5th February 2020 — A 13-year-old Monmouth student has combined her passion for art and photography to triumph in a national competition. Zoe Cripwell, a pupil at Monmouth School for Girls, has topped the Year 7-9 section in The Geographical Association’s (GA) Physical Geography Photographic competition. Her outstanding photograph of the River Feshie in the Cairngorms National Park has also been chosen to appear on the front cover of the spring issue of GA Magazine.
Fellow Monmouth School for Girls’ pupil, 12-year-old Helen Neacsu, also shone and was awarded third place in the same category for her striking image of Ghajn Tuffieha and Gnejna Bays in Malta. The competition required pupils to take a photograph of physical geography and to submit a brief description supporting the image, describing the location and physical processes taking place.
Zoe said: “I like taking photographs but I didn’t have any expectations after putting in my entry because I knew it involved students from all over the country. I took the photograph when I was on holiday in Scotland and it’s really cool that it will be on the front cover of the magazine.”
Commenting on Zoe’s entry, the judges said: “Looking at the photograph you can almost hear the roar of the water. The principles of the processes are explained concisely and the wonder is evident, making this a well-deserved first-place winner.”
Helen said: “I am really happy because I entered last year and I didn’t get placed. It’s a lovely surprise.”
On Helen’s entry, the judges said: “There is clear engagement with something spectacular and the final twist embraces physical geography as a friend rather than a foe – there is something wonderful in that. This is a very meritable third-place winner.”
A delighted Head of Geography at Monmouth School for Girls, Mr Nick Meek, said: "This is excellent news to start the year. It is a wonderful achievement to have two of our Year 8 pupils being recognised in a national competition."
Zoe will receive an Alize windproof jacket and a Longman Student atlas as her prizes, while Helen has won a Paramo beanie hat. Both girls will also be invited to the GA Conference taking place at the University of Surrey in April.