A teenager who built a wooden shepherd’s hut alongside studying for her A Levels has been shortlisted for one of the education industry’s most prestigious awards.

Isabelle Tucker, a former pupil at Ipswich High School in Woolverstone, has been shortlisted in the Student Initiative of the Year category at the Tes Independent School Awards 2020, celebrating the most outstanding individuals and institutions that the independent sector has to offer.

Isabelle Tucker, awards finalistThe 18-year-old achieved an A* for the shepherd’s hut which was for her Extended Project Qualification, which provides a taster of university-style learning, as well as an A* in Design Technology.

The endeavour was a labour of love for Isabelle as it used around 475 metres of timber and took nearly 500 hours to create.

Robert Hastings, Ipswich High School’s Director of Sixth Form, described Isabelle as a “fantastic student who has been a fine role model to other pupils as well as her peers” during her time at the school.

He added: “She is a great example of an Ipswich High School sixth form student – determined, motivated and following her passion.”


Oona Carlin, Head of School, said: “The shortlisting is wonderful and well-deserved for Isabelle as it recognises the many long hours that she spent perfecting her shepherd’s hut.

“It is a real achievement to be chosen for the awards and reflects the hard work and dedication of our staff and pupils and our commitment to providing students with the very best education possible.”


Tes editor Ann Mroz said: “The independent schools in this country are truly exceptional.

“And those that have earned a place on the Tes Independent School Awards shortlist are a cut above the rest.

“We received an unparalleled number of entries this year, all of which were first rate. The schools that have been shortlisted should be proud – it’s a remarkable achievement.”

The winners will be announced at a gala dinner at Grosvenor House Hotel in London on 7th February 2020.