Designing an ACT/EPQ course

Here we discuss how to use our classroom-ready courses, and monthly newsletter, to develop students’ cognitive skills, and provide them with the material they’ll need to design an extended project.

To access all our guidance and resources on the EPQ, you’ll need to be a Faculty member of the site.

Offering a successful great critical thinking course based on the exploration of the latest real-world events and issues is an extremely effective way of helping students to prepare for their A-Level EPQ. Here are 8 reasons why this approach works:

1. Integrating current events: By covering real-world news, events, and issues via resources such as the Thinking Hub newsletter, students will connect their learning to what’s going on in the world, practice their critical analysis of current affairs, and be more easily able to select a great contemporary topic for their EPQ.

2. Interdisciplinary learning: Our resources, such as the ACT mini-lessons encourage students to place their investigation of the contemporary topics in the context of multiple disciplines, which enhances their ability to see issues from various angles. This also brings on board all your faculty when delivering the EPQ.

3. Developing research skills: All of our resources can lead onto further research, which enables students to hone their skills in terms of learning what makes a credible source, how to analyze the reliability of information, and citing references in the proper way.

4. Participating in debates and discussions: Authentic critical thinking requires debates, discussions, and Socratic seminars on current issues, which promote critical analysis, and the ability to articulate and communicate well-reasoned arguments.

5. Encouraging ethical reflection: There is a strong ethical dimension to all our resources, prompting students to reflect on the ethical, social, and global implications of the current events they study, and fostering both a deeper understanding of them, and a closer relationship with them.

6. Applying a cognitive framework: Our Aspects of knowledge framework provides students with a way of viewing the world that helps them to make sense of contemporary events and issues. The aspects of knowledge align naturally to the EPQ rubric Any or all of the aspects of knowledge can form a strong

7. Empowering language: the key concepts (as well as other important terms) enable students to articulate their ideas effectively and meaningfully.

By intertwining the exploration of real-world events with the development of critical thinking skills and EPQ preparation, students can develop the ability to critically analyze and address contemporary issues, while also mastering the skills necessary for success in their A-Level EPQ projects.