Xaverian College success in OxBright Essay Competition

Congratulations to Xaverian College pupil James Carr, who was Highly Commended in the OxBright Essay Competition 2023.

OxBright’s mission is to inspire students to succeed, find their purpose and make a difference in the world. They do this by offering courses, internships, conferences and resources for teenagers, and you can find out more on their website.

The OxBright competition is open to students in the UK and globally, and it involves writing an essay using the same question across lots of different subjects of: “How can long-term thinking in the field of the subject foster optimism about the future?” James, former Parrs Wood High School pupil, who is currently studying A Levels in English Literature, French and Politics, chose Politics and wrote his essay on climate change and what is being done politically around the world, and what action countries are taking to have a positive impact on the environment.

On taking part in the competition, James commented: “Our Teacher made an online group for those of us on the course who intend to go on to study politics at university and the competition was one of the activities posted on the group. I thought at first this would be extremely difficult to approach, because politics is in such a mess at the moment and against the backdrop of what I was writing about, my arguments had to be really persuasive. I started with COP 21 in Paris and then looked at the countries’ progress in fulfilling their promises following this. Despite the different political influences, I found all the major political powers were committed to making changes and I determined that there was reason to feel optimistic for the future.”

The panel of judges were very impressed with James’s essay, nominating it as ‘Highly Commended’ and ranking it within the top 20% of a competitive field of over 1000 entries. James received a Certificate of Achievement and has won a free place at an OxBright academic conference. James commented: “I was shocked at where I placed as I wasn’t expecting it but was really happy to place where I did in a competition that attracts so many international entries. Taking part was great for me as it I had already learned how to structure an essay and to put an effective and persuasive argument across in class and was able to apply this when writing my submission. Being commended by the judges will also be great for my application when I apply to university next year!”

James is planning study International Relations at The University of Edinburgh or London School of Economics and following this is looking to work in International Relations as a Political Consultant to advise companies on the political implications of corporate activities.

Entering an Essay Competition is a great way to prepare for university applications, think deeply about a topic beyond the school curriculum, and widen your academic horizons.

Every year, students at Xaverian are encouraged to extent their learning beyond the classroom to gain valuable real-world experience and essay competitions have proved to be popular by those wanting to progress to university.

As one of the largest providers of post-16 education in the region, Xaverian College offers an extensive range of A Levels in addition to several BTEC courses.