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Department of Psychology

Over 100 entries were received for this year’s AS Level Essay Competition, sent from schools across the country. This year we asked students to answer one of two questions, “Are gender differences fact or fiction? Discuss with respect to at least two distinct measures or traits.” or “What is meant by the term 'good-enough' parenting, and how might this construct be useful from EITHER a theoretical OR a practical perspective?”. We’d like to thank all the students who took part in the competition, whose standard of work was very impressive.

As in previous years, judging was a very interesting experience. The large majority of submitted essays were for the topic of gender differences: fact or fiction, and so we decided to devote a main prize for this, to be split between two very strong candidates who argued strongly for opposite positions. Clarissa Wigoder from Westminster School, submitted an impressively polished and informed essay in favour of the 'fact' camp and Rachel Zarrouk from Bolton School Girl's Division submitted an equally impressive and passionate essay in favour of the 'fiction' camp. We would like to invite these two talented young women up to Cambridge in September to receive their prize of £300 each and have lunch with us and perhaps continue the debate! We would also like to award a prize to Alexander McCune from Felsted School for a lively and engaging essay on 'good enough parenting'. Although a little raw in places, Alexander's essay showed considerable flair and panache and so we would like to award him with a prize of £100.

Once again, congratulations to all of you who took part – we hope it was a valuable experience for you.

With kind regards

Professor Claire Hughes