Year 10 Class 1: Competition results

We’re delighted to announce the winners of this year’s first Pre-GCSE Inspire competitions! In Class 1, Volcanoes in the sciences, we continued with the theme of volcanoes which we began during the Virtual Summer School. We considered volcanoes in context of Earth Sciences, Biology and Geography, focussing on the effects of volcanoes on their surroundings, from plants and animals to human society. Year 10 pupils on the course produced some really excellent work in response to this class’s competitions; you can see the top entries below!

Congratulations to the winners of Class 1 competitions:

  • Dipti, Ealing
  • Joy, Ealing
  • Raya, Ealing
  • Jenisha, Ealing
  • Maryam, Ealing

Each of you have won an Amazon voucher. This will be sent to the email address you provided in your competition cover sheet; please get in touch with us at if you haven’t received yours by the end of the week.

Competition 1: Primary succession

Draw a picture or build a model of a volcano which shows the primary succession process after an eruption. Use the resources featured in the Evolution, ecology and volcanoes article to help you develop your model. You should include a 100-word explanation of your model with your competition entry.

First place: Dipti, Ealing

Competition entry from Dipti
Dipti, first place (click to enlarge)

My model describes the process of how new land is formed after a volcanic eruption. To begin with, it leaves behind bare rocks, where nothing grows. Slowly, the land gets colonised by pioneer species such as moss and the decomposition of these creates a thin layer of topsoil. Grasses then grow and displace the pioneer species. The thickness of the soil layer increases which produces more nutrients for shrub growth. The increase of soil depth also allows for the growth of trees. With this a whole new landscape is formed.

Joint second place: Joy, Ealing

Joint second place: Raya, Ealing

Raya, joint second place

For this competition I digitally illustrated the stages of primary succession after the eruption of a volcano. I then put those drawings into video format and briefly explained each stage. Finally I added some background music to make the video more enjoyable.

Competition 2: Living with a volcano

Write a short essay answering the following question: How does living near a volcano impact on people’s lives? To help you form your answer to this question, you should read What is the power of a volcano? and watch some of the videos linked from the article. You may also want to consider some of the other things you have learned about volcanoes and natural disasters during the Virtual Summer School. Your answer should not be longer than 300 words.

First place: Jenisha, Ealing

How does living near a volcano impact on people’s lives?

Living near an active volcano may seem like the craziest decision someone could make. The constant fear and awe keeps them on their toes and the religious often pray to their gods for relief and sanctuary.

The thrill of being so close to immediate death even attracts plenty of tourists who are just as astounded as residents by the magnificent awe that the volcano exudes.

However, the pure beauty of the volcano isn’t the only thing that it boasts. In fact, there are many benefits that living near this natural phenomenon can bring.

First of all, the land around a volcano is richer than almost anywhere else in the world and modern agrarian towns and villages live there for the sole purpose of cultivating land. The fresh land is filled with elements and nutrients from the crust and below meaning healthier plants which is a source of money and food. The saying that death brings life couldn’t be truer than after the eruption of a volcano.

Along with better farming opportunities, volcanoes also bring their own source of renewable energy. Geothermal energy uses heat from the Earth to generate electricity; it can heat water for example and heat entire buildings. Of course, there are downsides to it such as it being location-specific and expensive however it is a good way of using what the Earth has to offer sustainably.

As aforementioned, volcanic regions can enthral and lure tourists. Like with many other places around the world, tourists mean money and profit for those living there locally and it is no different for those living near volcanoes.

Overall, despite the trepidation of living near a volcano, the advantages are too big to pass up such a deal.

Second place: Maryam, Ealing


Remember: the deadline for Class 2’s competitions is 5pm Wednesday, 4 November. For now, we hope you have a relaxing and healthy Half Term, and we’re looking forward to seeing some more fantastic work in a few weeks’ time!