Academic projects are open to all students in the school at any age and at any time. They would be suitable, for example, for a student in Years 7-9 who felt that he or she could rise to the challenge of researching and producing GCSE or even Sixth Form standard work in a particular subject.
Academic projects give students the opportunity to carry out in-depth research. A subject or topic can be studied in much greater detail and depth than would normally be possible, owing to the constraints of the core curriculum. They allow students to demonstrate their enthusiasm for a subject, in showing a willingness to research beyond the confines of the general classroom provision.
These projects allow students to obtain an academic qualification for work related to co-curricular activities or hobbies pursued either inside or out of school. For example, students have produced projects relating to mountain biking, equestrian activities, girl guiding and performing arts.
They demonstrate the skills of planning, using various sources and refining objectives. All projects involve a presentation, in which students must demonstrate an ability to communicate research findings to a non-specialist audience.
Academic projects lead to GCSE and A Level-equivalent qualifications at three levels but most students will with to be entered for Level 2 or Level 3.
In 2015, 100% of students achieved A*-B grades in the GCSE Level 2 Project; 77% of students achieved A*-B grades in the A Level Extended Project.