Chloe Wins the Foundation Schools Essay Competition 2016

Friday 2nd December 2016

On Thursday 1 December 2016, there was a celebration dinner at Emanuel School for the announcement of the results of the Foundation Schools Essay Competition. The final adjudication was conducted by Dr Nicholas Perkins – Associate Professor of English and Tutorial Fellow at St Hugh’s College, University of Oxford.

There were some tremendous essays submitted by pupils from the five schools, all demonstrating great scholarship through critical writing. There were 37 entries; the top 10 essays were submitted to Dr Perkins for his final assessment. We are very pleased to announce that Chloe Naylor (L6) of Queens Anne’s won the competition. Her essay along with five other pupils from the Foundation Schools will be published professionally; Chloe also received a substantial book token which will enable her to purchase the most important things associated with our learning: books!


The following pupils took part in the Lower Sixth Foundation Essay Competition: Emma Hewlett, Paloma Hamilton-Bowker, Katherine Derde, Chloe Naylor, Anna Way and Abigail Owen. All our girls wrote outstanding essays and should be commended for the time and effort put in.

To read Chloe’s exceptional winning essay ‘Should doctors be able to prescribe placebos to patients?’, please click here. 

The pupils from the five schools engaged in a critical research essay following the below rubric:

Academic scholarship should/could/will involve the following generic skills:

  • Thinking
  • Listening
  • Talking
  • Hypothesising
  • Arguing
  • Team working
  • Decision making
  • Evaluating
  • Weighing pros and cons
  • Analysing
  • Presenting
  • Spelling
  • Persuading
  • Changing your mind
  • Mental agility
  • Taking risks
  • Self-control
  • Discussion
  • Debate
  • Learning to enjoy intellectual challenge
  • Dealing with doubt and uncertainty
  • Thinking quickly an under pressure
  • Realising that there is often more than one answer
  • Realising there are sometime no answers at all
  • Realising that different people look at the world in different ways
  • Learning that it is ok to not think that everyone else thinks
  • Learning to be confident in your own thoughts
  • Learning to laugh. 

Pupils should submit an independent, self-directed piece of research (a subject of their choice), culminating in a 2500 word paper. An involvement in this essay competition will provide:

  • Practical preparation for the kinds of A Level research in the Sixth Form.
  • An opportunity for pupils to engage in an in-depth study of a topic of interest within a chosen subject.
  • Formulating an appropriate research question.
  • Engaging in a personal exploration of the topic.
  • Communicating ideas.
  • Developing an argument.

Participation in this process will develop the capacity to:

  • Analyse.
  • Synthesize.
  • Evaluate knowledge.

If you would like to see the Assessment Criteria, which confirms the academic rigour of such a competition, please click here.