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Caldicott pupil runner up in Royal Geographical Society Essay competition

09 October 2017


In preparation for their Common Entrance next year, boys in the 6th Form wrote essays on the subject of “My Best Wildlife Experience”.  The essays were of such great quality that they were entered into a competition run by the Royal Geographical Society.  We are excited to announce that Alexander P was chosen as a runner-up with his piece about swimming amongst the coral reef and seeing the wonders of the ocean.

As well as being runner-up, Alexander also had the opportunity to visit the Beyond Steppes Travel Festival at the Royal Geographical Society.  Alexander, along with his parents, had a great time at the event and managed to meet and hear Steve Backshall talk about his latest trip to Antarctica.  A wonderful experience for all.

Alexander’s essay is below to read.


Sweat soaks my body, I can smell the danger. The sun is silently glaring down, while the lively sea is talking to me. The water is pale, almost white: as I wade in ‪the shallows, I can feel the tidal pulse of the water. Waves slap at the seashore, the sand is unhurriedly being submerged. Further up the beach, the tide is further out and the sun-bleached sand is still warm on my toes like a soothing mug of hot chocolate. There is a peppering of towels—from above it must look like the most bizarre of patchworks.

I fight to put my wetsuit on, feeling lethargic from the humidity, but eventually I wrestle it on. The experienced diving instructor straps on my oxygen tank, and nearly falling backwards, we start to walk down the beach together. I splash into the sea. As the water seeps into my wetsuit, I get a cool and refreshing chill on my body. The goggles are on and we start to swim out. All I could see was plain old colourless sand, miserable sandy water. Suddenly, a splash of colour….

Beautiful, elegant, extraordinary. The coral senses us and puts on its best show, just for us. All colours from dark black to luscious green emerald. I start to enter a watery kingdom. A trumped fish swims causally past us like it was listening to its all-time favourite song. A clam fish relaxing on the dazzling seabed with a grandmotherly air, sleeping or waiting stuck like a huge tree. I swim around a corner, words can’t wield what I see. Ruby, sapphire, transparent stones like glass. All kinds of fish swimming in and out, never stopping, just knowing, knowing that they are amazing creatures. A turtle extravagantly flaps its arms slowly as if bidding us “good day”. A beautiful castor coloured fish glides near us, making my hairs on my neck stand up like tiny razor-sharp needles. I feel calm, but aware just in case I miss something. I float near an indigo palace, the home for the clown fish, living in paradise.