Essay competition to celebrate Thomas Wolsey is launched by Ipswich School

Posted on 13th Oct 2023 in School News, Competition

An exciting opportunity to win a share of prize money totalling £550 has been launched by Ipswich School as part of Ipswich’s celebrations of the birth of Thomas Wolsey 550 years ago.

The essay competition is open to pupils in Years 7 to 13 at any high school in Suffolk and North Essex, and asks entrants 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.”

The deadline for entries is Monday 8 January 2024, with a prize giving to be held on Sunday 2 March 2024. The winner of the Sixth Form competition will receive £100, with the winner of the Year 7 to 11 competition receiving £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: