Phenomenal Standard at Intermediate IRP Finals

Phenomenal Standard at Intermediate IRP Finals

The Intermediate Independent Research Prize (IRP) came to its climax with a splendid virtual evening before a large audience of online spectators. If you missed it, do watch the recording here (skip to 1:53:30).

Over the winter, pupils in the Fourth and Fifth Years were invited to choose any academic topic, to discuss a question with their teachers and to spend the holidays researching in depth to produce an essay or similar submission. Some 40 pupils elected to enter the competition initially and the standard was phenomenal. Comments were canvassed on each entry from subject specialists and collated by a small judging panel. It was often remarked that many of the submissions would not have looked out of place in the Senior (Sixth Form) IRP competition. All full list of entrants and prize winners is attached.

The five finalists had therefore already beaten off tremendous competition to stake their place in Thursday’s final. They all presented with panache and confidence, but much more importantly with obvious passion and deep knowledge beyond what would be expected even for Sixth Formers. Perhaps most impressive was the way in which they handled difficult questions which came in from staff, parents, pupils.

Elle D, Casey M, Spencer T and Sam P all performed magnificently on a dazzling range of subjects, but Violet W’s exceptional research and exegesis of the Promethean figure in Byron, Percy Shelley and Mary Shelley eventually secured for her a thoroughly deserved if narrow victory.

The competition and the evening itself were, once again, one of the most impressive manifestations of Caterham’s academic life and a highlight for those of us privileged enough to watch it.

Mathew Owen

Senior Enrichment Tutor

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