Epsom Essayist Earns Prestigious Prize | Epsom College
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Epsom Essayist Earns Prestigious Prize

Year 10 pupil, John Gartside received a commendation in Oxford University's John Locke Essay Competition, placing him in the top group of over 7,500 global participants

Year 10 pupil, John Gartside, has received a special commendation for the essay he entered into this year’s John Locke Institute Essay Competition.

John’s essay, which centred around the question ‘What would happen if there were a 100% inheritance tax?’ received a commendation in the Junior Prize Category, placing him in the top group of over 7,500 global participants.

John received the accolade at a special dinner and awards ceremony at St Peter’s College, Oxford over the summer break, where he was awarded his certificate of commendation by the Director of the John Locke Institute, Martin Cox.

There were around 30 other shortlisted entrants in attendance, some of whom had flown in from Australia, Singapore, Korea, Bermuda and the USA for the occasion. The guests were able to attend a series of seminars and lectures at Wadham College, Oxford, throughout the day ahead of the dinner.

Of the experience, John said: “I chose the question I did because I knew it would be fascinating to embark on as it is a heavily-debated issue, and I was interested in the various angles through which I could answer the question: social, political and economic.

“The lectures held at the University of Oxford helped me gain a greater understanding of all of the topics and there was also an excellent seminar on ‘what makes a compelling essay’ that I found extremely helpful.”

The John Locke Institute encourages young people to cultivate the characteristics that turn good students into great writers, such as: independent thought, depth of knowledge, clear reasoning and critical analysis. Their annual essay competition invites participants to explore a range of topics and questions beyond the school curriculum, giving them a chance to refine skills of argumentation, build knowledge and have their work assessed by experts as all essay prizes are judged by senior academics from the University of Oxford.

John added: “I would most definitely recommend entering the competition next year to any and all Epsom pupils as it can help you gain a good knowledge on a fascinating subject of your choosing.”