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Congratulations to Top Form Louis and Year 7 pupil Harry, pictured above with Mr Cook, Beechwood Head of History, who have made it through the gruelling first stage of the fiendishly difficult competition to reach the finals of the Townsend Warner History Prize 2022.

This national competition was started 136 years ago and is one of the oldest institutions in the preparatory school world. It has proved enduringly popular in encouraging the study of history. It is not linked to any national testing or examinations, but aims to provoke interest and delight in historical reading, facts and analysis. It regularly produces winners of remarkable calibre, writing history of much flair and knowledge. Around 1,000 candidates participate each year from schools all over the UK and from a few schools from abroad.

The Prize consists of two papers, the first to be completed in January near the start the Easter Term, the second in late February just after half-term.

Paper 1 has 100 questions demanding one-word, or one-sentence, answers from world history, but with a strong emphasis on British history. Many are straightforward, some a little more obscure. Two hundred and fifty candidates qualify from Paper 1 to sit Paper 2. This is in the form of essay questions, but allows candidates a very wide choice so that they can write on what they know, but also show analytical skill and historical imagination.

Well done Louis and Harry!