Young Historian Awards 2022 – the winners

Annual history competition for schools

By Trevor James, published 23rd February 2023

This was a very positive year for the Young Historian Awards. The judging panel continue to be delighted by the quality of the work submitted in a variety of formats by young historians. Although entry levels were lower than during the pandemic, the data confirms that, with the exception of those two years, this was the best-ever year in terms of student entries and participating schools.

Our very loyal external sponsor is the Spirit of Normandy Trust, who award prizes related to work carried out on the Second World War and they was rewarded with some excellent entries in 2022: the Primary winner was a study of the campaign in Singapore; the Senior Award was given for an extensive study of both the Battle of the Atlantic and the North Africa and European campaigns; and the Key Stage 3 Award went to a student from Queen Elizabeth Grammar School in Wakefield for a study of his grandfather’s role and experience in the Italian campaign. This latter was especially significant because he had also been the winner in the previous year. An entry from a group of Year 10 students from Wilson’s School in Wallington, which was a study of the involvement of Croydon Airport on which the school now stands, was awarded the prestigious General Martin Prize; and this has been deemed so significant that the Croydon Natural History and Scientific Society will be publishing it in one of their journals next year.

Our other military category is the Great War and the outstanding entry was a an extensive study of the Serbian involvement from a student at Our Lady’s at Abingdon. The best Modern History study came from a student based in Saudi Arabia who showed enormous understanding of the effects of German Nazi policy on women.

The winning entries for Local History were a study of the role of John Ball of Colchester in the Peasants’ Revolt of 1381; a chronological survey of what has happened to Hertford Castle through the ages; and a very thorough local study of the closure of Crigglestone Colliery in 1968; with an entry on the Pendle Witch Trials being very highly commended.

In the Primary age-range the outstanding entry was a study of Roman coins in the Ancient Civilisations category. This was so highly valued that it also attracted an additional book prize from our colleagues at Classics for All.

The Best School History Magazine competition has now been running for many years, sponsored by the Mid-Trent and Mercia Branch of the Historical Association, and this year the winner was St Albans School, strongly followed by the boys of Bolton School. An entry in the latter particularly caught the attention of several of the judges – an item on the island of Nauru and it has been shared with the wider Historical Association membership in the autumn edition of The Historian. School History Magazines epitomise what the Young Historian Awards seek to promote: young people demonstrating that they are emergent and skilful historians, pursuing their own research independently. 

Young Historian Awards 2022 winners

Spirit of Normandy Trust

  • Senior – Harry Woolston (Bexhill Sixth Form College)
  • Key Stage 3 – James Maddison (Queen Elizabeth Grammar School, Wakefield)
  • Primary – Jonathan Hibbs (Darvell School, Robertsbridge)

You can read these three winning entries via the Spirit of Normandy Trust's page

You can also read James Maddison's piece in the Winter 2022/23 edition of The Historian magazine.  

World War One

  • GCSE – Lana Jeremic (Our Lady’s Abingdon)
  • Key Stage 3 – Ethan Martin (The Stephen Perse Foundation)

Modern Studies

  • GCSE – Noor Arif (British International School, Riyadh)

Local History

  • Post-16 – Jude Battersby (Colchester Royal Grammar School)
  • GCSE – Natasha Moore (Hertford)
  • Key Stage 3 – Christopher Barnett (Queen Elizabeth Grammar School, Wakefield)

Primary Ancient Civilisation

  • Muduo Wang (Cothill House School, Oxfordshire)

Best School History Magazine

  • St Albans School 

Young Historian Awards 2023 take part