Exceptional Contributions

Welcome to The GSAL Journal’s very own Hall of Fame


GSAL Black History Month Essay Competition 2022

WINNER: Thehara (Year 12) – Frederick McKinley Jones: successful inventor and entrepreneur

HIGHLY COMMENDED: Anushree (Year 12) – Dr. Jane Wright: Cancer Pioneer

HIGHLY COMMENDED: Heather (Year 12) – Dr Jane C Wright: The Pioneer of Cancer research


GSAL Refugee Week Competition 2022

WINNERS: The winning entries were Dorothy (Year 7), Angus (Year 8 – art), Harry (Year 8 – poem) and Amelie (Year 12).

GSAL International Women’s Day Essay Competition 2022

YEAR GROUP WINNERS: Eloise (Year 7) – Coco Chanel; Hattie (Year 8) – Harriet Tubman; Sarika (Year 9) – Florence Nightingale.

HIGHLY COMMENDED: Dorothy (Year 7) – Frida Kahlo; Samran (Year 7) – Marie Curie; Diva (Year 8) – Rosa Parks; Zachary (Year 8) – Nefertiti; Theo (Year 9) – Mala Yousafzai.


Ayushman (Year 13) – EXTERNAL PUBLICATION: An examination of feasible rocket propulsion systems for a future single stage rocket. Although this excellent contribution has not been published in The GSAL Journal, for copyright reasons, Ayushman has been a regular contributor to The GSAL Journal and his efforts fully deserve to be recognized here. This fascinating piece on rocket propulsion systems was submitted to the Young Scientists Journal, an international peer-review science journal written, reviewed and produced by school students aged 12 to 20. Following a rigorous peer-review process, Ayushman’s work was finally published online.

James (Year 13) – WINNER: To what extent is the ‘Harrying of the North’ responsible for the contemporary economic disparity between the North and South? James submitted this fascinating essay on William the Conqueror‘s Harrying of the North to the Peterhouse College, Cambridge, annual Vellacott History Prize essay competition. James’s essay was a competition winner: as the judges noted, “[t]he standard of entries was high, but the judges felt that your essay stood out for its clarity of argument, stylish prose, level of research, and originality of thought.

Mei (Year 13) – HIGHLY COMMENDED: Did continual military expansion lead to the decay of the Carolingian Empire? Mei, founder and former Chief Editor of the school’s Humanities Journal, researched and composed this remarkable extended essay on the Carolingian Empire in response to the Robson History Prize essay competition organised by Trinity College, Cambridge. The judges were extremely impressed with Mei’s submission, identifying it as ‘Highly Commended’: “Thank you very much for entering Trinity College’s 2020 Robert Robson Prize for essays in History. In a bumper lockdown year we received over 300 entries for the Prize, but your essay in particular stood out far above the rest of the field, and was Very Highly Commended by the examiners. Many congratulations! You deserve high praise for writing such an outstandingly intelligent and interesting piece of work.


Flaka (Year 13) – SCHOOL WINNER: Could the neutrino be the most interesting particle in physics? Flaka successfully entered this essay into the She Talks Science blog competition run by Murray Edward’s College, Cambridge. She was recognised as a School Winner and her essay was published on the MEC website.

Imogen (Year 12) – SHORTLISTED: Does the public expect too much of UK politicians? This insightful essay was shortlisted for the Political Studies Association Student Blog Competition 2020. Students from across the UK were invited to write 500-600 words on ‘Does the public expect too much of UK Politicians?’ Students were required to demonstrate excellent writing skills: presenting a well reasoned argument, individuality and where appropriate backing up their arguments with relevant data and research.

Imogen (Year 12) – SHORTLISTED: How has warfare changed since WWII? Imogen entered this excellent essay into the New College of Humanities (NCH) annual essay competition. Imogen’s essay was shortlisted from over 5,000 student entries; although she did not ultimately win a prize, this is a remarkable achievement given the strength of the competition.


Elle (Year 12) – HIGHLY COMMENDED: Can history teach us lessons? Elle entered the New College of Humanities (NCH) essay competition. Her excellent essay exploring the contemporary relevance and role of historical study was Highly Commended in the History group; it was one of only four to win a category prize from a shortlist of ten. As the NCH note, “[o]ur selection of essay titles engages across a broad range of humanities and social sciences topics and we look forward to receiving entries from talented and intellectually curious students who show passion and academic potential in the humanities and social sciences.”

Harriet (Year 13) – RUNNER UP: C’est Fantastique! French Translation Success. Harriet was runner-up in an A-Level French translation competition organised by the Department of Modern Languages at the University of Kent. She translated a short passage on the theme of immigration written by contemporary author Patrick Chamoiseau from Martinique.

Zara (Year 12) – WINNER: Should we bring wolves back to Britain – what is the scientific case for re-wilding? Zara was one of the winners of Peterhouse’s Kelvin Science Prize in 2019. The standard of entries was really high but the judges felt that her essay stood out for its clarity of argument, stylish prose, level of research and originality of thought. This commendation puts her in the top 10 out of over 200 entries.