a good opportunity to promote languages at school! I have many students who are not going to take A Level French/Spanish but were good linguists I will suggest it to them
01:14:12 Jane Hill: I had a student recently need to learn another language to read some of her primary sources – working on those language skills factored into her development process
01:15:07 Jane Hill: I learned a terrifying amount about ballistics!
01:17:44 Jane Hill: it’s also the first time they’re allowed to fully fail and drop out, for a lot of them. If you don’t do the work yourself, it doesn’t happen!
01:18:22 Laura Hill: It is being done at my school, but I would like to use it to promote the department!
01:18:32 Jane Hill: I’m the librarian/EPQ coordinator – just looking to make links to MFL!
01:18:42 Doug: I haven’t taught in a school with a 6th form yet. But I am planning to.
01:19:48 Helen Myers: http://login.eu.pixieviewer.com/#
01:19:54 Jane Hill: thanks!
01:26:06 Jane Hill: I bribe them with cake 🙂
01:28:40 Céleste Robillard: Thank you so much Nick, Helen and Jane 🙂 I have to go but it was very interesting!! Let’s keep in touch about my student and sharing her work!
01:29:19 Laura Hill: I also have to go. I look forward to the follow up session. Many thanks!
01:29:23 Doug: Very nice and succinct presentation about which I knew almost nothing. I feel more confident to answer a question about it at interview now. Thank you very much, Nick and Jane!!!
01:32:12 Sarah Hau: Thanks all, it’s been really interesting listening to different ideas, especially in MFL 🙂
01:32:20 Jane Hill: Thanks for this, it’s been lovely!
01:32:58 Liz Fotheringham: Thank you Nick and Jane. I didn’t know much about it before.
01:33:13 Fatima Zahra Ahmed Sid: I was in another meeting that took longer than expected so I missed it all. where can I find the recording?