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Tom Finerty - gold award in the British Physics Olympiad

Tom Finerty - gold award in the British
Physics Olympiad

Tom Finerty (year 13) has been awarded a gold award in the British Physics Olympiad. This is a significant achievement, putting him in the top 150 sixth form physicists in the country. The paper covers topics above and beyond the A level physics course and reflects Tom's natural talent and dedication to the subject.

Tom is one of a growing number of students taking one or more STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) subjects at A level. Our physics course has seen a huge increase in applicants in recent years and enjoys excellent success rates. We have asked Tom to outline his involvement in Physics as an insight for others considering this path.

Tom Finerty

"For me, physics is about describing the world around us in a fundamental and comprehensive way, often best achieved through the use of maths.  Being able to understand and explain why the world is as it is and how the world works is something that fascinates me and it is this that has fostered my love of physics.

Studying the A level Physics course at Redcliffe has continued to cultivate my love of physics: the teaching is enthusiastic and the wide range of topics covered extends to all areas of the physical world, from how to construct earthquake resistant buildings to the inevitable fate of the universe.  Since choosing to study Physics here, I have attended a series of physics lectures held at Cardiff University and a summer school at the University of Birmingham, both of which were highly enjoyable and helped to further my interest in the subject above and beyond the course.  The upcoming trip to CERN in Geneva this summer is another example of the opportunities available to Redcliffe A level physicists.
Miss Wales encouraged me to take part in the Physics Olympiad and, having not attempted the paper before, I thought it would be an enjoyable and challenging experience in preparation for university applications.  Therefore, I was both surprised and delighted to find that I had in fact achieved a Gold Award and, even more so, that this was the first the school had attained.

Last December I was fortunate enough to be offered a place to study Physics at Oxford University.  The interview and admissions process was challenging and stressful at times but I am grateful for the support that I received from the school at all stages of the application process, including help with preparation for the admissions test and after-school sessions in the run up to the interview.

My long-term plans are to go into a career in theoretical physics research and the opportunities that I have been offered during my time at Redcliffe have set me in an ideal position to achieve this.  My thanks go to Mr Gregson and Miss Wales for their help and encouragement."