Mayfield student shortlisted for International Biology Olympiad Beat 4,200 students to final, where
10th May 2013

A sixth form student at St Leonards-Mayfield School in East Sussex has been selected to represent the UK at the International Biology Olympiad, beating more than 4,200 other UK students to reach the final.

Anna Sozanska, age 17, and studying A Levels in Biology, Physics, Chemistry, Mathematics, Further Mathematics and German, will travel to Switzerland in July to take part in the competition.

The annual International Biology Olympiad recognises the world’s top young biologists age 16 and over. 240 of the world’s most promising pre-university students are due to take part in this year’s event, which takes place from 14-21 July in Bern.

The finalists will undertake theory exam papers and practical laboratory tasks to test their knowledge and understanding of advanced biology. The competition, now into its 24th year, aims to promote a career in science for talented students, and to Anna’s outstanding achievement in reaching the final of the competition and her offer to read Medicine at Fitzwilliam College, Cambridge from October reflects St-Leonards Mayfield School’s position as a leading independent school excelling in science, mathematics and creative subjects.

Currently, almost 80% per cent of Lower Sixth girls at Mayfield are studying at least one science or maths subject, with consistently outstanding results achieved at AS and A Level each year.

Dr Deborah Shah-Smith, Anna’s biology teacher, says: “I am so pleased for Anna, she thoroughly deserves this achievement. Getting through to the final of the International Biology Olympiad is testament to her diligence and determination throughout the two years she has been at Mayfield. She is always striving to increase her biological knowledge and as a student she has been a delight to teach.”

Dr Andrew Treharne, who chairs the group of volunteers which organises the competitions, says: “The record number of participants in this year’s Olympiad makes it all the more impressive that Anna has achieved a place at the finals. I wish her luck in representing the UK.”

Notes to Editors:

The British Biology Olympiad challenges Britain’s most talented students and rewards them for their success. More than 4200 students from around the UK took part in the first round of the competition, which consisted of a multiple choice paper taken online. Of these, 155 Gold medal winning students from round one were invited to take a second, more demanding paper, and 16 were then selected to take part in the UK finals, with four then selected for the international stage.

St Leonards-Mayfield School, currently celebrating its 150th anniversary, was founded in 1863 when Mother Cornelia Connolly and her group of young pupils enjoyed a picnic in the grounds of The Old Palace, leading to the restoration of the medieval ruin and the establishment of St Leonards-Mayfield School, more usually known as ‘Mayfield’.

Today the school looks to the future with a highly successful Independent Schools Inspectorate report from September 2012 which gave the school an overall rating of ‘excellent’ and has been included in the 2012 list of the Top 50 Girls’ Boarding Schools in the UK.

Media contact: Caroline Burgess, PR Manager, PMW Communications, Stane Court, Stane Street, Billingshurst, West Sussex, RH14 9HP

Tel: 01403 783400 | E-mail:

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