The Lexden Prize, named in honour of our Honorary President, Lord Lexden, celebrates the most remarkable sixth form students at ISA members’ schools. Their achievements can be in any aspect of school or community life, and do not have to be academic. All ISA Members’ schools are invited to nominate one student for the prize. Nominations must be made by a member of school staff, and include a short nomination statement, and a personal statement by the nominee. There is also space to include a file or link to a piece of supporting evidence of the students’ achievements.
Here at Claires Court, we have 150 Sixth Formers, and it’s obviously invidious for the grown-ups to reach in and anoint our choice without reference to the individuals themselves, With many with great academic strengths, others with extraordinary sporting prowess, Henley champions, Rugby England Sough West squad selections, still more with great generosity in their volunteering or shining as in a new found country as refugees from war.
Across the school, this year’s theme has been ‘Be the best you can be’. The tag line has caused a few wobbles internally, such as one young soul sighing remoresffully ‘I don’t know what my best looks like yet’. Group activities, whether in the classroom, on the playing fields, in the CCF all help stretch the individual beyond their knowledge, but over the last 12 months, 2 incredible students stepped for war to meet the challenge posed by Harvard and MIT universities to join a cohort of young leaders across the planet to ‘Take the World Forward’.
The ‘Take the World Forward’ Fellowship is the vision of Harvard combined with the spark of MIT, a project committed to building the next generation of problem solvers. The Fellows invited to participate were hand picked bright minds, selected following a rigorous process of application and interview. Ciara and Reni, Year 12 students at the time, applied and were chosen to join this exciting programme. Their task – to identify, brainstorm and solve some of the biggest challenges of today and tomorrow with the guidance of illustrious IVY league mentors.
Ciara’s project focused on the experience of reoffenders trapped in the US penal system while Reni researched and recommended increasing girls’ access to education in Africa. Both our students met with their peers from all over the world in online meets to discuss and shape solutions to these issues and are still in contact with them now.The TWF project required funding, and our own PTA Foundation were generously able to meet those costs to permit the students to engaged. Both are to present their findings at the PTA am on 3 March.
Reni and Ciara remain part of the Harvard and MIT international network and are regularly invited to attend seminars and courses on current global issues. Both have developed more sophisticated research skills and having interviewed subjects better understand both the interviewer and interviewee roles. Ciara commented that her project prompted her to choose to apply to study criminology at undergraduate level and include some of her project findings in her personal statement. Both students agree, the opportunity has helped shape their futures and equipped them with invaluable transferable skills.
Over the past 5 years, we’ve been fortunate enough to be able to nominate 3 amazing students to join the Lexden Roll of honour. In 2021, Owen Mashingaidze’s nomination was successful, in 2020 Georgia Carmichael’s and in 2019 Todd Muil’s. All 3 had great strengths but in very many different ways. I feel absolutely certain that in 2023 we will find ourselves in a similar position, but … it is of course the individual student’s choice to create their submission. At this stage, whilst we gather the range of applicant’s the students submit their application to the Principal’s and Headteacher’s by their email to Mrs Hall in the Sixth Form office. KYH@clairescourt.net.
Let the applications commence…