da Vinci Programme
At Princethorpe College we aspire to the Renaissance ideal that all people should endeavour to develop their capacities as fully as possible, to enjoy broad interests, profound knowledge and wide ranging accomplishments. Whilst we may be born with certain predispositions, we are completely able to change and develop skills as much as we wish to and when a student demonstrates three interlocking traits - ability, task commitment and creativity - they will achieve high level performance.
The College offers project opportunities to Academic Scholars in Year 8, high performing da Vinci
pupils in Year 9 and the Extended project Qualification to all students in the Lower Sixth.
A Project Qualification is like a mini PhD, comprising an individual research project rather than an exam. Project outcomes can be in the form of a dissertation, investigation, artefact or performance. Upon completion, students give a ten-minute presentation on their research to teachers and a group of fellow pupils and take questions at the end. Pupils are assigned a mentor who provides advice and guidance as required and with whom they meet regularly for direct teaching, instruction and assessment, or other structured learning such as directed assignments or supported individual study. Pupils also meet regularly with the librarian and other pupils to be taught the necessary research and independent learning skills needed to undertake such a project. Pupils’ own private
study is an additional commitment to these guided learning hours. Extended Projects are welcomed by many universities, and admissions tutors may well use them in differentiating between applicants for offer making.
The Level 3 Extended Project is worth the equivalent of half an A-level.