Monday 24th Jan 2022

British Physics Olympiad




A Christ’s Hospital pupil has been awarded ‘top gold’ in the British Physics Olympiad, a competition designed to test the very best school physicists from around the world.

In November, nine of the school’s Grecian (Year 13) physics pupils took part in the first round of the British Physics Olympiad. The competition had more than 4,500 entrants and aims to encourage the study of physics as well as recognise excellence in young physicists. The paper is particularly challenging, even for candidates on track for A* grades at A level, requiring an incredibly high level of analytical and evaluative skill; a medal of any colour is a significant achievement.

It is therefore impressive that all nine Christ’s Hospital candidates achieved medal awards. Five pupils (Posy, Max, Sam, Wing and Reanne) were awarded ‘bronze II’, three pupils (Tommy, Andy and Finn) were awarded ‘bronze I’, and most impressively of all, Hillary Qiu was awarded ‘top gold’. ‘Top gold’ indicates that Hillary was within roughly the top 3% of entrants, an already selective group. It also qualified her to proceed to the second round of the Olympiad, and the British Astronomy and Astrophysics Olympiad, both of which are invite-only for ‘top gold’ award winners.

Hillary, who is studying for A levels in physics, maths, further maths and chemistry, said ‘It was a difficult paper but also fun – I enjoyed it!’ She has been put forward for a distinction for her performance in the Olympiad, and is now looking forward to taking part in the second round, as well as in the Astronomy Olympiad. The top 14 students in both the first and second rounds will be invited to proceed to the third round, which includes a training camp in Oxford and potential selection for the UK team at the International Physics Olympiad.

‘I’m incredibly pleased with the success of all of our British Physics Olympiad candidates this year’, said Craig Donoghue, Head of Physics at Christ’s Hospital. ‘It is a testament to their hard work in preparation for the paper that all nine secured medal awards. They have all performed extremely well and we are very proud of their achievements. Hillary’s success is exceptional, and we wish her the very best in her rigorous preparations for the second round at the end of January.’

For more information on the British Physics Olympiad, please go to: