QE’s best-ever performance in prestigious Biology competition

Two Sixth-Formers have qualified for the final of the British Biology Olympiad – the first time ever that more than one QE boy has scored highly enough to reach this stage of the competition.

However, only Andrew Hui will actually participate in the BBO final at Warwick because fellow Year 13 pupil Robert Swan has also qualified for the final of the British Physics Olympiad, which is taking place on the same date.

Andrew, Robert, Kieran Chan and Khilan Shah all received gold awards for their first-round performance and were invited to take part in the second round, placing them in the top 129 students, or 2.1% of the field, nationally.

Head of Biology Gillian Ridge said: “This was a very strong performance by these four boys and I wish Andrew every success in the final. Robert’s double achievement is quite remarkable – and I know he is hoping to complete a ‘grand slam’ by reaching a third final when he takes part in the Chemistry Olympiad.”

Robert and Andrew’s scores in the second round’s even more demanding paper put them into the top 20 élite who were then invited to participate in the final at Warwick. A team of four will be selected to form the UK team for the International Biology Olympiad in Denmark.

""At Warwick, Andrew and the other finalists will spend one day in an undergraduate laboratory being trained in techniques beyond those required for A-level. On the second day, his practical skills will be tested by members of the School of Life Sciences.

The annual competition is organised by the Society of Biology whose Chair, Dr Andrew Treharne, said: “I very much look forward to meeting the 20 finalists; well done to these students. The Society of Biology and the UKBC volunteers who run the competitions were very impressed with the high standard of the entries this year."

Altogether 24 boys from QE entered the competition, which this year attracted a record entry nationwide, with nearly 6,200 students from around 300 schools taking part. Of the QE cohort, 21 boys achieved gold, silver or bronze – awards given to the top third of participants. The other three were either Highly Commended or Commended.

“All the boys who took part are to be congratulated,” said Dr Ridge. “Their achievements reflect the very high standard at which our boys study.”