home > admissions > Outreach

St Benet's Hall School Essay Prizes 2018

St Benet’s Hall is pleased to announce the 2018 School Essay Competition.


There will be two essay-prizes for schools, one Senior (for the 15-18 age group)  - further details here  - and one Junior (for the 11-14 age-group) - further details here.   The entry form for here can be found here.


Several Oxford colleges run essay competitions for students in the Lower Sixth, but at St Benet’s our own access work has convinced us that outreach from Oxford University needs to begin with much younger age groups. By the time school students have chosen their GCSE subjects they are already setting their academic journey in one direction rather than another.


The Essay Prize judges have set open-ended, general questions to which there is no ‘right answer’. This is not a task to be completed efficiently, of the sort encouraged by much contemporary preparation for exams, but an opportunity for wide reflection, where the student can choose their own examples from any subject area, personal interest or leisure activity. We realise that the younger the student, the scarier this might be, but we want to encourage the kind of ‘thinking outside the box’ that is required of people who might consider applying to Oxford.


We hope very much that writing the essay will be a challenge that students would actually enjoy over the summer months. The closing date is 9 September 2018.