For over 10 years, the Macclesfield school has encouraged students to study a topic of their own choice alongside their A Levels, and such has been the success that it is now been made part of the curriculum, increasing participation three-fold.

King's Head of Extended Studies, Gemma Cunliffe, who leads a team of eight supervisors, guiding 61 Year 12 students through their in-depth research, said: "Our students have chosen a vast array of challenging subjects, all demanding a wide range of transferable skills.

"They need to work independently, research their topics from a wide range of sources, present them intelligently and clearly and explain their work to an audience. These are skills that will not only be valuable to them at university but later in the wider working world."

Julian O'Neil, who is studying English Literature, English Language and History A Levels and wants to study journalism, felt the ‘Carry On’ series had been undervalued. "They were very progressive and simply not given enough credit. Carry On films such as Carry on Nurse and Carry on Doctor really applaud and value the NHS.

"While films like Carry on Up the Khyber puncture outdated imperialism and our perceived right to colonialism, while Carry on Abroad mocks the appalling narrow-mindedness of the English tourist abroad. Instead of celebrating these films, some current newspapers such as the Daily Mirror actually place warnings against them in their TV Listings. That's just wrong; this humour is 70 years-old and must be judged of its own time, and in their own time they were actually very forward-thinking." 

Daisy Webb, who is studying Spanish, Chemistry and Mathematics and wants to read Medicine, assessed the value of brain tumour removal.

She said: "It very much depends on what the patient wants, but doctors do need to be able to draw a line. Around 20,000 people a year will have brain surgery to remove a tumour, some may be low level tumours but for Grade 4 tumours it can be that removal would dramatically reduce quality of life, with every chance that the cancer could return, in which case the doctors should be able to determine that it is inoperable."

"I am fascinated by the complexity of the brain, and this project has shown me that there is still so much that we don't know."

Kyna Willcocks, who is studying English Literature, History and Art and emigrated to Macclesfield from South Africa is fascinated by her adopted country's history and chose to recreate a stylish Edwardian ball gown worn by the then infamous socialite Heather Firbank. After spending over 30 hours, first making a prototype and then making up her beautiful dress, Kyna said: "Heather Firbank was a controversial figure and by studying her and recreating her style I gained an insight into Edwardian life." She added: "Making the dress also really tested my time management skills, working around my other studies, at weekends and during holidays, invariably allowing more time than I had at first thought necessary to make up the dress."

Ollie Rogerson, who is studying Economics, Mathematics and German, looked at the benefits of staging mega events such as the Olympics or World Cup. "The most positive impact has been felt by countries in the developing world. The 2010 World Cup helped bring about a massive increase in South Africa's GDP and had a lasting positive impact. There was a positive effect also in Germany, but simply not to the same extent.”

“When FIFA chose Qatar for the last World Cup, they did so because they were promised new stadiums and actually a new purpose-built city, but it came at a cost with the lives of migrant workers and certainly in the future there needs to be greater scrutiny of their decision-making process, which takes into greater account the economic benefits to the region."

Grace Bailey-Rushton asked the thorny, age-old question, "Does Money Bring Happiness." Grace, who is studying English Literature, History and Politics and wants to read Law with Politics, found that "having some disposable income is certainly beneficial to happiness, but that the mega wealthy are not necessarily happy." She added: "In fact, money has a negative impact on people who value their religion, as their spirituality and relationship with their God is deemed of far greater importance. Also the younger generation's happiness has been lowered by social media and the apparent need to compete, but for little or no purpose."

Dedicated climbing enthusiast Thomas Krassowski, asked whether sport climbing was more dangerous than traditional climbing or bouldering. Climbing on the Roaches and Windgather Rocks from a very young boy, Thomas, who is studying Maths, Physics and Chemistry and wants to take up an Engineering apprenticeship, found that sport climbing leads to more internal, potentially serious injuries, where as the traditional climbing sees more 'bumps, scrapes and bruises.'

He said: "The advice for either style is the same: to check your gear, replace rusty, worn bolts, research and understand your climb and go with a buddy who also knows the route and has good gear."



King's Head Jason Slack, said: "King's values a holistic approach to education and the EPQ allows our students to develop an in-depth understanding of something that they find fascinating and inspiring. The presentation evening is a wonderful celebration of their independent learning and allows parents, staff and Governors the opportunity to learn more about their research interests while the students hone their presentation skills."