Always a key event in the Warminster School calendar, our annual Curriculum Enrichment Day 2017 lived up to expectations. However, the proposal was quite different this year: “A necessity before you need it”.  With a clear focus on S.T.E.A.M, Arnold, Denys and Ken pupils were challenged to produce the prototype of a product that could become something that the public desperately “needed”. From the moment that the proposal was delivered to the Houses, the excitement was palpable; a project that they could really get their teeth into and make their own. After weeks of research, preparation, design and collaboration, the big day had finally arrived for each house to show case their hard work and sell their product. They needed to launch their invention to the judging panel similar to a Dragon's Den pitch; demonstrating their inspiration, ideas, business plan, prototype, costs and environmental impact.

This year we were extremely fortunate to have three experts in the field of product design and marketing as our judging panel. We welcomed to Warminster School Libby Meyrick, the Chief Executive of the Institution of Engineering Designers. Established in 1945, the IED is a Chartered Body representing over 5000 members working in engineering and product design. A scientist who has worked in engineering for over 20 years, Libby is passionate about encouraging the next generation of young people into the world of science and engineering. 

Also on the judging panel was our very own Head of Hockey, Year 7 tutor and Assistant Housemaster of St Boniface, Jeremy Evans. Pupils might not have realised before today that Jeremy has quite a background in design. Whilst studying for his degree in Design and Technology, he was headhunted by a design agency and during his subsequent 15 years at the agency, became Senior Design and Account Manager. His clients included Jaguar and Austin Martin and he was working with budgets of up to £1.2 billion in a variety of locations including Beruit, Tel Aviv and Moscow. 

Our third judge was our highly innovative and creative Head of Communications, Emma Brumby. Emma started out in a London based marketing and events company who were the pioneers of one-to-one, pre-scheduled business forums which matched blue chip company buyers and sellers to generate new business, learn from each other and network. She has been Head of Communications at Warminster School for almost four years. She loves anything digital, Twitter and creativity.

All three judges were hugely impressed by the standard of work they witnessed. From the informative work on display in each gazebo to the presentation of their invention through music, drama and advertising campaigns to the heated three-way debate, all pupils were a credit to their House. The inventions themselves were quite remarkable and whilst summing up the day, our external judge, Libby, commented that witnessing these innovative ideas had given her hope for the future of product design. Arnold's “Air-desk” offered the opportunity to work just about anywhere; Denys' tracking device promised to keep the vulnerable safe and Ken's food app claimed to be the answer to the world's food waste problem. It was fantastic to see all age groups working so well together on their very individual product. There was a supportive atmosphere and a real sense of community. So many of the pupils commented on what a positive experience it had been. Freya and Emma in Year 13 commented that it was a “great day and great opportunity to collaborate with the lower year groups” and Naomi Watson, a pupil in Year 9 and Lottie Craven-Smith in Year 8 both remarked that they had “made new friends and got to know people from other year groups” as well as “had lots of fun and learned lots!” For me, Ollie Morgan, a Year 13 Arnold pupil hit the nail on the head when he said “I believe CED brings the school together and highlights its values as a community – with pupils ranging from Years 7 to 13, all working in collaboration to achieve the same goal”.

The standard was very high this year but there could only be one winning house: Congratulations go to Arnold House as winners of CED 2017.

Nicola Rogers, Head of MFL