Record breaking Clare celebrates nine A-levels

Clare Rees-Zimmerman
Clare Rees-Zimmerman
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clare Rees-Zimmerman has rewritten her school’s record books by achieving an incredible nine A-levels - eight of which were A*s

What has made the 18-year-old’s achievement even more impressive is that she taught herself four of the subjects including further maths, additional further maths and French.

The Sheffield High School pupil also earned an Extended Project Qualification (EPQ) during the summer holidays before her final year tackling the question: “How likely is string theory to become an adequate theory of quantum gravity?”

The student from Dore, Sheffield was able to achieve this astonishing number of exams by sitting some of the qualifications early. And despite all her academic success she has also found time to excel outside the classroom as a musician playing piano, viola and violin to grade eight standard.

She is now going to Trinity College, Cambridge where she had an unconditional offer to study chemical engineering via natural sciences.

She told the Yorkshire Post that she wanted to go into scientific research in an area which “would make a difference to people’s lives.”

Her results today means she has now got A* A-levels in biology, chemistry, physics, Russian, maths, further maths, additional further maths and music. And she also has a grade A in French - one of the subjects which she taught herself.

She got her further maths and music A-levels last year and maths and French when she was 16. She secured five more A* star grades this morning.

As well as this she has an AS level in critical thinking and an (EPQ) taking her Ucas points total to 1,370.

Her successes followed her 13 A*s at GCSE - and she is hoping for a further GCSE in Italian next week.

Despite her success she remains modest about her achievements.

She said: “I’m really happy with my results. I’ve always been interested in how maths and science are applied to practical problems and I’d really like to work in that area.

“I like to see how engineering and things are applied to everyday life so science doesn’t just stay in the classroom.”

The teenager’s academic and musical prowess has seen her pick up a bewildering range of accolades over the last couple of years.

At GCSE she was presented with an Award for Excellence from the Royal Geographical Society in recognition for gaining the top mark in the country for AQA GCSE Geography out of over 67,000 entries.

In 2013, Clare, whose parents are both academics at Sheffield University, reached the final four of WISE Girl Award, which recognises young women under the age of 18 “whose outstanding achievements have already inspired other girls”. This was presented by the Princess Royal.

She also came joint second in Oxford Corpus Christi Schools Science Prize 2013 (Materials Science Category) with a project on “the use of Pd-Pt nanoparticle catalysts in hydrogen fuel cells”.

As well as her grade 8 in three instruments, she holds the BRSM Silver Award in recognition of attaining exceptionally high marks in Grade 8 Viola and the ABRSM Winifred Liversedge prize for Grade 8 piano.

She is also the leader of the City of Sheffield Senior Schools Orchestra. Clare said today she had just returned from a tour of Spain with the orchestra.

As if her CV was not packed enough, Clare reached the European Youth Parliament National Finals last year and earned a special prize in the National Russian Essay Writing Competition for thorough research in 2012.

Headteacher Val Dunsford said: “Clare has been an outstanding student not just in her academic studies but also in the way she has played such an active part in the life of the school in extra-curricular activities from a very early age.

“We look forward with interest to see how her career develops and wish her the very best in the future.”

Clare added: “The school has been really supportive and it is a really close knit and friendly sixth form where we all know each other and everyone gets along.”