Shrewsbury School

Sir Philip Sidney Prep School Essay Competition 2022 winners announced

Wednesday 16 February 2022

Head of Academic Innovation, Harry Mackridge, reflects on another successful year of competition entries.

It was a real pleasure to plan, organise and host this year’s Sir Philip Sidney Prep School Essay Competition. When asked to choose a suitable title for this year’s competition I reflected on the turbulent nature of the past twelve months and challenged entrants to come up with some retrospective and forward-thinking analysis. The title duly chosen was “What will the 21st Century be remembered for?” and I was so impressed with the sheer quality of response provided by over ninety entrants from across the country. Responses displayed a sharp awareness of contemporary global issues with many looking ahead to future decades and providing optimistic and thoughtful ideas about how humanity can keep striving for achievement alongside kindness.

The twenty most insightful, focused responses were invited to an academic celebration event here at Shrewsbury and treated to a Humanities-themed cycle of workshops on climate change, the concept of ‘post-truth’ and how pandemics have altered little through the ages – all of which were key themes in responses to this year’s question! Following the workshops and some excellent discussion the finalists enjoyed prizes and presentations along with individual feedback about each submission received.

The winning entries were read aloud by Lower Sixth Salopian Sophie T and the audience left in no doubt about their quality, eloquence and flair. This year’s runner-up prizes were justifiably awarded to Arthur S (Y5, Winchester House) and Andrew G (Y6, Hallfield School). Many congratulations indeed to the worthy winners of this year’s competition – Nancy W (Y5, Glendower Prep) and Lola T (Witham Hall). A big ‘well done’ to all participants and thank you for taking part in such an engaging example of academic extension – we’re already looking forward to next year’s competition!

H.G. Mackridge (Head of Academic Innovation)

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