Monday March 27, 2023

An incredible 72 Concord students took part in the Royal Society of Chemistry’s (RSC) Chemistry Olympiad Competition 2023 this term. Concord's entrants 35 achieved Bronze Awards, 24 Silver Awards and 6 Gold awards. The UK Chemistry Olympiad is an annual competition run by the RSC and is open to all secondary schools and colleges in the British Isles. The competition is designed to be challenging and the questions are aimed at students in their last year of study before university. The RSC says, “Students should see it as an opportunity to develop their thinking and problem-solving skills, and to test their existing knowledge of chemistry in real-world situations.” Although the competition is aimed at 6.2 students, Concord's entrants also included 6.1 chemistry students and indeed seven students from Form 5 who were invited to enter by the College’s Chemistry Department because of their ability in chemistry and enthusiasm for the subject. The F5 students  were very successful, securing three Bronze Awards and three Silver Awards between them. Concord’s chemistry teachers, Dr David Braybrook, Mrs Diane van Dongen, and Dr Roger Fessey coordinated the Chemistry Olympiad Competition at the College.  Dr Braybrook also organises super-curricular Chemistry sessions throughout the academic year, which not only help students prepare for the Chemistry Olympiad Competition but allow them to explore chemistry beyond the curriculum.  With such high levels of student participation in the competition this year, all of the Chemistry Department's teachers helped with marking papers. Concord’s Vice Principal Academic, Mr Tom Lawrence, commented “Once again Concord students have demonstrated that they are not only highly capable students in terms of their Chemistry A level results, but they also show an ability to deal with more complex and unpredictable problems which test their independent thinking skills. This will stand then in good stead in their degree studies in future years'