Friday Headlines

the weekly newsletter from EHS

Year 9 Higher Project

Senior School

20 November 2020

This week, we take the opportunity to showcase a few more of our Higher Projects. The Higher Project is a one-year course offered in Year 9, where we were given the chance to plan, manage, develop and review a project of our own devising.

This project could literally have been about anything on the planet, and we all chose very different things to explore.

This project was excellent preparation for the challenges that we are facing at GCSE level in Year 10.

We learnt and improved a whole range of skills including how to complete independent research, finding guests for interviews and developing our analytical writing, editing and proof reading skills.

We also learnt the pitfalls of asking bad questions on a questionnaire meaning you get no useful data. We also had the realisation that not everyone you contact will give you an interview or even reply to your query. And we also gained the knowledge that a deadline actually is a deadline and we had to get everything in on time.

We took ownership of our projects over the course of the year, gradually building up a portfolio work. Finalists were chosen to present projects to a panel of judges to decide the winner of the Higher Project Cup.

However, it was not just learning about our topic that was important. The Higher Project also encourages you to learn about yourself. We understood what our strengths and weaknesses were and we could improve upon these as the project progressed. We are really proud of our final portfolios and proud of ourselves for persevering with the project alongside our studies. It is stressful at times but definitely worth it and we are already looking ahead to the Extended Project that we can do in Sixth form. We are already thinking about ideas we could research.

We have thoroughly enjoyed taking part and hope that Miss Hayday and Miss O’Hare will enjoy working with the new Year 9.

We will now give you an insight into the finalists projects and the most fascinating things that they found out during their study.



My project was about the world of social media and the influence and impact it has on our generation. It has become an enormous part of my life, especially as it is a new, fast and innovative form of communication. I was intrigued and also alarmed to find out during my research that teenagers typically spend 9 hours of their day accessing some sort of social media. I looked at the positives and negatives from spending time online and it was interesting to talk to older people who have a different experience or no experience. It was interesting to hear from people who have not grown up in this way. At the moment there is little research of the lasting, long term consequences of this type of communication – but is one area that I will watch develop with fascination as doctors, teachers, parents and teenagers spend more time online.


Throughout this year I have been exploring the life experiences of marine animals held in captivity. I chose this topic because I recently watched a documentary called Blackfish – which I highly recommend you to watch - which examined the life of performing killer whale Tilikum, who has caused the deaths of several people whilst in captivity. My research has taught me that animals held in captivity do not always have the most tranquil life and there are deep and dark secrets hiding underneath. The saddest thing I learned is that whales in captivity often have a collapsed dorsal fin because they spend much of their time at the water surface and do not swim very far. This results in the fin tissue getting less support than if the whale were in the wild, and it starts to fall over. I was really excited to interview Dr Lori Marino from the Whale Sanctuary Project who has built a seaside sanctuary for these animals and fights for better treatment of whales.

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