By Jo Mayhook-Walker, Head of EAL and Extended Projects Coordinator
COVID has encouraged a huge reliance on technology both in school and in the wider world. Last Wednesday afternoon saw a small and select audience settle down in front of their computers to form the audience for two Extended Project Qualification (EPQ) presentations given over Teams by Isabella Montero and Eloise Cooper, both 6.2 students.
As the new Extended Projects Coordinator, I felt incredibly privileged to be part of the audience. Previously, projects have been presented in the Library, giving students, staff and parents an opportunity to wander from stand to stand, dipping in and out of a smorgasbord of projects and being able to question each student about the inspiration behind their projects, the challenges they encountered and what they had learnt. The current situation, however, has meant that we have had to rethink.
All the way from Barcelona, Isabella (pictured above in last year’s Rock Show) presented her project, her EP entitled A White Picket Dream. She gave us an insight into her musical inspirations and how her experience of living in different parts of the USA, as well as being an American living and being schooled outside the US, has coloured her musical journey.
In contrast, Eloise, from her dorm in 6.2, presented her project: Is there a Difference between a Cult and a Religion? She explained why this was a topic that had appealed to her, presented the issue of bias when conducting her research and explored how her own personal relationship to religion had coloured her choice of topic and approach.
Both presentations were insightful, confidently given and complimentary to each other. We, as the audience, were given a unique opportunity to focus entirely on each individual project with a chance to question the students at the end of their presentation. Although a very different experience to the Expo of old, the use of this new technology allowed us a more concentrated and intimate glimpse into the story behind the project.