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Awards made to exceptionally talented sixth-formers

  • 03 October 2018

Awards have been made to the exceptionally talented sixth-formers who triumphed in our popular Caius Schools’ Prize competitions. This year’s challenges were set in Engineering, History, English and Linguistics.

Encouraging entrants to think in innovative directions, each challenge was designed to be attractive and accessible to students from all backgrounds. This year we received almost 100 applications from Year 12 students across the UK.

For the Engineering competition, entrants were asked to devise a classroom activity that would inspire younger students to think like an engineer about the theme of household waste recycling. Rising to the challenge, Kailen Patel from Merchant Taylors School in Hertfordshire submitted a lesson on problems of e-waste management in Ghana. Kailen showed that through simple product designs, and using local materials and resources, students could convert potentially toxic e-waste into a useful source of income for local communities.

Entrants for the Linguistics Challenge were asked to develop a communications system using Lego bricks. The meaning of the language was to be encoded in the ways bricks were connected together. The winner of this year’s Linguistics Challenge, Marion Willingham from St Marylebone School in London devised a sophisticated language whose structure was inspired by sign language’s ‘sign space’ and whose semantics were based on the logographic script of Egyptian hieroglyphs and modern day Chinese characters. The judges were impressed with the ‘thoughtful consideration’ given to the language, and said that the entry showed ‘a good understanding and coverage of linguistic considerations:  the result is a language that could be used much more extensively than for the simple map task’.

An essay entitled ‘A penny for your thoughts: object biography of an Anglo-Saxon coin’ by Maya Beney, from Newstead Wood School in Bromley, wowed the History Prize judges, and Rachel Barlow, from The Perse School in Cambridge, won the English Prize with a superb essay on the ‘Explorer’ exhibition featuring art by Rita McBride.

Congratulations also go to our fantastic runners-up: Isabelle Davis and Samuel Peters for History, Arshaan Bhatnagar and Antonia Cheema-Grubb for English, and Eleni Thwaites for Linguistics.

Launched in 2017 with awards in English and Linguistics, the Gonville & Caius Schools’ Prizes expanded this year to include more subject areas. Three of our Schools’ Prize winners from 2017 went on to receive offers to study at Caius and have just arrived as Freshers!

Keep an eye on our website for details of the 2019 competition…

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