2021-22 Aristotelian Award

High levels of intellectual curiosity were displayed by Year 9 pupils from across the country who took part in the inaugural Perse Aristotelian Award competition.

The national Aristotelian Award was launched following the success of last year’s Perse Research Essay competition, which had been aimed at pupils in Cambridgeshire.

With the goal of inspiring young people to develop independent research skills, the Aristotelian Award offered a wide variety of essay titles across a broad range of subjects.

Split into two categories of arts/humanities and sciences, the winners of each section received £70 while the four highly commended pupils in each section were awarded £20.

The sciences category was won by Royal Grammar School, Newcastle pupil Krishen Kashyap, who investigated the most important factors affecting the spread of zoonotic diseases. Highly commended were Ollie Sanders and Darell D’Cunha (St Bede’s Inter-Church School, Cambridge) and Cheyoon Kim and Hercules Voultsos (The Perse School).

Krishen commented: “Year 9 is the time in our lives when we are thinking about career choices and I find myself leaning towards a future in health sciences.

“Therefore, when I heard about this competition, I thought it would be a fantastic opportunity to learn more about research and how to author a scientific article.

“I relished the challenge of drafting and editing the essay and was delighted that my hard work paid off and that I had won the science category.”

Krishen Kashyap
Martha Hyde

Cobham Hall pupil Martha Hyde won the arts/humanities category with her reflections on whether history always repeats itself. Sophia DasBenjamin Shaw (both St Bede’s), Nisna Malviya (RGS Newcastle) and Colin Chung (Ipswich School) were highly commended.

Martha said: “I am absolutely thrilled and amazed to have won the arts/humanities category for the Aristotelian Award. It’s a huge honour.

“I was challenged and inspired by the question and I learned so much about human nature in history by being encouraged to do my own research.

“I finished the essay before the recent catastrophic events in Ukraine, but my studies into sieges, depressions, annihilations and empires now seems very timely. I think the past offers us very important clues about the dangerous and heroic tendencies of humanity.”

Perse Head of Research Matt Fox was delighted with the response to the competition and praised the standard of entries.

He said: “The whole marking team has been really impressed with both the effort put into the gathering of information and the overall quality of essays. It was really competitive and there were many entries deserving of prizes that unfortunately just missed out.

“We hope the research skills developed throughout the process will have equipped and spurred the students on for further research in the future.”

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