29 Oct 2021

Friday 29 October 2021

Just before lockdown we heard that Year 12 student, Summer Shapero (Taylor), entered the highly-regarded John Locke Essay Competition.

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We are pleased to learn Summer met with some notable success, being awarded a High Commendation. Summer writes:

“The John Locke Institute is an organisation of both Princeton and Oxford Universities and provides educational opportunities to academically ambitious students to participate in various programmes, including their essay competition. For this, students answer questions from one of seven categories: Philosophy, Politics, Economics, History, Psychology, Theology and Law. The idea is to let students explore challenging and interesting questions outside of a normal curriculum, and to help them refine their argumentative skills as well as teach them about research. It is one of the largest and most prestigious essay competitions offered to high school-age students and this year alone 4,000 entries from nearly ninety countries were submitted. The eventual Grand Prize winner receives $10,000 while winners in each category receive $2,000. High commendations are also given out by the institute to worthy recipients.

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I came to hear about the competition through a College counsellor who suggested it would be a good way to explore a topic I am passionate about: theology, while also getting a taste of researching and putting together an original argument, like I will need to do in University. In fact, I will say more than receiving recognition, this experience allowed me to learn important skills and spend time truly discovering more about a subject which I love.

I chose the question: ‘Why did Jesus of Nazareth reserve his strongest condemnation for the self-righteous?’ I chose this question because the idea of self-righteousness is a particularly interesting one to me as it delves into the question of what Jesus considers as being the correct way to live one’s life, and the correct and truthful way to be faithful. I also wanted to explore the historical context of religion and I felt I could delve deeper into the political climate of Judea and Galilee as well as gain some experience with exegesis through this question.”

We are delighted to hear that Summer was one of eight finalists and had travel allowed, she was invited to attend the Awards’ Dinner, at Oxford University. We congratulate Summer on receiving a highly commended result in this competition and wish her well for her future studies.