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St Gabriel’s

St Gabriel’s

Higher Project Qualification

The Higher Project Qualification (HPQ) is a challenging course currently offered to all students in Year 9. It requires candidates to design, research, and develop an essay or artefact in a subject area of their choosing, with a focus on skills like planning and decision-making. Although it is completed in Year 9, the qualification is GCSE level and candidates will be awarded the equivalent of a short-course GCSE upon completion. It is a brilliant opportunity for high achievers to challenge themselves while also developing important study skills for their GCSEs in Year 10 and Year 11.

The course runs from September to March and during this time participants will attend a weekly one-hour 'taught skills' session with the project coordinator, learning key skills such as the use of technology for academic referencing and how to effectively gather data. Candidates also have a project supervisor, a dedicated member of staff who meets with them each week to help guide them through the process. At the end of March all candidates deliver a presentation on their findings to a live audience before submitting their project for marking.

In 2023, HPQ candidates achieved 86% A*-B grades.

Past topics have included:

  • Does the placebo effect treat illnesses?
  • Heritage or Hate? The True Meaning Behind the Confederate Flag
  • Creating a short story to educate younger children on feminism
  • What did the Greenham women achieve?
  • The significance of ethnicity in diabetes and current research for cures and diseases
  • To what extent is music censorship necessary?

HPQ Taught Skills Programme

Term Session Topic
Autumn Term

Project Q Set up  

Introduction to the assessment criteria & project requirements 

Choosing your topic & planning your research 

  Research skills & resources 
  Choosing research methods (designing questionnaires) 
  Evaluating your sources 
  Project management & organisation 
  Developing your ideas 
  Planning your report 
  How to analyse & present your data  
  Formatting& using ICT 

DROP IN: Review of Project Q 

Spring Term Drafting & editing 
  Review of deadlines for the completion of project 
  Use of ICT for formatting & referencing 
  Presentation skills 
  Presentation practice & feedback