Congratulations to Petra for her offer to read Chemistry at St Hugh’s College, University of Oxford.
Petra is currently completing her seventh year at Shrewsbury, having joined us from a Thai school in Year 7; a move that allowed to her to enjoy a wider range of academic and co-curricular opportunities, and where she immediately began to benefit from a teaching style that encouraged her to think critically, and voice her thought processes openly.
Indeed, the ability and willingness to effectively articulate her thinking, was - in Petra’s view - a deciding factor in her Oxford interviews, and reflected the advice given to her in her pre-interview preparations with Mr Chris Conway; Chemistry teacher, Oxford graduate and former higher education adviser for both Shrewsbury UK and Shrewsbury Bangkok. This was especially the case when challenged to solve problems relating to Physical Chemistry; an area not covered in the A level syllabus, but which required her apply her existing knowledge to different contexts.
Petra has always been drawn to the sciences, but her decision to focus on Chemistry is the result of an educational journey at Shrewsbury where she has equally enjoyed exploring the social sciences and humanities, and is made in the knowledge that a specialism in Chemistry - especially at one of the world’s very best universities - in turn opens doors to a wide range of related professional fields, not only her current favoured option of “green” chemistry.
As a member of the student executive, this year Petra has been helping to refocus the role of service and leadership as part of a Shrewsbury education, and has been particularly inspired by opening a new level of open and constructive dialogue between teachers and students to better understand what effective, high quality lessons look like for future generations of students.
Petra’s contribution to the Shrewsbury community will also be remembered for her performances on the volleyball courts. Varsity Captain for the last two years, she felt its was important - in her words - to continue playing alongside her “brothers and sisters” in the squad; lifelong friendships that were forged not just in the heat of competition, but in the hours spent training and socialising together, in term time and holiday times too.
Choosing to commit to squad training throughout Year 13 in particular, is not an easy prospect for any student, but Petra has always understood the importance of finding balance between study and other activities, not least through her involvement in the International Award programme; another environment in which she developed new skills, resilience and formed particularly strong friendships.
Whilst Petra still has A level courses in Chemistry, Mathematics, Further Mathematics and Physics to complete, she is understandably excited about what lies ahead and to fully immersing herself both in academia, and in British culture. Good luck on your travels, Petra!