Super-curricular activities are those students do to extend themselves in each subject beyond the limits of the sixth form syllabus. They include academic reading, independent research, pursuing undergraduate taster courses or online MOOCs, and work experience that closely complements their preferred university course. These avenues – directly linked to their academic studies but beyond the curriculum – are arguably the most important discriminator for admissions tutors.
We encourage all sixth formers to undertake a formal independent research project. This is an excellent opportunity to delve into a subject in depth, which brings its own rewards in terms of subject knowledge and study skills, and provides excellent material for the university application process. Starting in the January of the Lower Sixth, students complete either an internally-assessed research project, the Perse Rouse Research Award, where assessment focuses on the findings, or an externally-assessed research qualification, the EPQ, where the marking focuses on the research process. The EPQ is worth half an A level; research projects submitted for the Rouse award are considered by a judging panel of governors and university tutors.
Many students also pursue their own independent study outside of the research project structure. Our Perse Studio blog of student work contains many examples of super-curricular projects, from award-winning essays to independent experiments. Here are a few examples.