This school year marked another first for Hisar School, and Turkey. Our group of 10 are the first class to complete the new AP Capstone course. The 2-year course focuses on analysing and developing university-level arguments, as well as conducting research in a wide variety of fields.

Last year the class completed the AP Seminar course, the first stage in the program which really opened them up to a new form of student-centered learning. Students selected the areas of study and completed a multitude of tasks independently, as well as in groups. Developing presentation skills was also a focus of the course, where once nervous students transformed into seasoned presenters.

This year, AP Research put the student’s newly gained skills to the test. Starting in September, they worked independently on a topic of their choosing. We reviewed the skills from last year and also learned about the numerous approaches to research, such as Content Analysis and Needs Assessment. Also, a class trip to Boğaziçi University opened student’s eyes to the quality of research expected at this level.

In April they submitted a research paper (5000 words) and conducted a 20-minute presentation of their own research to a panel of judges. The areas of study were very diverse, from the potential environmental benefits of veganism, to the social and economic effects of Syrian refugees on the Turkish population. Watching the students present their work was inspiring.

Results for AP courses will be released in July 2016. It is our sincere hope that all students will be successful in receiving a 3 or higher in order to gain the AP Capstone Diploma or Certificate which continues to be recognised by a growing number of universities every year.