This morning at Assembly prizes were awarded to students who have demonstrated exceptional levels of independent and scholarly study.

After delivering the annual St Catherine’s Day Lecture in 2013, the philosopher AC Grayling inaugurated a philosophy prize in his name. All Upper 5 students are invited to submit an essay of up to 2000 words on any one of a variety of questions set by the Religion and Philosophy Department.

The Sixth Form prize, named after the patron saint of the Haberdashers’ Company, invites students to undertake an academic investigation of their choice. Students, in conjunction with their teachers, set their own titles and there is no requirement for their study to be linked to a particular area of their A Level specifications; we encourage curiosity and a love for their subject.

This year 49 students submitted an entry, of which 18 were shortlisted. After much discussion by a panel of senior staff two winners and a highly commended entry were selected.

The AC Grayling Philosophy Prize

Winner: Caitlin Fuge
Can any human be said to be intrinsically evil?

Runner up: Ashleigh Lin
Are we all morally obliged to become vegetarians?

St Catherine’s Prize for Scholarship

Winner: Kacey Keary
Nationalism to the death? An Assessment of the Economic Successes and failures of Fianna Fail Post-Revolution Policy in Ireland, 1932-1938

Winner: Fleur Sawday
What role does the immune system play in the development of depressive disorders and how can we use these findings to develop new treatments for depression?

Highly Commended: Esther Midgen
To what extent did the Pre-Raphaelites challenge Victorian standards of beauty?