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Winner of inaugural Scottish History Network School Essay Prize announced

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The winner of a national competition for the best history essay by a High School pupil has been announced by the Scottish History Network.

The Scottish History Network School Essay Prize was launched earlier this year to promote the study of Scottish history and support the development of academic skills.

Aimed at those studying Higher or Advanced Higher History, the competition challenged students to answer one of five Scottish History questions, which were inspired by the five areas of study covered in the Scottish section of the Higher History exam:

1. To what extent did Robert the Bruce play a significant role in helping Scotland gain independence?

2. “The Reformation had a profound impact on Scotland.” How valid is this opinion?

3. “The Act of Union (1707) was damaging for Scotland”. How valid is this view?

4. “Scottish people contributed a great deal to the Empire between 1830 and 1939”. How valid is this view?

5. How significant was the role of Scottish soldiers during World War One?

The winning entry

The winning essay was written by Conlan McPherson of St Mungo’s High School, Falkirk (pictured here with his teacher John Sherry), who answered the question on Robert the Bruce. The judging panel chose this entry because it was focused and comprehensive and engaged admirably with both primary sources and the work of historians.

Conlan receives a prize package of publication of the essay in History Scotland magazine and on the website; an annual subscription to History Scotland magazine, and an annual Historic Scotland membership.

Runner-up Katie McGhee of Linlithgow Academy received an annual Historic Scotland membership, a book token for Blackwell’s Bookstore and the publication of their entry on the History Scotland website. Commended entry was awarded to Higher History student Stephanie Aitken of Deans Community High School whose essay will also be published on the History Scotland website.

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