St Albans student shortlisted in World Class Schools Essay Competition

PUBLISHED: 21:00 25 November 2017

Edie Kenningham Smith outside STAGS. Picture: Picasa

Edie Kenningham Smith outside STAGS. Picture: Picasa


A study of democracy has landed a St Albans schoolgirl a place in a national shortlist for the UK’s top ten student essay writers.

Year 9 pupil Edie Kenningham Smith, who attends St Albans Girls’ School (STAGS), is on the World Class Schools Essay Competition 2017 shortlist for her 1,500 word piece.

The question answered by the paper was “Churchill said, ‘Democracy is the worst form of government, except for others.’ How would you improve the democratic system in this country?”

Edie said: “I did not think my essay would be good enough, the news made me feel so happy and so accomplished.

“It helps coming from a political family who encourage me to form my own political views and I enjoy writing essays.”

If she wins, Edie will receive an Essay Award trophy.

STAGS’ associate curriculum leader for English, Melissa Hall, submitted three entries from her class: “I thought Edie’s essay displayed great passion and a wide range of political and world knowledge, which was both impressive and mature.

“It was clear that she genuinely cared about the issues which were raised in her well-developed and articulate essay.”

She also praised the other Year 9 entries by Molly Johnston and Abby Cowan.

The judges at Sir Jonathan North Community College said they were hugely impressed with all the entries: “They were an absolute pleasure to read and choosing between them was challenging.“We certainly feel that all of the students who participated should be proud of what they have written; if they are producing thoughtful, erudite and well-argued essays of this quality now, they are young people to look out for in the future.”

Edie and the other finalists will find out the winner at Churchill College Cambridge University in December.

The winners of the 2016 contest were Sasha Brealey from London’s Alexandra Park School, Sebastian Clarke-Leeser from North Finchley’s Wren Academy, and

Clare Hole from Suffolk’s Bury St Edmunds County Upper School.

Organisers of the competition, World Class Schools, award state schools who represent excellence beyond Ofsted’s Outstanding grade. Accredited schools must reaffirm the mark every two years.

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