Saturday, February 18, 2012

Golden Sponge-Stick Winners '11

Jeremy "Jerry" Pine has just sent me this notice, announcing the winners of the Burgess Hill School for Girls Golden Sponge Stick Competition for 2011! I would like to offer my congratulations to the winners and indeed to everyone who entered, a wonderful accomplishment in its own right! I will be posting excerpts over the next few days. Watch this space or subscribe to this blog!

The Prestigious Prize!
‘Natural Evolution’

 The competition attracted a record 357 entries this year, including 11 international stories (10 from USA, 1 from Australia).


 Again a pleasingly eclectic mix of schools and colleges participated. The general standard of entries was high, with some superb winning pieces. The backdrop of amorous slaves and feisty gladiators is always popular but in the fourth year of the contest the inspirational imagination of the writers has never been more effervescent. 


The destructive  force of nature was one of the major highlights with macabre tales of poisonous yew and humorous portions of stolen figs. Mushrooms were the next deadly delicacy to flourish as meticulous historical scholarship underpinned ‘At the setting of the sun’, based on Tacitus’ account of Agrippina’s plot. 


The prophetic power of portent was skilfully observed in ‘Omen of the Crows’, appositely summarised in Juvenal’s satirical observation ‘dat veniam corvis, vexat censura columbas’ (‘Censure acquits the crow, condemns the dove.’) 


One of the finest technical entries reviewed Pliny’s letters regarding Vesuvius in a highly articulate and original way.

Overall, there was an avalanche of creative energy from the 11-13 age group in particular. It would be gratifying to receive some responses from students under the age of 9 in 2012, as interest from  this quarter has not been sustained this year.


 The winners and placings are posted below. In recognition of the robust support of schools and colleges this year, three have been awarded prizes for a particularly outstanding contribution. Many others were distinguished and supportive, including the following : Berkhamsted, Cheadle Hulme, Emanuel, Ellesmere College,James Allen’s Girls, Oakham , Sancton Wood  and the exotically named Mountain High View from USA.


 Many thanks to all schools/colleges and students who participated in the competition. Let us hope that the contest continues to evolve in 2012, illustrating the positive dynamics of nature!



PRIZE WINNERS for 2011: 

 Over age 14 category: 

1. Rosie Hodsdon, The Abbey School, Reading
2. Claire Worthington, Blackburn College.
3. Adam Cunnane, Cheadle Hulme School.

11-13 age category:

1. Diana Luc, James Allen’s Girls’ School, Dulwich
2. Anna Hindmarsh, Stamford High School
3. Isabella Morris, James Allen’s Girls’ School, Dulwich. 

9-11 age category: 

1. Arabella Vickers, Godolphin and Latymer School, Hammersmith. 
2. Kathryn Warburton, Berkhamsted School.
3. Nirali Patel, North London Collegiate School

USA winner: 

Marina Macklin, Highland School, Warrenton, VA 20186, USA. 


Outstanding contributions for schools/colleges: 
Chislehurst and Sidcup Grammar School.
Harrow School.
Merchant Taylor’s Boys’ School, Crosby.

Full list of participating schools and colleges.

(Note that some of the entries were home educated or did not indicate their school/college).
The Abbey School, Reading,  Berkhamsted School, Blackburn College, Cambridge International School, Abington, Cheadle Hulme School, Chislehurst and Sidcup Grammar School, Ellesmere College, Emanuel School, Battersea, Farlington School, Godolphin and Latymer School, Hammersmith, Harrow School, Highland School, Warrenton, USA, James Allen’s Girls’  School, Dulwich, Merchant Taylor’s Boys’ School, Crosby, Merchant Taylor’s Girls’ School, Crosby, Mountain View High School, USA, Nonsuch High School for Girls, North London Collegiate School, Oakham School, Old Palace School, Croydon, Redland High School for Girls, Red Maids’ School, Bristol, Sancton Wood School, Cambridge, Sir Joseph Williamson Mathematics School, St Gabriel’s School, Newbury, St James’ Senior Girls’ School, London, St Pauls’s Girls’ School, London, Stamford High School, The Maynard School, Exeter, The Read School, Selby, Warwick School and Wycombe Abbey School.

Special thanks : 

the artefact that started it all
As ever, my family, Burgess Hill School for Girls for its continued support with the project, particularly all the entertaining Burgess Hill School girls, my Classics supremo, Barbara Johns, Lorna Coward, Yudi Lowe and Judith Edey. Also for helping with publicity; the Association for Latin Teaching,  Cambridge School Classics Project, Classical Association (for sponsoring all the prizes), Classics Outreach, University of Oxford, Claire Davenport, Daisy Dunn (JACT), Friends of Classics, iris project, Graham Kirby, Lorna Robinson, Dr Cressida Ryan and David Swift.  A big thank you to Caroline Lawrence, who inspired the competition and Adrian Wink from armamentaria, who manufactured the Golden Sponge Sticks!

 Jerry Pine

Burgess Hill School for Girls 
17.02.2012

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