A Carrickfergus Grammar School languages pupil has landed a bursary to help further pursue his studies at university.
Jordan McCullough, the school’s head boy for the year 2013-14, received first prize in the Santander Schools Essay Competition for Spanish and second prize for French.
As a result, he has been invited to attend the Queen’s University Belfast School of Modern Languages’ prize-giving ceremony, which will be held on Tuesday.
Jordan will receive a scholarship of £1500 for QUB and Carrickfergus Grammar School’s Modern Languages department will receive £500 for the purchase of materials to support the teaching of languages.
Carrickfergus Grammar’s Spanish department is particularly happy as this is the second consecutive year that a pupil has won this prestigious award, which sees prospective pupils of the university compete for the prize.
“This year, I studied three subjects for A2: History, French and Spanish,” explained Jordan.
He continued: “However, my keen interest in Modern Languages encouraged me to enter the Santander Schools Essay Competition as it provided an excellent opportunity to broaden and deepen my knowledge and understanding of the respective countries, in an area that wouldn’t usually be part of the A Level syllabus.”
Jordan’s Spanish entry examined the issues surrounding Spain’s ‘brain drain’ and its impact on society, politics and economics.
The French piece was an analysis of France’s political and social situation regarding “institutionalised racism”. This essay, the school stated, was especially relevant given the recent municipal elections in France which showed a large increase in the share of the ‘Front National’ vote under the leadership of Marine Le Pen.
“Both articles were hugely enjoyable to write as they required a great deal of personal research and analysis and each article deepened my appreciation of the pertinent issues affecting contemporary Spain and France”, added Jordan.
Next year he hopes to study a degree in French and Spanish at Queen’s University.
His language teachers are particularly delighted by his achievement and they view him as “an outstanding pupil who has shown great talent and enthusiasm for Spanish and French throughout his studies in the subject”.
They also hope that “he will follow in the steps of past pupils Claire Miskelly, who has just been announced as the top first year student in Hispanic Studies at Queen’s, and Paulin Obasi, who walked off with the university’s top first year prize in French”.
A statement, from Carrickfergus Grammar School concluded: “The school as a whole congratulates Jordan on his impressive achievement and wishes him every success in his future studies.”