On Monday during Assembly I announced the winners of the Headmaster’s Summer Writing Competitions.

The current Year 8 pupils were most prolific with many entries vying for my attention in this story writing category. I spent last Sunday reading through them all and was delighted with the high standard of entries.

The eventual winner for this age category was Alexander Cresto for his wonderful story, ‘A Walk in Nature’. This clever narrative wove a very human story with a dystopian vision that emphasised the ecological disaster we are currently facing. It was a deeply considered piece and incredibly well structured. Its subtlety surprised and delighted in equal measure. Alexander’s assured complexity belied his age.

In second place was Thomas Lambert with the same title, ‘A Walk in Nature’, but his piece was more naturalistic with some profound and beautiful description. In third place was Theo Clayson's ‘A Strange Box’ with a well written and amusing story involving three wishes. His fresh take on old tropes meant an engaging read and a morally uplifting tale. There were highly commended efforts from Isaac Kushlick and Mark Snesar Sanchez. Both received book prizes.

The Year 9 project produced two very different, but highly original, extended pieces of work: a superb and meticulously researched project on Einstein by Hamish Collins and an imaginative take on Leonardo da Vinci by Joseph Tate that looked at the realisation of a perfect city. I could not separate these as a single winner, so both will stand in first place.

Finally, the Year 10 book report elicited few entries, which is a shame. However, the outstanding entry came from Orlando Schieppati with a penetrating and sociological review of George Orwell’s 1984.

The six winners will have a special prize this year on the 25th November when they will enjoy an all expenses paid trip to London to visit to the Tutankhamen Exhibition at the Saatchi Gallery followed by lunch out in an Italian restaurant. Afterwards we will visit the newly opened William Blake Exhibition at Tate Britain. Blake is one of my areas of expertise and I will be able to take these young men on an imaginative journey into the mind of this great poet, prophet and artist.

Finally, my thanks to all the boys who entered and please look out for more holiday competitions soon.