In the Advent Term, the Lower Sixth produced once again another crop of outstanding essays, even giving last year’s excellent collection of heretical writing a creative run for its money in their sheer range, individuality and well-researched iconoclastic chutzpah. The pupils met with relish the Project’s challenge of shaking comfortable intellectual orthodoxies in extended essays of 1500 to 2000 words, in Libby T’s case even subverting the written challenge with brilliance in her heretical deconstruction in charcoal of a traditional Great School Head Master portrait. There has been exceptional, top flight writing: fiery, witty and mercilessly forensic in its argument. Lancing’s long tradition of vigorous, independent intellectual thought is clearly still kicking one almighty punch! Contemporary feminism has been put in the dock, punk has been brought back from the dead, and Elian C has even taken on the crusading mantle of a latter day Emile Zola to accuse Dr Kerney of historiographical skulduggery! It was near impossible to come to a decision on the final shortlist, and there were at least 15 more formidably well-argued essays contending for inclusion; and a grand jury of Dr Kerney, Mr Harman and Mrs Mole only just managed to come to an agreement on the winners from the shortlist. As last year, it was agreed that in the end three entrants should be awarded joint top prize. Two of these essays were marked out by their sheer analytical flair and depth of research, and by the steely rigour with which they skewered their heretical targets, whilst the third winner was defined by its wonderful artistic unravelling of Lazlo’s portrait of Bowlby as Head Master.
Lancing’s heretical triumvirate this year are:
Lydia B for her essay: ‘The relevance of the doctor’s oath in modern healthcare: Hippocratic or hypocritical?’
Sophie M-S for her essay: ‘To what extent is modern day feminism more about superiority than equality?’
Libby T for her charcoal portrait of an heretical Head Master
Last year, the ten shortlisted essays were published in their own dedicated edition. A new issue for this year's Project will be printed in the new year; look out for this in the forthcoming months.