A York school girl has been highly commended by the Royal Geographical Society (RGS) in a national contest investigating the uniqueness of the Arctic. Isobel Wragg, a sixth form student at The Mount School York, was one of four pupils to be recognised by the RGS’s Young Geographer of the Year 2018 competition’s Key Stage 5 category for 16-18 year olds, in which there were over 1,150 competitors. She received her award at the RGS in London along with the top four entrants for Key Stages 2, 3 and 4 (ages 9-16 years old).
The competition invited pupils to explore the geography of the Arctic, a dynamic environment that is undergoing change, asking them, “What makes the Arctic unique?” Entrants to the Key Stage 5 category were expected to write a 1,500 word essay while KS2, KS3 and KS4 students produced an A3 poster. Isobel, who joined The Mount in the Sixth Form after graduating with her GCSE’s from Ryedale School, was the only pupil in the entire competition from a Yorkshire school to win recognition.
Other winning pupils came from schools in Buckinghamshire, Dorset, Essex, London, Lincolnshire, Northamptonshire, Oman, Oxfordshire and Surrey. Isobel, who had studied climate change in the Arctic in the lower sixth form as part of the curriculum, said of her award, “I’d been reading National Geographic’s online magazine over the Summer break and saw the competition. I felt very strongly that the paper must be my own work so I didn’t tell Mrs Cook (The Mount’s Head of Geography) about my entry until I’d already submitted it.”
Carol Cook said, “I strongly encourage our A Level Geography students to join the Royal Geographical Society, read articles around the subject and enter competitions. The fact that Izzy took this initiative is a credit to her. Izzy is a born geographer; she is applying to read Geography at university and will be a significant asset wherever she goes to university and beyond.”