Charli Stonefield, a Year 12 pupil at University College School (UCS), was placed second in the prestigious Geography Essay Prize run by Corpus Christi College, Cambridge. Charli wrote two thousand words on whether a borderless world would be a dream or a nightmare. The judges were so impressed they gave her second place out of over one hundred entrants. Charli said, “I wanted to discuss borders because in the current political climate, with Brexit and Trump, they are in the process of being reclaimed and re-established.” One of the judges, Dr Philip Howell, was delighted by Charli’s “lively writing” and was impressed by her discussion around, “different types of border” and her “strong, definite conclusion”.
Charli thoroughly enjoyed receiving her silver medal at a recent award ceremony at Corpus Christi. The event was attended by Russell Chapman, Head of Sixth Form (and Geography teacher) at UCS. Russell commented, “Charli managed to re-imagine a world free of borders whilst witnessing the contemporary rhetoric surrounding the role and power of the State and major TNCs. It was an extremely powerful piece of writing.” Charli loved her day in the Cambridge college and has now set her sights on applying to study Geography there in 2019.
The essay prizes run by colleges at Cambridge and Oxford Universities in a number of subjects are a fantastic opportunity for school pupils to broaden their appreciation of their A-Level subjects. Charli felt the competition asked her to explore and evaluate arguments beyond the confines of the course, “My research pushed me to consider perspectives I may not otherwise have pursued.” She added, “If we can overcome psychological and physical borders there will be huge global economic and cultural benefits. It horrifies me that the ‘lottery of birth’ dictates the extent to which one may be influenced by borders.”
We congratulate Charli on so successfully taking advantage of this opportunity and wish her well with her application next year.