STUDENTS from Alton College joined other talented science students in scooping top awards at the annual British Biology Olympiad competition, as well as attending lectures and activities on neuroscience at University of Southampton.

More than 7,200 students from around the UK took part in the UK British Olympiad competition and only the top performers receive awards.

For the Alton students, the first stage of the competition took place at the college and involved a two-hour multiple-choice exam covering material from a range of A-Level biology topics. To help students in the run-up to the Olympiad, bespoke and inspiring sessions were run by the biology department and all biology students were invited to attend.

These additional lessons covered biological topics to stretch the students beyond the exam specification.

A number of students achieved exceptional marks and were awarded silver and bronze awards, and others received commendations for their achievements.

Award winners were:

Silver award: Oli Lindsay (previously at Bohunt School), Charlotte Cranmer (previously Mill Chase Academy).

Bronze award: Emily Briggs (previously Kings International College), Jordan Byrne (Court Moor), Gabby Kelly (The Petersfield School), Andrew Morrish (Amery Hill School, Alton), Kate Willett (The Petersfield School), Ella Buranakul (Amery Hill).

Highly commended: Jessica Dewhurst (Robert May’s School, Odiham), George Roland (Ditcham Park, Petersfield), Julia Zieleniewicz (Amery Hill School).

Commended: Tom Bradford (Bedales School , Petersfield), Tom Grange (The Petersfield School), Jane Blackbourn (Perins School, Alresford).

AS biology students also had the opportunity to visit the faculty of natural and environmental sciences at the University of Southampton at the beginning of the year to participate in a practical session in one of their science labs. The session included activities relating to neuroscience, with the emphasis on the way the nervous system controls behaviour and physiology.

Student Jane Blackbourn, previously of Perins School in Alresford, said: “I really enjoyed the neuroscience trip at the University of Southampton, not only as an insight to university life but also to a biology-based course. The trip was helpful in allowing me to talk to students currently studying there and understand the breadth of study within biology so I can think about which areas I may want to specialise in in the future.

“I found it particularly interesting how active your brain is even at rest, which we were able to see for ourselves during the practical, and the link between your brain and your eyes which can be used to diagnose some eye disorders.”