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Tuesday, 14 December 2010
Three Bolton School boys have been successful in the Jowett
Sendelar Classics National essay competition.
Year 10 pupil James Chia was ranked 5th for his essay
on the Greek Gods, Year 8 pupil Mohammed Fazal was ranked
22nd for his essay, also on Greek Gods, and Ben
Tillbrook, also Year 10, was ranked 38th for his essay
on Warfare. These are exceptional results as there were 106 entries
in total from 23 schools including strong Classics schools such as
Bristol Grammar School, The King's School, Ely, Rugby School, St
Albans School and Sevenoaks School. Mohammed's performance was
particularly impressive as he was in Year 7 when he submitted his
essay - one of only four entrants below Year 9 who took part.
Entrants had a choice of four
categories - Warfare, Greek Gods, Rome or Greek Mythology, and had
to submit approximately 1500 - 2500 words on their chosen question.
Judges were looking for the ability to provide coherent analysis
and sustained argument.
The Greek Gods question was the most
popular with 33 entries and both James and Mohammed chose this
topic. They had to discuss which god or goddess they would most
like to have been and why, explaining why their chosen god is
better than the others and using relevant mythological detail to
back up the argument. Judges said the best candidates argued fully
with reference to a range of Greek myths and showed an
understanding of a god's flaws as well as successes. In addition,
they justified why they themselves would like to be a particular
god/goddess and explained why they had rejected other potential
deities. James chose Hermes as his preferred deity and presented
him as an impish and reckless god as well as a talented inventor
and protector for travellers. He argued that, in the guise of
Hermes, his charming appeal would have allowed him to have been a
participant and influential adviser in a great number of key myths
involving celebrated heroes. He also showed an appreciation of the
difficulties which he would face in being the son of an adulterous
Ben chose the Warfare question, giving
his thoughts on why Athens lost the Peloponnesian War against
Sparta, considering tactics, long-term strategy, the Sicilian
Expedition and the role of Persia.
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