Student success in the ‘John Locke Philosophy Essay Competition 2020’

Year 12 pupil Julia has been shortlisted in the prestigious ‘John Locke Philosophy Essay Competition 2020’, with her treatise ‘Can Good Art Make One a Better Person?

Julia, described as ‘a leading light’ in the School’s FitzGerald Society (Woodbridge’s Junior Oxbridge Programme), submitted her essay on 15th July 2020: a considerable achievement, given the added complications that lockdown presented during this time.

The annual Essay Competition invites students to explore a wide range of challenging questions beyond the confines of the school curriculum. Each student is assessed on their independent thought, depth of knowledge, clear reasoning, critical analysis and persuasive style.

All of the Institute’s essay prizes are judged by senior academics from the University of Oxford, and the judges choose their favourite essay from each subject category, and an overall ‘Best Essay’ across seven subjects: Philosophy, Politics, Economics, History, Psychology, Theology and Law.

This year, the judges received almost three thousand entries overall, from eighty different countries. It took the panel of thirty-five examiners, from Oxford, Cambridge, Princeton, Harvard and Chicago, two weeks to assess all the entries. 

The Competition winners and runners-up will be announced at a special prize-giving ceremony in Oxford in the Autumn, where they will get to meet the judges and other faculty members of the John Locke Institute.

Speaking about her success, Julia said:

“I really enjoyed exploring the question of whether good art can make one a better person, not only because it allowed me to explore one facet of philosophy, but also because I felt that the question was extremely relevant when considering how individuals within society develop.

“I particularly enjoyed finding the links between different philosophical schools of thought, the context within which these were developed and the enduring impact that artwork has on wider society.”

Anne Wright, Head of Classics and Oxbridge Co-Ordinator at Woodbridge School, said:

“I am absolutely thrilled for Julia. She worked very hard on her essay – writing, refining her thinking, honing and rehoning it – and it was a thorough and thoughtful piece of work, backed up by an excellent selection of evidence.

“Her success is all the more impressive given that she was competing against Sixth Formers from across the globe, while still being only in Year 11.”

Our congratulations to Julia, whose hard work has created something of which she can be justly proud, and we wish her every success in the judging process.