Academic and Sailing Scholar aces GCSEs

Olivia Gowland has achieved straight 9s and 8s in her GCSEs (which is the equivalent of A*s and high As) and has been awarded a Sixth Form Sailing Scholarship alongside her Academic Scholarship.


Olivia joined the Royal Hospital School in Year 7 from Oxford House in Colchester. Although she passed her 11+ and secured a place at the girls' grammar, she chose RHS for the breadth of opportunities beyond the classroom.

Olivia is a member of the Chapel Choir, sailing squad and swimming team and has represented the School in Maths Challenges. In addition, she takes piano, singing and ballet lessons. She talks about some of her highlights: "These activities have provided me with some amazing and memorable experiences including representing GB in a junior event at the America's Cup in Bermuda, singing at venues in New York as part of the Choir Tour and at St Paul's Cathedral and competing in the Bath Cup national schools' swimming competition."

Sailing has become Olivia's passion and a significant part of her life at RHS. As well as her Sailing Scholarship, she has been awarded colours for her contribution to school sailing. Olivia said, "I have to thank my sailing teachers at RHS for setting me on this pathway and for supporting my development."

Olivia will be studying Maths, Further Maths, Physics and Economics at A Level with a view to reading Economics or Engineering at university. Over the summer, she has been doing work experience in the Finance and Business Intelligence Units of an NHS Trust.

When asked about the last few months, Olivia said "The premature closure of RHS was extremely disappointing - there were so many events that we missed! It made me realise how important the community is and I appreciated the amazing effort teachers and staff made to keep the school connected. Lessons via MS Teams worked well, and it was great to have the opportunity to sample new subjects (Accountancy) and to be introduced to A level studies."

Olivia's mother, Claire, added "I cannot praise the senior leadership team, teachers and support staff highly enough for their individual and collective efforts to keep the RHS community together. I do not underestimate the impact of the last five months. This is further reassurance, if ever it were needed, that RHS was the right choice. I am so proud of Olivia. Her work ethic and attitude never cease to amaze me and, despite some anxiety around the seemingly ever-changing process, I think the results are a fair reflection of her effort and ability."