Year 13 Xaverian student, Sylvie Norreys, 17 from Stretford, recently had the experience of a lifetime when she took part in the International Geography Olympiad in Indonesia.
The Olympiad is a competition aimed at 16-19-year-old geography students from all over the world who have already been successful in their respective national Olympiads and who have been selected to represent their respective countries in the international competition. Competing students take part in written and multimedia tests, substantial fieldwork and observations that lead to cartographic representation and geographical analysis. The student teams also create poster presentations and take part in cultural exchanges.
On being chosen to be one of the UK representatives, Sylvie commented: “Being asked to take part in the International Geography Olympiad in Indonesia has been my highlight at Xaverian. I found out about it from my Geography Teacher, Dean Colasurdo, who got me interested in it and helped me find the sponsors I needed to go on the trip. In preparation for the trip, I did lots of past papers from the Olympiad website and did video calls with the Team Leaders who gave us lots of tips in preparation for the competition.
“As part of the competition, we got the opportunity to do fieldwork in the Indonesian rainforest, which was really exciting, and we were able to make new friends with people of other countries. Overall, it was a great experience and one I will never forget.”
Sylvie, former Chorlton High School pupil, is studying Mathematics, Physics and Geography at Xaverian, and commented: “My favourite subject at Xaverian is Geography because I really enjoyed going on the field trip to the Lake District where we got to work in teams to take geological samples, plus I enjoyed the social element that we had at the evenings. I like the topics we do as part of the course, such as the Tectonics unit and we work together in groups on projects and assignments, which I enjoy doing.”
Sylvie, who is planning to study a Degree in Geography following Xaverian, commented: “Being at Xaverian has given me lots of opportunities, including taking part in the Geography Olympiad, as well other opportunities such as university trips and visits abroad. I also like the way we are taught as the lessons are really interesting to listen to and the teachers prepare us for exams by teaching us good exam and revision techniques.
“I’d like to go to university to study Geography following Xaverian as I’ve really enjoyed the subject and I think it will be a fun and fulfilling experience. After university, I’d like to work in Environmental Engineering, because it’s an area that interests me and is important for future environmental sustainability.”
James Foster, Curriculum Leader for Geography at the College, commented: “We encourage all our students to take part competitions as we feel this is good for their academic development, and interacting with other like-minded students gives a different and broader perspective on global issues. Sylvie did well to qualify for the International Olympiad and we were delighted that she grasped the opportunity with such enthusiasm to take part in this unique experience.”