Throughout the year, Oundle Science departments take advantage of the competitions and Olympiads that challenge and stretch pupils’ skills and knowledge and offer opportunities for pupils to express their enthusiasm for science. In 2022 pupils earned an impressive clutch of awards across all subjects.

Following success at the earlier Royal Society of Chemistry’s UK Chemistry Olympiad, twenty pupils took part in the Cambridge Chemistry Challenge, a competition run by Cambridge University. In the 90-minute paper, pupils were confronted with a range of questions pushing them well beyond the confines of the chemistry curriculum. For example, they had to count double bond equivalents (DBE) in complex organic molecules such as Brevitoxin-A and work through the seemly straightforward chemistry of aluminium. Pupils achieved an impressive five Gold, nine Silver and six Copper awards. Aidan (G), William (L) and Will (L) came joint top of Oundle’s challengers.

The Physics department has a long tradition of taking part in the challenging British Physics Olympiad annual competitions hosted by the University of Oxford to encourage the study of Physics and recognise excellence in young physicists. Across three competitions banded by age, pupils achieved: in the Junior Physics Challenge 14 Gold, 17 Silver, 13 Bronze; in the Intermediate Physics Challenge 5 Gold, 8 Silver, 11 Bronze; in the Senior Physics Challenge 2 Gold, 2 Silver, 5 Bronze.

In June, over 8,800 pupils from 449 schools took part in this year’s Intermediate Biology Olympiad, organised by the Royal Society of Biology. The competition is open to pupils in the Lower Sixth Form and consists of a one-hour paper on topics including cellular and microbiology and ecology. Problem solving skills and understanding of core principals were also tested. Oundle pupils achieved two Gold awards and one Bronze award, placing them in the top five percent and top fifteen percent of entrants.