Pupils in local high schools encouraged to enter competition to celebrate all things Cardinal Wolsey.

Ipswich School launches essay competition as part of its support for the Thomas Wolsey 550 Project.

Pupils studying at any Suffolk or North Essex school are being invited to try and win a share of £550 in a competition launched by Ipswich School as part of celebrations to celebrate the birth of Thomas Wolsey 550 years ago. 

 The essay competition is open to pupils in Years 7 to 13.  Entrants are invited to write an essay inspired by Thomas Wolsey and his passion for education. 

 Ipswich School Headmaster Nicholas Weaver said: “Thomas Wolsey’s belief in the power of education can be found in his writing, and also in the actions he took in Ipswich, where he wanted to found a school to rival Eton College.” 

 He added: “We are challenging young people to consider the lessons we can learn from his rise to power, and also how the education he received enabled his advancement in society.” 

 There are two essay titles which have been set by Ipswich School. Students in Years 12 and 13 should write no more than 750 words to answer “How can academic study be better used as a gateway to social mobility and the levelling up of opportunity?”   

 Students in Years 7 to 11 should write 400 to 500 words on the title “Learning is an amusement and not a toil when…” This is inspired by a quote from Wolsey, who wrote: “Pleasure should mingle with study so that the child may think learning an amusement, rather than a toil.” 

 Hannah Houghton, Education Co-ordinator with the Thomas Wolsey 550 Project said: “Already over three thousand pupils have had the opportunity to learn more about Wolsey and his legacy. We are just launching the 2024 Wolsey 550 programme for both primary and secondary schools, so it’s lovely to see Ipswich School running a competition that mirrors the objectives of our new offering. I can’t wait to read the winning entries.”   

The deadline for entries is Monday 8th  January 2024, with a prize giving to be held on Sunday 2nd March 2024. The winner of the sixth form competition will receive £100, with the winner of the Year 7 to 11 competition  £70, with a further three prizes given in each age category. £100 will be given to the school library of each of the main prize winners. 

 A full list of prizes, competition rules and how to enter is available on the Ipswich School website: www.ipswich.school/wolsey550essay

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