The Perse are Senior Schools’ Challenge National Champions
A team of Perse pupils have won the national title of the Senior Schools’ Challenge.
The competition, which took place at Westminster School in London on Sunday, is regarded as the secondary education equivalent of University Challenge, testing students in general knowledge.
The team, led by Captain Pratap Singh from the Upper Sixth, comprised of students from across the School, with team members Oliver Phillips, Vikram Singh and Matthew Chan from Year 10, Jonathan Chan in Lower Sixth and Franklin Nelson joining the Team Captain from the Upper Sixth.
The boys advanced quickly through the first round play-offs against Magdalen College (940-430) and Hereford Grammar Schools, clocking an impressive 1090 points in the latter match to Hereford’s 620. In the afternoon, the boys then triumphed over Lancaster Grammar School in a nail-biting final battle to clinch the national title 740-720.
Lilly Freeman, French teacher and team coach, said of their achievement, “I was thoroughly impressed with the boys’ exceptional maturity, positivity and focus throughout the day. They were exemplary ambassadors of the School.”
This latest win builds on the success The Perse School has had in both the Junior and Senior Schools’ Challenges in recent years, with the win on Sunday making it the School’s sixth win since 2011. Sunday marked Team Captain Pratap Singh’s fourth win for the School, Franklin Nelson’s third and Vikram Singh’s second.
Of their success, Team Captain Pratap Singh said, “Participating in the Senior Schools’ Challenge has been a highlight of my school career, and to finish off my seven years in the school team with a national title was an extraordinary thrill. As Captain, it’s been fantastic to see the team work together so well – we really complement one another and every member was crucial to our success, especially in the close final.”
Franklin Nelson, veteran of the competition, said, “Being crowned a National Champion in the Senior Schools’ Challenge marks a brilliant end to my participation in the competition. There were particularly tense points during the day, but as a team we managed to pull ahead at key points in the matches, a skill that reflects the time and effort that we have invested in this competition. We could not have earned this title without the support of our coach Miss Freeman, and Mr Roberts, the recently retired doyen of Perse General Knowledge, both helping us improve our speed on the buzzer over the years. My thanks go to Miss Freeman, Mr Roberts and Mr and Mrs Sims for their co-ordination of General Knowledge both in school and nationally over the years, and to our opposition, who certainly tested us.”
Pratap leaves The Perse this year to head to the United States to study Applied Mathematics and Computer Science at Harvard, whilst Franklin heads to Oxford.