After learning she’d received Top in New Zealand honours for IGCSE Combined Science in the 2021 Cambridge Outstanding Learner Awards, ten days in isolation was a cinch for Rasleen Singh.
“My parents and I were in MIQ after returning from Malaysia, so when I got the call from Principal O’Connor, I was floating on Cloud 9,” says the ACG Strathallan student. “My parents were speechless and over the moon! This award means the world to me because I absolutely love science, and it proves to me that dedication and hard work does pay off. It also signifies that I can indeed aim and reach for the stars!”
What makes the achievement even more significant is the fact that Rasleen is just 14 and sat the IGCSE paper, usually taken by our Year 11 cohorts, as a Year 10 student.
“My parents instilled in me that half the battle is already won by paying attention in class. Having a teacher who delivered interactive lessons, preparing a structured revision schedule (and having the will to follow it!), practising questions and focusing on smaller details were key to my success. So too were interest and passion – I believe you are far more likely to do well in a subject you love.”
And there’s no denying Rasleen loves science. It’s her favourite subject, and eventually, she hopes to study medicine and move into the field of medical research.
“I am passionate about science because, without an intimate knowledge and understanding of it, we cannot appreciate the world we live in. Science is the fundamental understanding of our universe and what we are as humans. I relish all aspects, but my absolute favourite is biology and, in particular, the human body systems. I think it’s fascinating learning about my body, its workings and what goes on inside me.”
But it’s not just science that sparks Rasleen’s enthusiasm. The Cambridge curriculum provides an inspiring framework for success, and she has embraced the entire programme wholeheartedly.
“I really like the Cambridge curriculum because it makes me enjoy my learning, and it inspires me to push myself harder every year. I like the continuity and consistency, and I enjoy how it’s taught by my teachers. I love how there has been a balance of languages, maths, sciences, physical education, music, drama, art and design from day one up to now.”
Even outside of the classroom, ACG Strathallan provides plenty to pique Rasleen’s interest.
“I appreciate the opportunities and leadership roles ACG Strathallan students are given. We can join any club we wish and participate in a huge range of activities. The atmosphere is very welcoming, and students are always encouraged to participate in events at school. The other thing I love about Strathallan is that the school has allowed me to develop a strong sense of self-belief, integrity and confidence.”
During her six years at the school, Rasleen has made the most of everything on offer. Part of the First XI Girls hockey team for two years running, a black belt (Shodan) in karate, and a peer mediator and house chairperson for McLaren House, she’s also a part of the media team and plays the alto saxophone in the school’s concert and jazz bands.
So what does 2022 have in store for the dedicated teen?
“I’m really looking forward to forging new friendships and getting back to all the school activities we missed out on due to Covid. My goals are to keep my grades up and participate in as many activities as I can. I’d love to be in the Strathallan debating team, and I also want to achieve my second dan (Ni Dan) black belt in karate.”
And when asked if science is still a top priority, Rasleen’s answer is simple and direct.
“Of course! I’m going to do my best to repeat my performance for my science subjects this year – or better still, surpass it!”