Alex’s Phenomenal Achievement

Published 2 May 2024

St Bart’s are exceptionally proud of Alex (13E3) who took part in the UK Chemistry Olympiad and achieved the highest score in the country for a non-grammar/non-private school student. He is also in the top 35 in the country!

In all, there were 15 students who took part in the Round 1 competition with 10 achieving certificates:

Gold – Alex Scourfield (Y13), Jonathan Kelly (Y13), William Bloodworth (Y13)

Silver – Ed Hearn (Y13), Eli Green (Y13), Mohammad Jaffer Andagi (Y13), Oli Butler (Y13)

Bronze – Sam Dennis (Y12), Samuel White (Y12), Vaibavi Lakshmi Narayanan (Y12)

Alex’s high score meant he progressed to Round 2. Alex said, “In January, several Year 13s took part in round one of the UK Chemistry Olympiad. I was really pleased to achieve a Gold certificate and even more excited to be invited, along with around 30 other students from around the country, to spend four days at the University of Nottingham over the Easter holidays to participate in Round 2 of the Chemistry Olympiad.

We arrived on Thursday afternoon, and were given our certificates for our achievement in round one, and had an introductory lecture from a Nottingham University lecturer. Following this, we had dinner with members of the working group who organise the Olympiad, and participated in an ice breaker activity. On Friday, we observed demonstrations of practical techniques in the university laboratories, and after lunch we carried out the 4-hour practical assessment, which made use of the techniques we had earnt in the morning. On Saturday, we were given lectures by members of the working group on content that went beyond the A Level specification, such as molecular orbitals and completed a 4-hour theory paper.

As a reward for the hard work over the previous days, we were then taken out for dinner in a restaurant in Nottingham. Overall, the event was a great experience and an opportunity to learn more about chemistry beyond A Level alongside students from a variety of different schools and backgrounds to my own.”

“Nearly 15,000 students took part in the Round 1 competition this year and it is very competitive to get through to Round 2 so this represents a phenomenal achievement by Alex,” said Dr Alonzi, Head of Science at St Bart’s.

Huge credit should also be given to Mr Swift who runs the problem solving class with students, helping them work through Olympiad papers. We have seen an increase in student participation over recent years, which is amazing and testament to his commitment.