When it comes to computer science, ACG Parnell College’s Jenna Parkin is in a league of her own. After phenomenal Cambridge IGCSE exam results as a Year 11 student in 2019, she was thrilled to receive Top in World for AS-Level Computer Science in last year’s Outstanding Cambridge Learner Awards.
“I was shocked to gain this result, and my parents are so proud of me,” says Jenna. “The results have definitely motivated me to live up to the same standard this year. It has also really solidified in my mind that with hard work comes results. If I want to achieve something, I just have to get stuck in.”
Jenna describes computer science as a mixture of creativity and logic and says it’s unquestionably her favourite subject.
“Computer science offers so many solutions to simple problems, but these solutions are all crafted from facts and rules. I especially love it when a code I’ve planned and built works!”
But there’s more to her remarkable results than love of the subject and sheer hard work. Inspirational teachers and a supportive study environment have also been integral to Jenna’s success.
“I’ve had so many amazing and passionate teachers during my time at ACG who have instilled a strong work ethic, a love of learning, and have challenged me to achieve my potential,” she confirms. “The teachers are always ready to answer my questions even if I send them on the weekend via Microsoft Teams. The teachers going the extra mile is how ACG supports my success.
“I also love the learning environment here. It feels more like a university than a high school due to factors like wearing mufti, no bells and the freedom to step away from campus during breaks. I think this instils a good sense of accountability and motivation into students.”
This year Jenna faces a new wave of challenges, balancing her academic and extracurricular commitments with her student leadership responsibilities as Head Girl. Despite this, she remains firmly focused on realising the objectives she has set for herself.
“Another Top in the World award would be nice, but my main goals are to achieve my personal best in all my subjects to help me get into a really good university. There are so many aspects of computer science I want to explore at university, including cybersecurity and artificial intelligence. Ultimately, I’d love to work in a sector that protects people, such as computer forensics science for the police force or military.”
For now, though, the highly accomplished teen is concentrating wholeheartedly on 2021, and all her final year at College will bring, both academically and socially.
“It’s scary to think I only have one more year to spend time with the friends I’ve formed such close bonds with, so I am excited to say yes to every opportunity to make lasting memories.”
Drawing on her own well-honed study skills, Jenna has the following advice for current and future students.
“The only thing between you and reaching your potential is your work ethic. I don’t think there are any hacks or quick tips. With hard work, asking your teachers lots of questions, reviewing as many past papers as you can, strong curiosity and passion for the subject, success should follow.”