Erasmus Essay Competition Winner

Many congratulations to Becky in L6N who has been awarded first prize in this year’s Erasmus Essay Competition.  Becky beat pupils from City of London School, Rugby, Dulwich College, Reed’s and St Swithun’s to the £500 first prize.  Last year, Ben, now in the U6, was awarded second prize in this competition.

The prestigious annual inter-school Erasmus Essay Competition requires pupils to write in timed conditions and without notes after a summer of directed reading.  It enables them to undertake independent research in an area of philosophy not covered by any syllabus.  The theme this year was  “equality” and the candidates were given a choice of the following three titles:

  • ‘Inequality is a poison in society which will never be eradicated.’ Discuss this claim.
  • Are all inequalities equally problematic?
  • ‘It is the responsibility of people today to correct historical inequalities’. Do you agree? Explain your answer.

The essays were judged by the philosopher and academic Professor Jo Wolff who is  Alfred Landecker Professor of Values and Public Policy and Governing Governing Body Fellow at Wolfson College. He was formerly Blavatnik Chair in Public Policy at the School, and before that Professor of Philosophy and Dean of Arts and Humanities at UCL. Becky’s essay, which discussed inequality as a poison,  was described by Professor Wolff as, “clear” and “accurate” He said it “makes useful distinctions, argues for a position, with good use of examples and references.”

Becky writes of her experience, “Originally, the idea of participating in the Erasmus Essay Competition was quite daunting. I’d never taken an exam that was three hours long before and I’m also fairly certain that my essay is one of the only documents on my computer of over two thousand words, but I was fascinated by the topic of inequality and was keen to read the suggested articles.  I think it was this exposure that led me to winning. Reading back my essay now, I realise how many ideas were transferred from the source materials I read.  Ultimately my satisfaction in participating came from the reflection I was able to achieve more in the essay within the time allocated, than I would not have been able to do in any field of academic schoolwork.”

I am delighted for Becky and I am sure you will join me in congratulating her on a considerable academic achievement.

Miss Jones, Head of RS 


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