Sixth Former’s EPQ ‘Ollie the Octopus’ stars at COP26

We are very excited and proud to announce that Elise Pullen’s (13Andrewes) Extended Project Qualification artefact has been displayed at COP26 in Glasgow. In order to combat plastic pollution she created an Octopus, later nicknamed Ollie, to raise children’s awareness of microplastics on West Wittering beach. She has been awarded an A* grade.

Elise commented, ‘My project asked 'Can I create a sculpture that raises awareness about marine plastic pollution on West Wittering beach?' with particular reference to 'nurdles', lentil-sized microplastics that are melted down at sea to form almost all plastic products, but resulting in 200,000 tons spilled annually. Using litter collected from several beach cleans I made a life-size sculpture of an octopus. During my research, I contacted ‘The Great Nurdle Hunt’, a charity run by 'Fidra' to reduce nurdle pollution through beach cleans or 'hunts', to cite some of their facts and statistics. I ended up sending the sculpture to them in Scotland to use in festivals, and a few days ago they sent an email saying their representatives took him to COP26! They said everyone loved him and they chatted to some interested individuals and international delegates.’

The majority of our Sixth Formers undertake an EPQ in year 12, many writing extended research-based essays and some creating artefacts. A range of universities now give lower alternative offers to applicants with an A or A* in the EPQ. For more information see:

Mr J Saunders, Head of Sixth Form

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