Budding Haberdashers' Monmouth Chemistry student scoops national gold award

Robin, a pupil at Haberdashers’ Monmouth Schools, achieved a gold award in UK Chemistry Olympiad. He was among only 635 students, from a total entry of 7,160 nationwide. Three fellow pupils achieved silver and three received bronze awards.

Photo: Haberdashers' Monmouth Schools
Robin Skailes with his gold award certificate.
Robin Skailes with his gold award certificate.

28th April 2021 — A student at Haberdashers’ Monmouth Schools is celebrating after striking gold in the prestigious UK Chemistry Olympiad.

Robin Skailes was among only 635 students, from a total entry of 7,160 nationwide, to scoop a gold award in the competition organised by the Royal Society of Chemistry.

Robin is studying A levels in Physics, Chemistry and Computing and has been offered a place to read Computer Science at Gonville & Caius College, University of Cambridge.

Xiaoli Biggs, Anais Deere and Ben Robinson also shone and were among 1,663 across the UK to achieve a silver award.

There was also success for fellow Haberdashers’ Monmouth students Ally Lam, Mari Paulson and Carys Williams who all received a bronze award.

Under the guidance of Miss Diana Crichton, Head of Chemistry at Monmouth School for Girls, the students in Monmouth Schools Sixth Form impressed.

Designed to challenge and inspire, the UK Chemistry Olympiad is the leading chemistry competition for students in secondary education across the UK.

It helps budding chemists to develop critical problem-solving skills, learn to think more creatively and gives them a chance to test their knowledge in new, real-world situations.

The competition is an annual opportunity for students to push themselves further and excel in the chemistry field.

Miss Crichton said: "The UK Chemistry Olympiad is tough, two-hour test that goes well beyond A level.

"The students sat the test through Microsoft Teams with cameras on and me watching the whole time.

"The test was taken on a Friday evening after a full day of lessons which showed our students’ dedication, and I am very proud of them.

"Although it is unusual for Year 12 students to take part, four of our pupils wanted to give it a go with Ben and Carys receiving silver and bronze awards."

Haberdashers' Monmouth Schools (Coed 7-18) is a day and boarding school in Wales.

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