Sam Carling, Tees House

Since arriving at Barney Sixth Form in 2018, Sam has been one of the school’s top academic performers, who deservedly earned a place at the University of Cambridge to study Natural Sciences from September 2020.

As well as securing excellent A Level results, Sam researched and attained a phenomenal EPQ on innovative scientific research into carbon dot technology in medicine.

Commenting on his EPQ, Sam said: “It’s a new field of nanotechnology, which I was introduced to by one of my chemistry teachers at Barney.”

“The dots, which are particles mainly made from carbon, glow under ultraviolet light, so you can use them to track the movement of other molecules in cells. At the moment, radioactive markers are used to do that, but unlike them, carbon dots don’t damage the cell. I think in the future they could be used in cancer research and it was a great project to be involved with.”

Although studying in Cambridge, Sam plans to return to school to help other students with their Oxbridge applications, having previously spent some his spare time tutoring younger children in Biology, Chemistry and Maths while at Barney. He was also heavily involved in Lectern Club and founded Barney’s Student Support Forum.

Speaking about his time at Barney, he said: “I was really keen to take five A Levels and that was a major problem for a lot of sixth forms I visited, but Barney was with me from the start. It was a nightmare to put together my timetable, but the school bent over backwards to accommodate me.

“Everyone has been incredibly friendly and supportive.”