Two Sixth Form pupils this year have gained top honours in national competitions, winning minds with their depth of knowledge and presentation.

At the very beginning of term, we celebrated the achievements of Jack Moyse who was named runner-up in the Colin Hardy Memorial Prize Competition. The competition was launched to foster interest and scholarship in the First World War among young historians aged 16 – 19; Jack had to submit a paper of between 3000 - 6000 words to enter. "I really enjoyed researching for and writing the paper," said Jack. "I am obviously really pleased to have been named as a runner-up as it was a national competition."

David Williams, co-ordinator of the competition commented, "It was a very keenly fought contest and we had to have two extra rounds of adjudication to finalise the order of merit. However, the judges assessed that Jack's meticulous balance in discussing Lloyd George’s role in the Shells Crisis of 1915, which is no mean feat when dealing with such a nuanced, tricky and divisive character as Lloyd George, and the absolute relevance of all his points, gave the paper that extra edge."

You can read Jack’s paper by clicking here.

Thomas Locke first stepped up to the podium to take part in the 2020 Historical Association ‘Great Debate’ in early 2020. He won the local branch final of the competition organized by the HA’s Chichester branch, then after a lengthy pause necessitated by COVID-19, in late November he went on to win the national final against 21 other, very strong, competitors.

The Historical Association organises this national public speaking competition every year. Sixth Form pupils entering are required to research an historical topic on a particular theme, this year the topic/theme was ‘Should we judge historical figures by the morals of today?’ Thomas chose as his subject the 19th century scientist Francis Galton who was a pioneer in the controversial and now discredited area of eugenics. For the final he had to pre-record and upload his speech in advance, he still had to face some tough live questioning from the judges.

“It was a real shame that the finals couldn’t happen as planned at Windsor Castle,” said Thomas. “That did not stop it being any less intense however, the questions from the judges were incredibly challenging to investigate my depth of knowledge and understanding. Winning was simply amazing and I am incredibly proud to have done so.”

“Coming first in such a competitive national competition that required skills of both oratory and historical research, is an excellent and very well deserved result,” said Mr Simon Lemieux, Head of History and Politics. “Not surprisingly, Thomas intends to continue with his historical studies at university next year.”

You can view the speech Thomas made by clicking here.