Two Top Ten Essays in National Classics Competition
Four Perse pupils have been awarded prizes in a national essay competition for pupils in Year 9 and below. The Joint Association of Classical teachers Jowett-Sendelar Competition has been entered regularly by Perseans and in recent years students in Year 9 have researched topics ranging from the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, to the warfare and campaigns of the Roman army.
James Young was awarded 5th place in a field of 226 essays across 27 schools. His essay comparing the relative merits of the Roman and Spartan armies was described by the judges as “scholarly and learned, full of factual information but always arguing a response to the question. Working meticulously through his criteria, James concluded that the Romans had the edge on the Spartans.” James can be very satisfied that his essay was the best in the Warfare category of the competition.
Jonathan Cottrell-Mason was runner up in the Powerful Leaders category, placed 8th overall. His submission was beaten in this category only by the winner of the whole competition and the judges were full of praise for his comparison of the achievements of Augustus and Stalin. They commented that “the essay adopted throughout a scholarly approach to the subject that allowed reliably sound judgements to be made in this impressively authoritative piece of work.”
In addition to these “Merit” awards, two Perse students, William Burson and William Liu were also given “Commended” prizes for being among the top 50 entrants. Writing on warfare and Athens respectively, the essays were praised for their use of specific details and the level of evaluation in them.
In all 25 Perse students submitted essays at the end of their Year 9 Classical Studies course and all have been given very insightful and thorough feedback on their performance which will offer many of them some valuable impartial advice as they continue in their studies of Latin and Ancient History at GCSE.
The Classics Department is already looking forward to reading the submissions for the 2013 competition with titles ranging from the feelings of Zeus in the 21st Century through to the imagined court report of a trial for the murder of Agamemnon. There will be high hopes that this year’s students can emulate the successes of the class of 2012.