Fifth Form essay competition winners

Each year, College runs an essay competition for Fifth Form pupils. Participants can choose from a number of essay titles that are designed to inspire investigation, understanding and creativity.

A huge congratulations to all who took part in the competition, the winners of each subject and their essay titles are listed below as well as a sample of Minette’s essay, which gives a fantastic insight into the depth of her consideration of the topic.

Minette (L6, CL) – We should develop a universal language.

Rory (L6, Xt) – To what extent are the fictional depictions of AI fear relevant to today’s climate?

Oleander (L6, W) – ‘A book must be the axe that breaks the frozen sea within us’ (Franz Kafka). What might Franz Kafka mean by this statement? Is he right?

Molly (L6, Ch) – Should all babies be genetically screened for underlying health conditions?

Jack (L6, S) – To what extent do our genes determine our behaviour?

Alicia (L6, W) – To what extent do you agree that the purpose of literature is to “hold the mirror up to nature” (from Shakespeare’s Hamlet)?

Louise (L6, CL) – Discuss whether National Theatre Live devalues the experience of watching theatre live or whether it makes it more accessible for all.

Finlay (L6, L) – Describe the process of self-driving cars. What will the next few decades bring?

Hoochang (L6, H) – There is no good reason to act morally – Discuss.

Minette was awarded the overall winner, below is the conclusion of her essay.

“In conclusion, we can see that – at least theoretically – there could be significant benefits should the world adopt a single and universal language; by reducing barriers to communication and reducing the likelihood of miscommunications, trade could be increased, and the probability of conflict and war reduced. We can see a number of sectors where a specified language has been adopted (for example Latin in medicine and English in air traffic control) to facilitate wider understanding. That said, the construction and implementation of a universal language would very likely be problematic; over and above the issues of culture and identity raised above, questions relating to who devises and polices this language – and whether it is to be an artificial language like Esperanto or the widespread adoption of an existing language – would very likely become very political very quickly. Would it not be ironic if the issue of adopting a single language caused more tensions than those that it was intended to resolve?”