Central to academic life at The Perse is one of our school values – intellectual curiosity. To ignite this curiosity, independent research is a major feature of learning at the Upper.
The benefits of research
At The Perse, we see research as essential preparation for the world beyond. We see some of the key benefits being:
- Research facilitates a love for a subject. It helps many students clarify what subjects they want to pursue further.
- Research facilitates learning. As our students research it develops skills in reading, writing, analysing and constructing knowledge.
- Oxbridge and Russell group universities actively welcome independent research conducted by students and see the process as invaluable preparation for higher education.
- In a world of fake news, research helps students to uncover lies and support truths.
- Research and analysis develops key soft skills employers identify as essential for the 21st Century workplace.
We actively encourage all pupils to develop their abilities in this discipline and provide opportunities for independent research – identifying areas of interest, conducting investigations and presenting findings in writing and in person. Throughout the school there are research programmes, culminating in our prestigious Sixth Form Research Programme. Pupils are taught key research skills, learn how to take responsibility for their own study, discover the joys of independent learning and understand how to work effectively with mentors and supervisors. Details of the programmes can be found below.
Year 7 – Perse Research Skills Qualification
Pupils follow an independent online three-module course introducing and teaching key research skills as a framework to build on as they progress through the school. At the end, students receive the Perse Research Skills Qualification and are invited to the Lower School Research Garden Party.
Year 8 – Perse Project Qualification
Students undertake an in-depth study of a topic of their choice working with a staff supervisor. They write a report and take a ‘stall’ at an end-of-year feedback fair, at which they present their findings to all of Year 8. The year culminates in an end-of-year Lower School Research Garden Party – the chance to discuss their research informally with teacher and Lower School students.
Year 9 – Perse Research Essay Competition
A brand new research essay competition available to students in Year 9 across the Cambridgeshire area.
Year 10 – Higher Project Qualification
An externally-assessed independent research qualification worth half a GCSE, but with its real value in nurturing intellectual ambition and research skills.
Sixth Form – Rouse Research Award Project or Extended Project Qualification
Our research programme culminates in a prestigious finale. Starting in the Lower Sixth, students complete either an internally-assessed research project, the Rouse Research Award, where assessment focuses on the findings, or an externally-assessed research qualification, the EPQ (worth half an A level), where the marking focuses on the research process.
There is an active research culture amongst Perse staff too, with approximately 20 research projects being conducted every year. This commitment to continuing professional development makes The Perse a stimulating place to work and provides the best possible educational experiences for pupils.