Apr 17

Bouldering Triumph

The final round the TCA South West Schools Bouldering League was held on Monday March 11th and we are very proud to announce that the St Mary Redcliffe 6th form team won the Y10-13 Male category in our first year of entry. The league consists of 4 rounds run over 5 months and attracted over 70 students from 12 different schools. In the past the event has been dominated by the local private schools, and the standard this year was reportedly very high, but in the end our team of Laurie Sinclair-Emerson, Jacob Day and Tom Barber came out convincingly ahead of QEH, Bristol Grammar and Bristol Cathedral School, due to a very consistent performance by all three boys. We wish we could claim any credit for this triumph, but the all credit lies with the boys, who took the initiative in approaching us to see if we would support and sponsor their entry.


Rather like our rowing club, which started five years ago now as a student initiative, we very much hope that this is something that can be sustained into future years. Our prize was a free training session at The Climbing Academy for 10 students, which should hopefully give it some momentum. What we hope it shows is that where students want to go for something there is no reason why it shouldn't happen.



Oct 23

A Vision for Change

A Vision for Change


At the beginning of year 12 students are given the oppurtunity to volunteer with the youth charity Envision. In previous years groups have worked on local projects to encourage cycling and wider-scale campaigns to protect endangered species. Last year a group of girls decided to base their work around the area of gender stereotypes and exploring the ways in which they could tackle these all too prevalent problems. What began as a weekly session with an Envision mentor soon evolved into something much bigger, as they decided the best way that they could make a difference was to target those closest to them and so chose to run a series of workshops for year 9 girls in St Mary Redcliffe school.  


Susannah Harvey writes -

"We wanted to pass on our own experience and the lessons we had learned to boost the girls confidence and self esteem. We ran 4 workshops on self-image, relationships, ambitions and talents with these aims in mind. Running the workshops was an incredibly rewarding experience, seeing the girls come out of their shells, particiapting enthustiastically in the activities we set and really considering the things we discussed with them was more than enough payment for the work we put in."

Envision logo


The team was to be rewarded even further however.


A month after all the workshops were over they were informed that they had won a nationally prestigous Diana award for their work. Two members of the group were chosen to attend the award ceremonies where they had an amazing time and had the oppurtunity to meet other inspirational young people from up and down the country. Seannah Calladine, shown at the awards ceremony remarked that "It was a privilege to work with the girls and to watch  their confidence develop, and to have our work rewarded on such a scale was something completely unexpected but a real honour". The other members of the core team were Natalie Devalba, Alice Trickey and Robyn Samuels.

Diana Award

Mar 8

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."