This academic year has seen notable successes in all three age groups of the prestigious British Physics Olympiad. This national competition, organised by the University of Oxford, provides physics enthusiasts with an exciting opportunity to stretch their lateral thinking skills and apply fundamental physical principles to novel situations. We are delighted to report that at least one Gold Award, the competition’s highest accolade, has been secured in each category.

In the months leading up to the competition participants had been attending weekly after school training sessions, in which students worked through a series of past paper questions and developed techniques to answer, with good physics’ explanations, demanding questions. These sessions have borne fruit with great success, particularly in the AS (Year 12) and GCSE (Year 11) Challenges, including a plethora of Silver and Bronze Awards.

Fifty one students attempted the GCSE Challenge with four students securing Gold Awards, plus 11 Silver, 13 Bronze 1, 12 Bronze 2 and 12 Commendation Awards.

Two Gold Awards were achieved in the AS Competition, leaving 9 Silver, 3 Bronze 1, 3 Bronze 2 and 6 Commendation Awards.

Last November witnessed ten students sitting the very exacting 3 hour paper in Round 1 of the A2 (Year 13) Challenge. One student achieved a Gold Award plus a book prize, with 2 Bronze 1, 1 Bronze 2 and 6 Commendation Awards.

Overall a formidable achievement by our able physics’ students whose understanding of physics has been greatly enhanced by them entering this competitive national competition. Our hearty congratulations go to all of them! Well done indeed!

Mr Caulkin MBE, British Physics Olympiad coordinator

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