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EPQ helps Girls break through to Oxbridge

Published Tuesday 24th of January 2012 11:43:18 AM

Some say good things come in threes and that was certainly the case when this year's Oxbridge interview results were announced at St Benedict's School, Ealing. Three girls wrote their names into the school history annals by becoming the first female students to obtain offers of places at the prestigious universities. St Benedict's Senior School went co-educational four years ago and the girls have come a long way in the years that have followed.

Christina Haddad and Chiara Tolentino both received offers from Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford for Economics and Management and Biomaterial Engineering respectively. Head Girl Rhianna Ilube was successful at Pembroke College, Cambridge to study Social and Political Science. The boys had to take second place this time with two Cambridge offers - Christopher Dean at Christ's College for Mathematics and Joseph Levy at Peterhouse for Anglo Saxon, Norse and Celtic Studies.

Christina, Joe and Rhianna were part of the first-ever cohort of students at St Benedict's doing the Extended Project Qualification (EPQ), intended to broaden horizons and improve academic development. They clearly found it very beneficial: 'Perhaps the most important thing that I have gained is courage�The project gave me another kind of confidence: the ability to speak about my work and my findings�My EPQ has been more than a project. It has changed my way of viewing things�The value of the skills I have acquired has been extraordinary.'

Joe Levy obtained an A* grade in the final assessment, Christina, Rhianna and four other students obtained a grade A. English teacher Julie Greenhough, who was responsible for launching the EPQ initiative and monitoring the students' progress said, 'The EPQ has stretched the boundaries for these students and they have responded magnificently.'
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